Saturday, March 12, 2022

Can You Get Out of a Lease Early?

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned and you need to get out of a lease early. Getting out of a lease early can seem like uncharted territory, but it can be possible under certain circumstances. 

How to Get Out of a Lease Early

Getting out of a lease early isn’t typically easy, but there are some ways to maximize your chances. Read the Lease: Focus on the fine print because this is where you will find the penalties and procedures of early termination. Leases generally protect the landlord more than the tenant, so you might owe money to your landlord. 

Communication Is Important: If you need to get out of the lease early, then you need to communicate with your landlord. Some may be more understanding and flexible. You may be able to reason with them before you do anything drastic. 

Get Everything in Writing: If your landlord does agree to end the lease early, then get that information in writing. Verbal agreements can’t be proved if you end up in court and it will be the lease that will prevail. Keep a paper trail if you have ongoing communication with your landlord, especially if there are maintenance issues that mean you need to get out of your lease early. 

Do a Walkthrough before Leaving: Before you leave the property for the final time, make sure you do a walkthrough with your landlord and take photos so you have proof of the state of the property. This will protect you if your landlord wants to sue for damages or keep your deposit.

Avoid Any Assumptions: You don’t want to assume that your deposit is going to cover overdue rent or property damage. Be sure to check local and state guidelines before you assume anything or seek legal advice. 

Get Legal Help: You may need to get legal help if you need to get out of your lease early and have exhausted other options. This is especially important if you think your landlord has acted illegally. 

Reasons to Get Out of Your Lease Early

There are some common reasons why it may be necessary to get out of a lease early. If you are an active-duty military member, then you may need to get out of your lease early if you are deployed. Landlords can be usually understanding in these circumstances. Other reasons to get out of your lease early include your rental unit not being habitable, your landlord enters your home illegally, or you can’t pay rent. 

Does It Cost Money to End Your Lease Early?

There is no set cost associated with ending a lease, but you may be required to pay a significant amount. If you aren’t able to find anyone to take over the lease, then your landlord may say that you have to pay rent until a new renter moves in or your lease is up. It’s possible you could also lose your security deposit if you want to get out of your lease early. 

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