Penalty for breaking a lease…

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Hi, can someone plse advise.  We originally signed a 1 yr lease and had every intention of staying for the full period, however, 4 months in we broke the lease due to purchasing a house.  The rental contract states-  Deposit – resident agrees to pay a deposit of xxxx to secure residents pledge of full compliance with the terms of this agreement. the depsoit may not be used by tenant to pay rent during the tenancy.  At the end of the tenancy any damages or unpaid rent or charges will be repaired or paid for at resident’s expense with funds other than the security deposit.  Termination states Resident agrees that termination by resident of this agreement prior to xxx regardless of cause will constitute a breach of the tenancy as agreed on pg 1 and all deposits shall be forfeited in favor of the owner as full liquidated damages at the owner’s option.

The landlord has decided to keep our full deposit ‘cos she can!!  And not off-set the deposit money against damages or rent and has hit us for further charges for rent/damages (again most of this stuff was already there but I didn’t document it!!/replacement of carpet (which wasn’t our fault!)  We are in dispute about that ‘cos there was a water leak due to the toilet ballcock breaking upstairs and small areas were damaged by water leakage which I showed her but now she claims she didn’t know anyting about the carpet damage and that it is pet urine!!  Are Landlords allowed to keep the deposit without taking the other costs she has hit us with under Utah Law?

Thanks

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Edited on: Thursday, September 8th, 2011 9:11 am
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