A lease agreement is a legally-binding contract, however; circumstances might prompt you to move out early. Regardless of your reasons for deciding to break the lease, the situation is always difficult for the tenant and landlord.
Whether you need to relocate for employment or take on a roommate, you must break the lease with proper planning and care. Bear in mind that you could face serious consequences upon breaking a contract. Fortunately, this guide will inform you on how to break a lease.
Ways to Break Your Lease
The first step you should take when you wish to break your lease is to read the agreement you signed when you moved in. Ensure you read every section to see if there’s any information on how to break a lease or the penalties that could arise.
Look for terms such as “sublet,” “early release,” and “re-let.” The agreement may indicate that you need to provide notice of your plan to vacate the apartment in one or two months in advance or that you need to locate a replacement renter.
Numerous leases will also have an option for terminating the lease immediately, but they frequently come with hefty charges and you may also lose your security deposit.
Look for Violation of Contract
As part of the agreement, proprietors agree to conduct property maintenance and offer a safe environment. However, some landlords don’t live up to this. Some may ignore requests to substitute non-functioning appliances or refuse to repair defective plumbing and broken heating systems.
Other problems with the unit can include insect or mold infestation. The failure to maintain rentals in good condition is violation of contract and if this is the case, you can break the lease without penalty.
Familiarize Yourself with the Law
State, local, and federal laws exist to protect landlords and renters in exceptional cases. Bear in mind that the answers usually depend on your residential area. Federal law protects persons who are actively engaged in military service while every state has its particular laws to protect renters in special instances.
A number of states also expect proprietors to make practical efforts to find a substitute renter for your unit irrespective of why you need to break the lease. In these instances, you’ll want to consult a professional to determine your responsibilities and rights.
Bigger metropolitan areas frequently have tenants’ unions that can help tenants tackle such disputes. Such organizations can offer assistance if the proprietor doesn’t try to locate a new tenant, tries to charge you more than what’s legal, or if you simply can’t contact him.
Talk to the Landlord
Although the landlord-tenant relationship can be complicated, total transparency and open communication are the best ways of handling a sensitive situation like leaving before the term is due.
Honesty is very important and if you’re a responsible tenant and maintains good relations with the landlord, the process of breaking a lease might go smoothly.
Find a New Renter
Finding a new renter is a great way of staying in good terms with your landlord. In fact, several landlords will release the renter from an agreement if the tenant finds a suitable replacement. While looking for a replacement, ensure you conduct background and credit checks.
At times, breaking a lease is unavoidable. However, you must consider the possible consequences carefully. If you’re thinking of breaking your lease but don’t know where to start, check out this guide.
For more information on breaking an apartment lease, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.