For a long time, New York landlords weren't required to find a replacement tenant if you broke your lease—meaning that, unless you negotiated a lease break fee, you were probably on the hook for the remainder of the rent if you moved out of your apartment early.
That all changed in 2019, when the state legislature passed a sweeping set of rental reforms. Landlords in New York are now required by law to "mitigate damages." That means that they have to make an effort to re-rent your apartment if you leave early—and if they find a replacement tenant, you're off the hook for any remaining rent going forward. And if your former landlord doesn't make any attempt to re-rent the unit, they're not allowed to sue you for rent you didn't pay during that period.
That said, a landlord could try to find a new tenant and still not be successful. If that's the case, you're still legally responsible for paying the rent through the end of your lease term. Mitigating damages doesn't mean a landlord is required to find a new tenant, just to make a good-faith effort to look for one.
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