Q-I am selling my business & have found a new buyer that has been approved by the landlord for a new lease. The landlord has told me that in order to terminate my lease early, I have to forfeit my security deposit. Can they legally do that, since there is no lapse in rent and the new owner has been approved by them? (No actual damages incurred.) My lease even states “Upon the termination of this lease in any manner if the Tenant be not then in default, the above deposit or so much thereof as has not been lawfully expended by the Landlord, shall be returned to the Tenant within 30 days, without interest.” but they are requiring I sign an amendment stating I will forfeit the deposit otherwise they will not allow me to terminate / sign a new lease with the new owner.

A – A possible way of avoiding the loss of your deposit might be a sub-lease arrangement. Under a sub-lease, your lease would still be valid and you would terminate. However, I don’t practice in your jurisdiction so I don’t know what the default rules are.
If the lease addresses the rules for sub-leasing, then those rules will govern. However, if not, then the state’s default laws will be effective. You would then need to research or ask an attorney whether you can reasonably sub-lease your property and whether your landlord would be able to deny a sub-lease for no cause or whether the landlord could not withhold approval without reasonable grounds. Whether you would want to go this route and stay legally liable for the lease by sub-leasing depends on how much you would save by keeping your full deposit.