Tenant sued landlord for failure to return his $5,000.00 security deposit. Landlord counter-claimed for $5,000.00 realtor fees incurred in re-renting the premises after tenant moved out four months before the end of the lease. The landlord hired a realtor and was immediately re-rented the unit at the same rent of $2500.00 per month for two years. Because the new lease was two years, the landlors was changed a two month realtor commission of $5,000. The court ruled that the landlord could not recover the full realtor fee of $5000.00, but only recover for a prorated four months for the balance of the original lease term: $2500/12 = 208.33 per month x 4 remaining months = $833.32. Because the landlord had to refund the remaining $4,166.68 of the security deposit he kept, the court ruled that the tenant was the prevailing party and entitled to his attorneys fees (which were $18,000.00).
Lee v. Stanziale, 2013 Conn. Super. Lexis 1767 (Conn. Super. Hartford 2013).