A lease is a legally binding contract that requires the individual to remain living in the property for a certain length of time. There are several reasons someone may want to break their rental lease. Unexpected job transfers, break-ups, unsafe conditions, or other issues can all provide reasons to break a lease. It is important to examine a contract thoroughly prior to signing, to ensure that you understand all of the requirements and limitations.
The acceptable reasons to break a lease vary between states and contracts. Here are a few of the reasons an individual might be allowed to terminate a lease early. If the tenant is an active member of the military and receives a change of station notice, they are able to terminate their contract early without consequences.
In many cases, victims of domestic violence will be allowed to break a lease early. The violence usually has to have occurred in the last 3 to 6 months. The applicable laws vary between states, so you may want to consult with an experienced attorney prior to breaking a lease.
If the rental is illegal, the landlord breaks the terms of the lease, or the landlord fails to keep the property habitable, the tenant may be able to terminate the lease early. These can include the landlord repeatedly entering the premises without notice or failing to keep the water running.
If you don’t have one of the legal reasons to break a lease early, you may want to break the lease anyways. This can have some significant consequences in the long term. Breaking a lease early can result in significant early termination fees. The landlord may require you to continue paying the rent until they find another tenant.
Early termination of a lease can impact your credit. It can be passed as a judgement in a civil court and show up on your credit report. There are alternatives to breaking a lease. You may be able to sublet the property, if that is allowed in your contract.
If you have reason to break a lease early and are unsure if you are able to, contact us at LeBaron & Jensen today!