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I've been in my apartment for about 4 months now and I really don't like the area I'm living in. I have 8 months left in my lease. Has anyone here ever ended a lease early? I know there are fees and penalties but how much? Also, if I found someone to finish out the lease could these fees and penalties be waived? Please don't tell me to join the army.
I've done it before. It's called a sublease. Some places don't allow it. However most in my experience do not care, as long as they have a warm body that pays the rent for the duration of the contract. The replacement will have to pass the background/credit check as usual. Then your deposit they are holding, will transfer to the new person. You can have your replacement pay you the deposit money directly. There is no official paperwork like there is a lease, so you'll have to have your own:
If you can throw enough money at the landlord, they will usuallly let you out, and the fees are generally defined in the lease itself. It all depends on the leasing market. The big complexes tend to allow it more than the smaller ones. Again, it depends on the leasing market.
Subleases can be tricky, so you should probably stay away. Remember you are on the hook in the person who takes over for you cannot pay.
Well my rental lease is positively Draconian, then. EVEN IF I would find a replacement to move in, the lease says I STILL have to pay ALL the rent remaining on the lease, PLUS the monthly "incentive" discount supposedly applied to the regular market rate. I did just look this up, because unfortunately I just signed on for a year -- and then saw a darling bungalow for rent in Sugar Land that I might have tried to swing! I'm really bummed.
I had someone living above me for 22 years so it's not like I don't understand apartment living...but I have grown very tired of the noise above me in this place. A house has become my Holy Grail....
Anyway...the point is, you have to read YOUR lease . Whether they might let you out anyway is another thing...but you need to know what it says on the legal document you signed.
You probably have the TAA blue and white lease form. They are the tightest pro-landlord lease in a very pro-landlord state, so yes, according to it you are tied in completely. Even death was not grounds to terminate a TAA lease, literally.
That said, in the "real world" there are things you can do. First off, even though what is called the "cost of reletting," a fee figured at 85% of one month's rent, is not a buy out per the lease, many Managers will take it as such with adequate notice (30 or 60 days depending). You can talk to your Manager about this, but make sure you are not talking to the assistant manager or leasing agent, only the Manager. That is probably the best case scenario. At worst they will charge you that plus any rent they lose before another tenant takes over, or your lease ends, whichever comes first. That is what you really want to avoid.
Secondly, if you have someone who will take the apartment for you, that may be an option. The TAA lease specifically prohibits subletting, however, in the real world if you have someone who will take the apartment and pay the rent they will probably allow it so long as they can check on the person to make sure they don't have criminal background or evictions. Ultimately you are still responsible for the apartment though. If that person tears it up or doesn't pay rent or whatever, they can come back to you through the end of your original lease term. It is almost like co-signing for lack of a better comparison.
Regardless, if someone moves out the landlord cannot charge "double rent." By that I mean if you have 8 months left on your lease, they can't charge you for the 8 months and then rent it out a month later. They can only charge you for the "gap" between tenants, plus the cost of reletting and any cleaning charges. That is state law. Catfancier, please tell me you misread the lease on that part. Is yours a TAA lease?
If you received any concessions (specials) upon moving in, other than a deposit special, then expect to have to pay that back too. It is reasonable on the part of the property owner that if they gave you a month free or $200 off or whatever in consideration for a 6 or 12 month lease, that you end up paying that back if you don't fulfill the lease term.
If you are having problems with a specific neighbor, (noise, etc), then I would demand resolution for that as basis for terminating the contract. If you are not able to get satisfaction with the Manager, ask to speak to the Property Supervisor at the main office.
You may also look at transferring within the complex if it is a problem with a specific neighbor. If you are really unhappy with the location, you are probably stuck. The lease is a binding legal contract and unfortunately it is not one you can get out of if you change your mind.
One other option, which would probably have to be addressed with the Property Supervisor and not the Manager, would be to transfer to another one of the management company's properties in a better location. There is a slim chance they might let you do that.
>>Regardless, if someone moves out the landlord cannot charge "double rent." By that I mean if you have 8 months left on your lease, they can't charge you for the 8 months and then rent it out a month later. They can only charge you for the "gap" between tenants, plus the cost of reletting and any cleaning charges. That is state law. Catfancier, please tell me you misread the lease on that part. Is yours a TAA lease?>>
HI modster, thanks for your interest. Yes it is indeed a TAA lease. I believe I have interpreted these clauses correctly:
"REPLACEMENTS AND SUBLETTING: Replacing a resident, subletting, or assignment is allowed only when we consent in writing. If departing or remaining residents find a replacement resident acceptable to us before moving out and we expressly consent to the replacement, subletting, or assignment, then:
1. a reletting charge will not be due;
2. a reasonable administrative (paperwork) fee will be due; and a rekeying fee will be due if rekeying is requested or required, and
3. the departing and remaining residents will remain liable for all Lease Contract obligations for the rest of the original Lease Contract term. (My emphasis in underlining) "Procedures for replacement: If we approve a replacement resident, then, at our option: (1) the replacement resident must sign this Lease Contract ... or (1) the reamining and replacement residents must sign an entirely new Lease Contract. Unless we agree otherwise in writing, your secuirty deposit (NOTE: I don't have one) will automatically transfer to the replacement resident as of the date we approve. The departing resident will no longer have a right to occupancy or a security deposit refund, but will remain liable for the remainder of the original Lease Contract term unless we agree otherwise in writing -- even if a new Lease Contract is signed." (Again, my emphasis in underlining.)
So...am I wrong? If not, how is this then NOT "double renting"??? The only break I see the prop mgr giving is that they won't charge the $705 "unlawful early moveout reletting charge" if you find someone. But they'll still want the _rest of the rent on the entire lease plus the incentives.
P.S. We also indeed have the "death is no excuse!" clause...someone in the deceased person's family would have to pay rent until the apt. is completely vacated.
No, what that means is basically if you sign a 12 month lease and sublet it after 4 months. You are still responsible for the remaining 8 months of rent, however, your rent is basically paid by the sublet tenant. You get credit for what the sublet tenant pays each month. Once you sublet it, you are not "off the hook." If they don't pay the rent, it is basically like they are not paying your rent for you. If that makes any sense at all. If they stopped paying rent and moved out 2 months into it, it would still be your problem. They would come back on you for that.
That is different from them expecting you to pay it and then expecting to collect if from the sublet tenant too. They are only expecting one payment, but ultimately it is your responsibility for the term of your original lease even though you aren't living there and have it sublet.
As for the death clause, yeah it's in there, but no one ever enforces that.
file a complaint with the property management,not the landlord,they will offer you another apartment in a different area.
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