Renting a house is a legal process that requires you to enter into a binding contract. This means that vacating the property before the expiry of the lease period can have serious consequences. Although breaking a rental agreement is never an ideal solution, some unavoidable life circumstances can force you to do so. However, before you decide to break your lease, you need to weigh the consequences and consider some of the avenues to leverage on to make sure that you don’t break your agreement with the property manager or landlord. Let us look some of the avenues you can explore.
Initiate a Conversation with the Property Manager or Landlord
Not all landlords are ungrateful and merciless as depicted by movies. In fact, they may have grown fond of you and aren’t willing to look for a new renter before trying to solve it out with you. Take a step of faith and approach your property manager or landlord and discuss with them why you are dissatisfied with your rental.
Maybe you roommate has moved out, and you can’t afford to pay rent, or you got a job transfer to a new city, or you feel that the quality of this rental house is starting to inhibit your comfort, you can work it out with the landlord to solve these problems. However, before you decide to go to the property manager, take your time to evaluate whether you need to break your lease, or you can opt for something else.
Look For Ways with Minimal or No Damage to Avoid Breaking the Lease
When you discuss with the landlord and find that it is necessary to break the lease, you can now start considering other options. However, you should understand that your options will be contingent upon the size of the property management company and the terms of lease stipulated in the contract.
You can decide to move to a smaller unit in the same property if you are finding it difficult to pay the one you are in or move to a much bigger house if you are looking for more space for your incoming baby.
Another option you can leverage on is to check whether there a sister property or another house owned by your current landlord in another location. Since many property management companies have several buildings in different states, you can use this to your benefit. Instead of looking for another house, you can just relocate to a sister property in another state. This would be an ideal solution especially if you got a transfer to another city.
Even though most landlords are against it, you can find a short-term renter. This approach is very simple. You find someone who needs to rent a house for a few months and have them take over your lease on a temporary basis. Your will remain as the person responsible for paying the rent, but the sub-tenant will be the one writing the check every month. They will send it to you, and you will send to the landlord.
Negotiate for a Get out Clause at the Beginning
Even though the options name above is significant, the best way to ensure that you are not punished by the lease is to negotiate with the property manager at the beginning.
Although it's hard to forecast or predict life changes, it is imperative that you negotiate for a clause that will factor in your future aspirations. The clause should state what will happen when you will get a job transfer, build or buy a home. Though many of these things are unpredictable, it is wise to have a flexible lease agreement.
When you are negotiating for a contract, you have all the power in your hands. It is up to you to make sure that you put across terms that will favor you when the time to get outcomes. Remember you can only break a lease if you go against what it defines. Seek to understand the rental agreement terms before you move into any property.
Breaking a lease can have severe repercussions which include which include civil lawsuits, credit judgment as well as difficulties in finding a new place. A negative review from the landlord can seriously tank your credit score. If you want to avoid distressing misfortunes that result from breaking your lease, think critically about the decision to break the contract and play your cards carefully.