FACTS: Defendants in two separate cases signed a residential lease for apartments which they vacated. Landlords sued tenants to collect rent for the entire lease. One trial court dismissed the complaint, which was reversed on appeal; other trial court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiff was affirmed on appeal. Both defendants appealed. In one case, plaintiff landlord said he did not attempt to re-let, and even denied a potential tenant the opportunity to rent the vacated apartment. The other plaintiff did not respond to the interrogatories.
The court reversed, holding plaintiff landlords had an obligation to make a reasonable effort to mitigate damages in wrongfully vacated apartments.
Therefore, the court overruled Joyce v. Bauman, 113 N.J.L. 438 (E. & A. 1934), to the extent it was inconsistent with its decision.
CONCLUSION: The judgment of one case was reversed because the plaintiff landlord did not mitigate his damages and could have re-leased the apartment right away; other case was reversed and remanded to determine whether the landlord could have mitigated the damages.
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