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Breaking a Lease

Sometimes the world decides to change your plans for you resulting in an unexpected change in your living needs. This usually means a change in living arrangements which can mean breaking a lease. Breaking a rental agreement is sometimes unavoidable, but there are some things to keep in mind that can make it go more smoothly.

Although there is no law against breaking a lease agreement, you may still be financially liable to your landlord. One of the first things you need to do is notify your landlord that your living arrangements will be changing. At that point both you and the landlord have some duties to each other. You are both legally obligated to make a good faith effort to find a tenant in order to mitigate the damages from the breached rental contract. Your landlord must put forth a good faith effort to re-rent the property, typically for the same amount that you were paying.

You may also want to look into subletting your home, apartment or condo. What that means is you can form a rental agreement with a third party who will then live there and pay you rent while you maintain your rental contract with your landlord. Generally, a landlord will have to agree to any third party rental agreements.

In regards to your security deposit; it can never be used as last month’s rent. Once you and your landlord have decided to terminate the property lease, you should set out in writing the date you will be vacating the apartment or condo and then do a walk through with your landlord to examine the condition of the home.

Once the apartment lease has been broken and you have moved out, the landlord may re-rent the property. If the property is rented for the amount you previously paid, you will not be liable for any rents due. But if, even after a good faith effort on the part of the landlord, the property could not be rented for full rental price you may be liable for the difference.

Although you may not be able to avoid breaking a lease and its related costs, you can protect yourself in other ways with rental insurance. Adequate rental insurance can help protect you financially from life's surprises. Rental insurance is so affordable; please take a minute to find out just how easy and inexpensive it is by entering your zip code above.