There can be a number of reasons why someone would want to break their apartment lease early. It could be an unruly roommate or a new job in a different region. Breaking a lease can be tricky business, and can lead to ramifications. However, here are some tips to help you navigate this tough situation to ensure that both parties come out whole.
Identifying Terms in Rental Agreement
The first step you should take is to review the rental agreement you signed. Look for the sections that outline the terms of breaking a lease and if there are any penalties associated with such an act. The lease might also clarify if you need to give notice of your desire to vacate as well as if it is your responsibility to find another replacement renter. You may be able to terminate immediately, but be aware of the money you might lose by doing so, particularly if it forfeits your security deposit.
Discussing Options with Your Landlord
If you find yourself in this sticky situation, ensuring you maintain transparency is vital to achieving a positive outcome. In most cases, opening up a conversation with your landlord can yield you some options to break your lease. While there is a possibility that you have a landlord that is not as understanding, at the end of the day, these people are business oriented. They will not only want to make sure that they are coming out okay financially but should propose solutions where you come out in an equally positive financial position.
Situations Where You Can Avoid a Penalty
There are a few situations recognized by law that allow you to break a lease without penalty. These include:
- Damaged Apartment: If your apartment has become damaged to point where you can longer live in it, you make break your lease without penalty as long as the damage was not your fault such as a natural disaster or crime.
- Active Military Duty: Anyone that is in the military and signed a lease before being called to active duty, the federal Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act lets you break your lease. Also, take note of any state laws that may also apply if you need to break your lease due to a military order.
- Serious Health Concerns: If you suddenly experience a sudden change in your health which may require you to move into assisted living, some states will allow you to break your lease. You can check the law in your state here.
Once you have started the process to notify your landlord that you wish to break the lease, get everything in writing. Make sure to have copies of your conversations, especially ones that involve money, in case the situation turns into a legal battle. Hopefully, you can avoid this, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.