Breaking Your Lease
If you are breaking your rental lease, keep in mind that you are legally responsible for the rent remaining under the lease’s term. There are only a few situations in which you may be able to have the lease invalidated, such as the landlord failing to keep the unit habitable condition. Losing your job, taking a new job in another location, or buying a house does not allow you to be released from your lease. However, while breaking your lease does not release you from the obligation to pay rent, in most states, the landlord is obligated to look for a replacement tenant. Once he or she is found, you are off the hook (although if the new tenant’s rent is lower, you can be held responsible for the difference). Some landlords also allow tenants to be let out of the lease by paying an early termination fee. This could be a good option if you don’t think your apartment will be rented soon.
Want more financial advice? As a benefit of your membership, you have access to BALANCE, a free financial education and counseling service. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report, and help you create a budget. Call 888-456-2227 or visit www.balancepro.net for more information.