What is a lease agreement?

When a landowner and a tenant make an agreement on the tenant getting to live in the landowners’ estate for a certain time, they both sign a lease agreement.

Breaking a lease

Anything could come up after a tenant moves into a rented home for a certain about of time, things could go normally and they could either complete their time there, or something could come up and leave them no choice but to leave before their agreed time there. Many factors could determine that i.e.:

The home not being up to par

A tenant may leave a rental property – and have every right to leaving early– when it has not been maintained properly, has water problems, or other issues that were not noticed during the agreement. This reason alone is valid enough for a tenant to want to break the lease with their landowner.

The tenant not being able to afford their rent

A tenant may break their lease when they are unable to pay the rent they agreed to in the beginning. That could result from them being laid off their jobs or having their financial responsibilities doubled depending on their circumstances.

Military duty being mandatory for the tenant

Being deployed to a different station as a part of being in the military is one of the legal reasons for a tenant to evacuate the landowner’s property.

Harassment and privacy issues

If the landowner trespasses the tenant’s home and does not have a legit reason to, or bothers the tenant, this gives them the right to break the lease with their landowner.

The tenant being subject to domestic violence

If the tenant is living in their home with someone who is abusive or has someone pursuing them or threatening to cause them harm, they may leave the property for their own safety.

The property being illegitimate

If the rental property is acquired by the landowner by illicit means, the tenant can break the lease agreement with said landowner.

Successfully breaking a lease

Breaking a lease without having to pay penalties is not as simple as it may sound. The tenant is still required to comply with the penalties as per the agreement made on the lease. However, here are a number of ways a person can hopefully get out of a lease:

·         Perusing the lease agreement

A way to break out of a lease is reading through the document to be wary of any type of fines that might have to be paid for leaving before the recorded time, or for ambiguities you may take advantage of to break the lease. Look out for details such as the landowners’ responsibilities. If it happens to be that they are not fulfilling those or disregarding them, there might be a way to break the lease.

Problems that your landowner might not be paying attention to such as the property not being well kept, in which case the tenant should either complain to the landowner with a notice or the concerning health organization. Another concerning problem could be the property being illegally acquired by the landowner. Not only can the tenant break the lease under this condition, even if it is not directly stated in the lease, but additionally, while it is different in each state, but the landowner has to make up for this to pay back the tenant at the very least a small part of the rent they have been paid by the tenant throughout their time spent at their property.

With all that being said, you should confront your landowner with honesty and respect, when discussing breaking your lease. Keep in mind that embellishing will not help in any way to get out your lease, it could, however, affect your reputation badly.

·         Talking to the landowner at length

Before making it final that you really are breaking out of your lease, reconsider the importance and urgency of your decision to follow through with it. If it is not as crucial, try to think of the difficulties your landowner might have to face monetarily, especially if they are financially weak and have to put in more money and spend extra time to find another tenant as a replacement. Informing your landowner about why you intend on leaving and if they agree to, helping them find a replacement in exchange for terminating your lease might prove helpful for both parties. After clearing the property of your belongings and before leaving, let the landowner inspect the property and document the results in written form, or take pictures and record videos of it. This will keep your landowner from attempting to come after you with property damage fines, expecting you to oblige to them.

·         Gathering proof

If your landowner agrees to you evacuating the property in exchange for a nominal penalty, try to get their signature on paper along with the terms. This will be vital information if you end up in court.

In the case of your landowner disputing your decision to leave, produce your own written trial by recording your communication with them in written form, and keep a record of the letters that you sent to them. Use a certified mailing service as proof that your landowner received the letters at their end.

·         Asking for assistance when needed

Try to get assistance from legal aid programs located in your state when researching your rights on the lease agreement. It can be of help when you know for sure that your landowner is in the wrong.

Being mindful of credit score when getting out of a lease

Breaking your lease, fortunately, does not affect your credit score. But the risk of lowering it is still there if, for example, the landowner takes multiple actions against you for owing money to them or approaches you with lease-related fines. After having the landlord agreeing to you getting out of your lease early, monitor your credit report for any inaccuracies.