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Minimize Problems by Breaking a Lease the Right Way

Minimize Problems by Breaking a Lease the Right Way

Even though you signed your rental lease in good faith, circumstances can change overnight. If you got a new job or need more space, moving may be your best option. Uphold your integrity as a renter and minimize the pain of moving out by breaking a lease the right way. There are ways to prevent legal repercussions and credit damage.

Look at the Lease

Read what you signed—no judgment if you just skimmed it before—and look for any early release clauses. There may be an option for early lease termination, but if not, at least you’ll know your obligations and options. Your lease will also outline how much notice you should give your landlord.

Talk to Your Landlord

Your landlord is human, too, and they also have financial obligations. Be transparent with your landlord or property management company about your situation, and discuss your options. Take notes on your conversations, and show them to the landlord for accuracy and an approval signature.

Find a New Renter or Subletter

Make the gesture to find a new tenant to take over your lease or sublet from you. This will mitigate damages for ending the lease early. Network on social media; you may find that others are in the same situation as you and looking for a unit in your rent range. If you’re successful in re-renting or subletting the place, you may even get your security deposit back.

Just remember that if you sublet, you’ll still be legally responsible for any damage, and you won’t get your security deposit back until the end of the lease.

Pay the Penalties You Can

The property management company or landlord might work out a payment plan with you. You’ll probably owe several months’ rent for breaking the lease, but your landlord might negotiate or kindly return your security deposit, even if it goes against the contract.

Breaking a lease can be stressful, but go easy on everyone involved by breaking your lease the right way. This is your best hope for getting out of your current apartment unscathed.