What Happens if I Break the Lease on My Home?
If you’re looking for a way out of your current living situations by breaking your lease, you should be aware of the risks you’re taking. As with any form of contract, when one party decides to breach, there are going to be terms and conditions that will need to be followed as stated in the contract. A lease is a binding contract that is signed by you and the owner of the property (landlord). There are several reasons why you might want to break a lease however; there are actions that must be followed if you want to avoid penalties.
Prior to making the final decision to break your lease you should be sure that you’ve fully read your agreement. This way you can learn of the costs for breaking a lease.
Reasons You Can Legally Break Your Lease
There are some circumstances that are beyond your control which might allow you the freedom to break your lease without getting penalized for it. Below are a few of those circumstances:
* The home is unsafe in most instances if the house has been broken into or there have been other forms of illegal activity that threatens your safety, the landlord will allow you to break the lease.
* Damaged property If your landlord is not making the necessary repairs on your home, causing for your home to be unlivable, you might be able to break you lease. The damage could be the result of untreated repairs or natural disasters. Be sure to check your lease as some may have a time period for which a landlord has to repair the home before you can break the lease.
* Called to Active Duty If you’re in the military and you have been called to relocate, law allows you to break your lease without penalty.
* Serious Health Conditions Some states allow residents the ability to break their lease if they are ill and need to move to be cared for or placed in a treatment facility.
Inform Your Landlord
When you’ve decided that breaking your lease is the only thing you can do you need to notify your landlord as soon as possible. Many leases require a 30-60 day notice that you will not be renewing the lease to give the landlord time to adjust. Be sure to send your notice in writing and provide a reason for why you’re breaking the lease early.
In many cases there is a penalty to break your lease. The chances of you getting out of that penalty are unlikely. Therefore you need to be prepared for what those penalties might be. Penalties can include:
* Loss of security deposit
* Responsible for payment of rent for the duration of your lease
* Costs for renting the property out to someone else
Be sure that you’re prepared to pay this upon moving or else you could end up in court. When your landlord files in court this reflects negatively on your tenant profile and you could also be stuck paying filing and lawyer fees.