When it comes to breaking a lease, this is always your last option. The process to break a lease occurs for several reasons: failure to pay, you must suddenly move, or your landlord is at fault.
Whatever the case, the process is arduous, and the potential consequences are numerous. By breaking your lease, you are potentially subjecting yourself to lawsuits, marks on your credit history, and difficulty renting again in the future. This is why it is important to use this option as a last resort.
Breaking a lease without consequences is not impossible but it is difficult to do in most cases. Specific requirements must be met beforehand. For more information on what it means to break your lease and potential consequences, check out the following topics.
Learn the Potential Consequences of Breaking a Lease Agreement
Always be aware of what the potential consequences are before you break your lease agreement. The consequences can be for either failing or succeeding to end your lease early. If you fail to end your lease early, it is awkward for the remainder of your stay at your apartment. If you succeed, it typically impacts your credit score, finances, and rental history.
When you sign a lease, you are entering into a legally binding agreement. If you are able to break your lease, your landlord is able to file a civil case against you to recover back finances. Finances a landlord may sue for are back payments for rent, cleaning services, repair services, or the remaining rent in your lease.
In many cases, the landlord wins, even if you are the victim of unemployment or a long-term illness. In the event you cannot repay what is owed, you have a judgement placed on your record and it severely impacts your credit score.
With a mark on your record, renting in the future becomes difficult. Many complexes require a credit check and previous rental history, both of which are impacted directly when you break your lease.
The rental history includes mention of your early lease termination. Evictions, breaches of agreements, or risky rental history is grounds for an immediate refusal of an apartment in the future.
If an apartment does take you with these marks on your record, you commonly end up paying higher deposits and rent per month.
How to Determine if Your Landlord Has Breached the Lease
If you are thinking of breaching your lease, two immediate actions are available for you to take. The first action is to check your lease for any early termination clauses and the second is to determine if your landlord has breached the lease agreement.
If the landlord has not upheld his or her responsibilities, resulting in your need to break the lease, you are let free of your lease without consequence.
The responsibility of the landlord is to maintain a healthy and safe environment for tenants. For example, a landlord who does not take care of repeated maintenance or repair requests, is in breach of contract.
Landlords who do not immediately take care of health hazards like mold or are not maintaining units according to health and building safety codes are breaking the lease agreement.
Understand, even if you break your lease because the landlord is at fault, the landlord is legally able to file a lawsuit against you. In cases like this, always keep multiple copies of correspondences and ignored maintenance requests.
Keep organized records of your repair issues and document when you reported the repairs to be fixed. The more voluminous and organized your records, the better chance you have at winning the case. Without these crucial documents, you are going to have a tough time conveying your side of the issue.
How to Check the Rental Agreement Early Termination Clause
Be sure to always read through your lease completely before signing. Make special note of any early termination clauses. It may not be your intention to break your lease when you move in, but it is important to be aware of the legal rights surrounding the option.
Always keep a copy of your lease on-hand in case. Not all agreements outline early termination. For leases that do, be sure you read up on the reasons for breaking a lease without penalty. Common reasons include illness, hardship, or inability to pay due to financial hardship.
Talk with Your Landlord
If you have a pleasant enough relationship with your landlord, try to sit down with him or her first. When you speak with the landlord, the two of you can come up with a solution for the current issue in most instances.
If you come to an agreement, you may not have to break your lease at all. Explain your situation with as much detail as you can to provide the best description of your current problem.
In some cases, a landlord is willing to let you out of the lease without the potential threat of a civil suit. Sometimes you may be able to negotiate an altered payment plan for your lease or payment to break the lease without further issue.
Learn About Subletting an Apartment
Check your lease for terms on subletting an apartment. In some cases, your apartment may allow subletting and it may not. Subletting refers to your landlord allowing you to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of your lease.
It is up to you to find someone appropriate to take over your lease. It is important to note that even though someone else is taking over your lease, you are still responsible for the unit. For example, the state of the unit at the end is your responsibility. If damages are to be paid, you are legally responsible for paying for repairs.
If a tenant does not pay rent one month, you are expected to pay the rent. This is why it is crucial to conduct thorough research into potential sublets. Once your lease is over, many complexes offer the chance of renewal to the sublet.