How do you get out of an apt lease early?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bjazzman, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    i know i could sublease if i find a renter before we move but is there any legal way of getting out of it if i accept a job in another state?

    we just moved in here in may and might need to move out by the end of this month

    i've checked the lease and it doesn't mention anything that can be done. in fact it says that you cant sublease but when i talked to them they would let me do that.

    any ideas?
  2. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Pay them off!
    ...or abide by the contract that you signed.
  3. Bjazzman


    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    how do you pay them off?
  4. If they are willing, renegotiate the lease to give them the deposit and maybe one (or one-half) months rent to end the lease early. I did this with my landlord on Oahu when I had to return to the Big Island for school. You have every right to renegotiate a new lease agreement that overides the existing one if they agree. Once the new agreement is signed and dated the old one ceases to exist.
  5. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    A pay off would be to pay the remaining balance of the lease (if you have six months left on the lease, you pay for those six months.)

    As a landlord, I am always willing to renegotiate a lease in extenuating circumstances. Had you just moved in (say a month or two) and wanted to move out, I would probably release you from the lease if you were to pay an extra month's rent. If the apartment needed no extra cleaning (this means you leave it spotless, carpets cleaned etc.) I would even refund your security deposit.

    Most folks don't realize the costs that go with apartment rentals. Empty apartments require ads to rent them, heat to keep them warm in the winter, fans to keep the air moving in the summer, and general upkeep regardless if there is a tenant in there or not (I know, there are slumlords out there, but we all aren't, so back off). If the apartment is empty, I'm losing money. If you pay me an extra month, I'm not out all the money I spent to get you in there in the first place.

    Of course, you could just leave. There is not much the landlord can do except take you to small claims court and file a judgment against you, which he/she would win automatically if you didn't show up to court.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    As a previous landlord in California, my experience is as follows:

    1) The landlord has to mitigate the leasee's damages if they need to move, e.g. if there's 10 months left on a 12 month lease, the landlord must rent the unit as soon as possible.

    2) The landlord cannot keep the unit vacant for 10 months and try to collect from the leasee or collect double rent by collect the remaining 10 months and leasing the unit at the same time.

    3) If the unit is leased in few weeks and the unit needs to be cleaned/painted, add those items and deduct the deposit. Whatever is left over goes back to the former lessee. If money is due to the landlord, the former leasee inherits a liability that must be paid.

    4) If the landlord has done his/her due diligence and leased to a responsible party, there usually isn't a problem in collecting the balance due.

    5) If there's going to be an amount due to the landlord, the lessee can offer to pay an estimated amount and pay that if the landlord agrees.
  7. I'm no expert, but first and foremost, contact your landlord, explain the situation and tell him oyu aren't trying to dip out of the entire lease, but you are hoping you can work something out with him. I got out of one lease where I had about 3 months left by agreeing to one more months rent after I left, which ended up just being my security deposit. You probably are not going ot get out free and clear, but if oyu explain that you are being TRANSFERRED to another job and that money is going to be tight for your relocation on such short notice (see what I did there?), most landlords are at least willing to talk.
  8. The laws and your rights as a tenent vary state to state. In Texas, you can break a lease if you can beat the landlord in paper, rock, scissors (not literally). The laws there heavily favor the tenent and I witnessed or took part in about 10 leases broken on a whim with a letter supplied to the landlord claiming job change or whathaveyou.

    In Louisiana, I attempted to break a lease because I was buying a house (a no-brainer in Texas). That doesn't work here. My realtor had to locate another tenent for the townhouse before we were released.

    The advice given on this forum may or may not apply to your state.


    Here. Maybe this will help:
  9. playinpearls


    Apr 1, 2008
    i had thought that if you took a job outisde of a 50 mile radius of your home, you could legally break the lease. I had to do that in TN. although i didn't take a position...i had a certain "friend" that wrote me a nice transfer of employment location letter from his company...gave it to the apartment manager along with the keys and he said "have a nice life." All they want is paperwork to cover them...

    I tried to get out of a lease in atlanta a couple years ago to move to florida. He wanted the pro-rated difference of every month that i lived there from the market rate, plus a 250 dollar termination fee. it came out to like 2300 bucks or something. I dont live in florida. :D
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Have a party?
  11. I'm going to echo the smarter thoughts in this post by saying talk with your landlord. I rent out a room in my house, and if my tenant needed to pick up and go, there's always something that can be arranged. Granted, I may ask for a pro-rated extra month, or to keep the security deposit since you are technically breaking a contract(both are damn near the same thing), but I would be happy to work with my tenant. Even if they have to leave me, they may recommend me to someone good who is looking for a place to live down the line.

  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    In my experience, most leases had a mandatory 30 day notice and a 1 months rent buyout. If it's a decent place, the landlord will have no problem renting it.
  13. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Inactive

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    This is why you only rent out on a month-to-month basis only. NEVER sign a lease for extended periods of time, epically in this economy.

    A buddy of mine unexpectedly lost his job, and his landlord is trying to take him to court because he can't pay rent. I don't know how they expect you to pay rent when you lose your job.
  14. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    You're kidding, right?

    I suppose landlords should be like all the banks, credit card companies, utilities, cable companies, and telephone providers and just let you slide when you can't afford to make your payments.

    Oh wait, they don't either.
  15. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Inactive

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    Banks, credit card companies, and utilities can seize unpaid properties, and cut off services refusing to turn them back on until the debts are paid.

    So I ask again, how do you expect someone to pay rent when they lose their job?

    I don't know if you know this or not, but when you lose your job, you also lose you source of income.
  16. I don't know if you know this but when you don't pay your rent the landlord loses his income.
  17. Steveaux

    Steveaux Safe-Guardian of the Stoopid Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Funny ... I always thought when you don't pay the rent, you get your ass kicked out.
  18. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Inactive

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    Then kick the non paying person out onto the street and fill the unit with a paying one.
  19. In Hawaii, that can take 3 months or longer.

    Bad Brains: Unemployment Insurance and temporary State assistance can help in some instances. But you're right no income (or unemployment benefits, etc) means no money. If you don't have it to give, the landlord aint getting it.
  20. That's the idea.
    As a landlord I wish it were that easy.

    I only own one apartment and to date have only had one tenant that couldn't pay their rent. They were paying, but couldn't pay the total every time, every month. Of course the time came where they were to far behind. I was lucky that they left on their own without having to use any kind of litigation.

    A friend of mine had a similar problem with his tenant. Much more time and money were involved. He had to hire a lawyer.

    In RI, you first have to serve them with a late rent notification with the intent to evict if payment is not received. If your demands are not meet you need to file to evict the tenant. If you need to collect back rent you have to take him to court. All this takes time in which he gets to legally stay in the apartment. If everything goes smoothly he may be out in three months.