There are various reasons why you may want to break your lease of your rental. Sometimes, it may be because you have found the home of your dreams and have decided to become a homeowner. Other times, you may be forced to relocate because of your job or other personal reasons making you unable to complete your lease term. Then for some, what you first thought of as a gold mine can actually be a nightmare apartment.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to terminate your lease contract, there are things you can do so you can break your lease without breaking the law.
- Find a new tenant. Help your landlord by referring other people who may want to take over the lease from you. It is a financial concern to have a vacant apartment, so if you are able to refer a replacement, your landlord may be more amenable to giving you back your deposit and not hassle you for breaking the lease.
- Sublease the apartment. Your other option is to take care of things yourself and sublet your apartment. If you do this, make sure the person who you sublet the apartment to will be responsible and won’t trash the place. Otherwise, you may be held liable for it since you’re the one signed on the contract.
- Talk to an attorney or legal aid office. If you want to vacate your apartment because of undesirable neighbors or your place is dump, you may want to take legal action. If you have a long standing complaint about the apartment that the landlord is not addressing, be sure that you have documented your efforts carefully. Suing your way out of a lease is timely and costly so unless you have a lot of money on the line, you may just want to bite the bullet and pay any penalties and leave.
- Forfeit the deposit. If you must go, be prepared to give up any deposits or advance payments you have put towards the deposit. Most contracts will have a pre-termination clause, so read it carefully.
Contracts are written and signed to protect both the owner and the tenant of the property. Proceed carefully before you sign the dotted line. Read the fine print of your lease agreement so you know what obligations and liabilities are during your stay and if you decide to pre-terminate the lease.