As a responsible tenant, you sign a lease agreement with your landlord with the intention of fulfilling your end of the bargain for the entire lease term. However, life is unpredictable, and circumstances can arise that require you to break the lease agreement. Maybe you have to move to a new city for work, or you’ve found a better, more affordable place to live. Whatever the reason, breaking a lease agreement can be a daunting and overwhelming process. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to break a lease agreement.
Review the Lease Agreement
The lease agreement is a legal contract between you and the landlord. Before you decide to break the lease, read it thoroughly to understand the terms and conditions for terminating the lease early. Some lease agreements allow early termination with a penalty, while others require a valid reason, such as military deployment or severe illness.
Provide Written Notice
Once you’ve determined that breaking the lease is the best course of action, communicate your decision to the landlord by providing a written notice. State the reason for breaking the lease and include the date you plan to vacate the premises. The lease agreement should specify the notice period required, typically 30-60 days, so make sure to adhere to it.
Pay the Early Termination Fee
If the lease agreement allows early termination with a penalty, be prepared to pay it. The early termination fee is typically the equivalent of one or two months’ rent, but it can be higher in some cases. The landlord may also require you to pay additional fees for cleaning, repairs, or advertising to find a new tenant.
Find a New Tenant
In some cases, the landlord may allow you to sublet the unit to a new tenant. This means finding someone to take over the lease and assume the responsibility of paying rent and maintaining the property. However, this option may not be available in all lease agreements, so make sure to review it before pursuing it.
Throughout the process of breaking the lease, document all your interactions with the landlord, including emails, letters, and phone calls. Keep copies of any written notice, lease agreement, or payment receipt. This documentation will come in handy in case of any disputes or legal issues that may arise.
In conclusion, breaking a lease agreement is not an easy decision, and it should not be taken lightly. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the lease agreement and follow the proper procedure to avoid any legal or financial consequences. Remember, communication is key, so keep your landlord informed throughout the process to ensure a smooth exit.