In August 2022, I rented a residence in Illinois due to my spouse's enlistment and my desire to be close to family. His enlistment was expected to end in August 2023, but there is news of the possibility of an extension until December 2023. Therefore, I renewed my lease for another year from August 2023 to July 2024 in May 2023. However, a few months later, my spouse returned early in August 2023. I also returned in July 2023, so I informed the landlord that I would be returning to California to be with my spouse. However, I am facing difficulty in canceling the lease by the landlord. We don't have any PCS orders or enlistment that allow us to cancel the lease under SCRA guidelines, and there is no early termination clause in the lease. And that's where the problems start.
The landlord is requesting us to pay listing fees in addition to one month's rent and compensation for the months they couldn't find a replacement. Or they are asking us to pay six months in advance to terminate the lease.
I reached out to a tenant rights organization, and they informed me that the landlord is not entitled to request listing fees unless they failed to find a replacement in Illinois.
So, here's my question: Can we leave without any repercussions because the landlord is providing us and the military with false information? (This is what the tenant rights organization suggested) Could we potentially have a legal case?
Also, I'm planning to join the military and ship out in January. Do I have to pay rent until that time and cancel the lease under SCRA guidelines? If I decide to cancel the lease before that and provide the orders to the landlord, can I terminate the lease without penalty under SCRA guidelines?
Can I move out of the place and return to California during the lease termination process? Because the tenant rights organization suggested that I can do so without any repercussions.