Rent it Right
One way to impress upon your judge the inadvisability of allowing landlords to avoid the mitigation rule by contract would be to point to Florida, which also has a mitigation rule. Several years ago, Florida passed legislation allowing landlords and tenants to agree to a lease-breaking fee of two months' rent, but only when the issue has been clearly presented to the applicant as an option that can be declined without fear of being rejected on that basis. You might argue that if landlords in your state are to be allowed to sidestep the mitigation rule, that ability should be decided by legislators who can build in safeguards to protect tenants who don't want to waive their rights.
Janet Portman is an attorney and managing editor at Nolo. She specializes in landlord/tenant law and is co-author of "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" and "Every Tenant's Legal Guide." She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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