One of the undeniable rules of life is that you have to expect the unexpected. And, sometimes, situations arise that may cause the need to break your lease. Breaking a lease means not staying in the rental until the lease term has ended. Maybe your roommate bailed, you got a new job in a different city, or you just found a better living situation. Regardless of the reason, these things happen. Here’s what you should do if you ever need to break a lease.

How to Break Your Lease

Though sometimes necessary and unpreventable, breaking a lease is inconvenient for a landlord. Therefore, you should keep this in mind when you inform him or her of your intentions. Some landlords may be more understanding than others. You should be aware that you may end up breaking your lease without consequence, lose your security deposit, or have to pay for the remaining months on your lease. It’s wise to prepare for either situation, and having a good relationship with your landlord never hurts!

What to Do if You Need to Break Your Lease

The first thing you should do when you decide to break the lease is grab your rental contract and read it carefully. Look for any mentions of early release or breaking the lease. There’s typically a certain amount of advance notice you have to give, and you might be responsible for finding a new renter.

After reading the contract, the next step is to talk to your landlord. Be kind, polite, respectful, and empathetic. On top of that, be transparent as well. If there’s a possibility of you needing to break the lease, inform your landlord right away and keep him or her updated with what’s going on with you. The sooner, the better.

It may be your responsibility to find a new renter, so put your social media skills to the test. You may need to find someone who can just sublet — or finish out the months you didn’t — or someone who can start a brand-new lease. You may see this described in your contract as “mitigating damages”. Post on Craigslist and tell your friends. Use your network to help.

And, lastly, be ready to pay the difference if you and the landlord can’t find a new tenant. Breaking leases happens — it’s just a fact of life. It’s up to you to find the best way to handle the situation and to prepare for all of the potential outcomes.

More Resources for Renters

If you are moving into a new apartment, Ameritex Movers can help. Our roots are in apartment moves, and we have over a decade of experience. Tight stairwells and hallways are no matches for our movers.

Check out these additional resources for tenants and renters. Our website is filled with helpful moving and rental tips, so be sure to check out our blog and info center.

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