A lease agreement is a legally binding contract that cannot be broken before it expires. This is because breaking a lease may have serious consequences. Therefore, always try your best to avoid breaking a lease until it becomes the only alternative for you. This is because you may have to face a civil suit, a credit judgment, and problems in entering into a new lease. Always try to break your lease with little or no loss to your credit. You can handle the situation tactfully and follow the below procedure to avoid loss.
Check for Breach of a Lease
As lease is a legally binding contract and owes obligations to both the parties, failure to fulfill any of the terms will be a breach of the lease. You can break the lease agreement if the landlord or the owner of the property fails to maintain it according to the agreed terms in the lease agreement. This is because the maintenance of the property is the duty of the owner in a lease agreement. And, failure to keep rentals in good condition comes under the breach of contract. You can break the lease and will have to save copies of all correspondence with the owner of the property for avoiding any loss. Also, take pictures of the faulty equipment in the rental property. In case of any legal proceedings against you, you can produce those pictures and correspondence letters before the court as proof and avoid any loss. A simple one-page lease agreement is also legally binding and can be challenged in court.
Look for an Early Termination Clause in the Agreement
An early termination clause is a clause in the lease agreement that gives an opportunity to the renter to break the contract without any damage under certain circumstances. Most of the lease agreement does not include this clause because the owner of the rental property does not want to facilitate the renter. However, the presence of this clause may save you from any damage if you want to break the lease due to any of the following reasons.
- Losing a job.
- Medical issues with you or any of the family members.
- You are divorced
- Transfer to some other city.
You can beg for Mercy instead of breaking a lease
The next way you can break a lease without any damage is to beg for mercy from your landlord or owner of the rental property. Some landlords are hard-hearted while others have humane heart and agree to break the contract without damaging the renters. It is always beneficial to talk with your landlord or owner of the rental property timely before breaking the lease. Tell him/her your problems in detail and beg for mercy to avoid any loss. Do not get embarrassed because your talks with the owner or landlord will reveal whether you can break the lease or not without any loss.
Agree to Pay Off the Lease Balance over Time
You can also avoid any damage or loss by agreeing with the landlord or owner to pay off the lease balance over a period of time. This would save you from any extra penalty and allow you to break the lease. This is possible only if there is outstanding lease balance and you cannot afford to pay it at the time of breaking the lease. You can request your landlord to allow you to pay that outstanding amount over a period of time. For example, if you owe to pay $ 1200 and remaining lease agreement time is just 2 months; you can request the owner to allow you to pay back the amount in 12 months at the rate of $100 per month.
Forfeit the Security Deposit
Almost all of the lease agreements require the renters to pay a security deposit. Most of the renters wish to receive their security deposits back after breaking the lease agreements. Any sort of claim in this regard may bring credit loss for you. However, you can avoid this loss by forfeiting the security deposit for maintenance of the rented building or property. You can even offer your landlord/owner to get the building painted and repaired for early breakage of the contract without any credit damage. This tempts the landlord/owner because he/she has not to spend a penny on the maintenance of the rental property until the next renter moves in.
Find a Short Term Renter
Lastly, you can also avoid credit loss damage while breaking a lease agreement by bringing in a sub-tenant. Subletting is not at all allowed in most of the lease agreements. However, you can use this tactic if your landlord/owner raises no objection on it. You will have to find someone who needs short-term accommodations and allow him/her to take over your lease for a specific time period. It is one of the best options to save you from any loss if you have entered into a lease agreement shortly. You can also bring more than one sub-tenant by writing a check for the unit each month if the lease period is long. This means that you can submit the check sent by the sub-tenant to the landlord/owner for payment of the monthly lease.
Can you break a Verbal Lease Agreement?
If there is no option left but to terminate your verbal lease agreement then you can do it by explaining your circumstances to your landlord to avoid minimal damage and hope for the best.