There comes a time in every renter’s life when it’s time to move on, whether it’s due to a relocation, a better opportunity, changes in circumstances or something else. When that time happens to arise in the middle of a lease, however, there are a number of things to consider – especially if you’re looking to break your lease without incurring too much hassle or expense. While there’s no way to guarantee you’ll escape unscathed, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds.
Check your lease.
The first thing you should do is dig out your lease and read through it, looking specifically for an early termination or break clause. This section should provide more details around the requirements that must be met in order to break the lease and what the consequences may be in the case that you do. For instance, most landlords and property managers require, at the very least, a written notice. There will also most likely be a fee involved.
Give your landlord a call.
Even if there are specific requirements spelled out in your lease, you may be able to negotiate a better outcome if you give your landlord or property manager a call. At the very least, he or she may be willing to work with you to make the penalty a little easier to manage. For instance, if you are required to pay two month’s rent in order to get out of your lease, the landlord may consider allowing you to make that payment in several installments. That way, they still get their money but you’re not financially strapped.
Find a replacement.
The reason landlords have tenants sign leases and put early termination clauses in them is because they want to limit vacancies as much as possible. If you know of someone suitable who would be willing to take over your lease, you may be able to negotiate a transition without having to pay any penalties, since you’ll be saving your landlord time and prevent a vacancy. Don’t know anyone? Ask around or place an ad. Your effort in getting the ball rolling will likely be greatly appreciated.
Justify your stance legally, if possible.
There are certain situations in which breaking a lease is legal and can be done without consequence. Some of those situations may include, but not be limited to:
- Unsafe or otherwise uninhabitable apartment conditions
- Property manager or landlord has violated entry rules or engaged in harassment
- Reassignment due to active military duty
- Apartment is considered illegal and therefore un-rentable
If you believe your situation may fall into one of these categories, do some homework and be prepared. That way, when you notify the landlord or property manager of your intention to break the lease, you’ll already be armed with the information you need to back up your case.
Ready to break your lease or find a new Dallas apartment? Looking to relocate to the DFW area and not sure where or how to begin your apartment search? Our experienced apartment hunters can match you with the perfect place for your needs, preferences and budget. Get in touch today to get the ball rolling!