When you rent an apartment and sign a lease, staying there for the duration of the agreement seems like it will be doable. However, sometimes things come up. Whether you got a job offer in another location, have a family crisis, or any other reason, there are many situations where you would need to break a lease. The good news is, usually breaking a lease is possible.
While there are reasonable circumstances in which a lease would end early, you will likely still face some form of penalties for ending the contract early. Let’s take a look and see what your options are.
Legal Obligations as a Tenant
One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning to end your lease is that you signed a contract. That means it is legally binding. So, depending on the terms, your landlord may be able to take legal action against you for breaching that contract.
As a consenting adult, you agreed to meet the terms of the lease, but unexpected things do come up. Because of how unexpected life can be, leases are broken more often than you’d think. Even though leases are broken frequently, the tenant will still have legal obligations before they are completely free.
Reasons to Break a Lease
Moving onto the next chapter in your life is an exciting time, often with a few challenges involved along the way. One thing that can prove difficult is getting out of your lease early. Some reasons you may want to move to include:
- Dealing with a crisis within the family
- Relocating for school or work
- Studying abroad
- Moving in with a partner
- Purchasing a home
Unfortunately, even the best personal reasons aren’t a valid reason to break your lease without penalty. Many landlords include a clause in the leases that outline the procedure of breaking the lease. They also include what consequences the tenant will face, if any.
How to Break Your Lease
Ending your lease early can be a difficult process in some places, but the first step should always be reading your lease to find out any details regarding breaking the lease. Some landlords include information about termination fees and appropriate notice. You should also read up on rental laws in your state or county.
If your lease doesn’t have any information about breaking the lease early, you’ll need to speak with your landlord or property management company. You may be nervous about approaching your landlord regarding breaking your lease, but it’s important to do this right away so you know exactly what your responsibilities are and so you can handle things the right way.
Consequences of Moving Early
Due to unanticipated developments, you may find yourself needing to get out of your lease sooner than planned. Moving early can come with consequences, such as continuing to pay the rent until the spot is filled or a fee, but ending your lease on good terms is always worth it.