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Old 09-12-2007, 10:02 AM
 
118 posts, read 318,258 times
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I have recently purchased a house and as a result will need to break my apartment lease early (closing date on the home is the end of september my lease runs till the end of feburary 06). I have been a good tenant for the past 4 years there. I've paid my rent on time. I've even encourgaged fellow co-workers to move there (close to work) and as a result about 3 people have moved there during my stay. The lease agreement states I will have to pay a penalty of two months rent. I'd like to avoid that or the very less reduce it. How often do apartment managers allow people out of leases? If they refuse can I go directly to the owner of the property? Would that work? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
19,691 posts, read 31,496,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StMichael929 View Post
I have recently purchased a house and as a result will need to break my apartment lease early (closing date on the home is the end of september my lease runs till the end of feburary 06). I have been a good tenant for the past 4 years there. I've paid my rent on time. I've even encourgaged fellow co-workers to move there (close to work) and as a result about 3 people have moved there during my stay. The lease agreement states I will have to pay a penalty of two months rent. I'd like to avoid that or the very less reduce it. How often do apartment managers allow people out of leases? If they refuse can I go directly to the owner of the property? Would that work? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Can't hurt to ask. Respectfully, and noting what a great favor they are doing you.
And if the manager can't agree, I wouldn't hesitate to make a personal appeal directly to the property owner.

Just remember... you have a legal contract and they are well within their rights to hold you to it. They can offer to do you the favor, but if you make demands or act entitled, your likelihood of success is reduced.

Good luck with it!
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Clayton, NC
1,512 posts, read 4,814,485 times
Reputation: 626
Sometimes, the manager will work extra hard to get your apartment rented out ASAP, so you wont have to pay.
Sweet talk, beg...that usually works.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:03 PM
 
8,652 posts, read 15,937,978 times
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Two months is not out of line.

Legally, you are on the hook until a new tenant takes the apt. The only guaranteed out is joining the military which requires you to be released under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act.

You can try to negotiate, especially if rentals are strong in the community. If not, you have three choices:

1. Pay the termination fee
2. Keep paying monthly rent until the landlord finds a new occupant
3. Find a new tenant for the landlord (possibly offering an incentive)

Try to negotiate since you've been there long enough that your leaving won't cause an additional refurbishment.

You actually are lucky they have the two month penalty release. Many don't.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:17 PM
 
166 posts, read 452,528 times
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If it's not too late you could ask the seller of the property you are planning on purchasing to buy out your contract, or part of it, as part of your purchase negotiation. You could also sort of plead hardship to your realtor, sometimes a seasoned realtor will pay a couple hundred dollars towards a buy-out on a lease if that's what it takes to close a sale, after all, they usually stand to make thousands off of your purchase...

Just a thought.
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:47 PM
 
8,652 posts, read 15,937,978 times
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Not a bad thought at all.

Whatever works is good.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:42 AM
 
203 posts, read 549,639 times
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Where is your apartment? How much is the rent? My husband is looking for a short-term apartment starting October 1. If it's the right location and right price, there might be a sublease possibility!
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Austin TX
959 posts, read 3,281,691 times
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My only experience trying to get out of an apartment lease was a very bad one. I was told by an employee that a lady in the complex with three children had had her husband die the prior year and couldn't pay the rent anymore and they wouldn't let her out of her lease

The two months to get out is better than "until it rents", but hopefully you can find someone to take over your place. Craigslist, etc.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 5,755,944 times
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I would do the respectfully request strategy, and don't forget to remind them that you recommended the property to folks at work, and are in a position to continue to do that!! Whether we like it or not, folks respond to the "what can you do for me, versus the what have you done for me" mentality....

good luck.

shelly
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:41 AM
 
1,173 posts, read 4,548,646 times
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As a landlord, I rented SFH's, not apartments, but I did have two experiences with people who wanted out of their lease. The first one was a couple who were a pain in the "you-know-what." They tried all kinds of things to irritate me just so I would let them go. BTW, the house was only 4 years old, basicly brand new, and included a swimming pool.

In spite of signing a disclaimer at the start of the lease that included requirements for running the pool equipment and information about the increased electrical costs, they tried a demand to drain the pool. I disallowed it for various reasons that included safety and damage issues.

Then, they tried to complain about various neighbors in the neighborhood who they preceived as not following the CC&R's. They wanted me to start HOA enforcement action.

Then, they complained about the coyotes howling in the hills . . . like I could do anything about that. Each of these issues was followed up by an attempt to break the lease.

The bottom line was that I told them they were being held to the terms of the lease. I was not going to let them out of it, 6 months early. There was no benefit to me and they gave me no motivation for doing them a favor.

They ended up moving out early to an apartment, which was much cheaper than the rent on my SFH, and I ended up re-leasing the house within 1 month. The end result was that they were charged 1 month's rent, and abnormal wear and tear was deducted from their deposit.

The funny thing is that, had they been honest with me and explained that their eyes had been bigger than their budget when they rented the house, I would have understood. They were relatively young and I would have been happy to help them out. Instead of one learning experience, they were presented with another learning experience . . . one which they were the cause.

I ended up needing to require the services of a real estate attorney to get the one months rent, but I wasn't going to let it go. I did everything right, presented them with a clean, newer, and well maintained home, accomodated their requests when appropriate, but deneid demands when they were out of line. Heck, I even paid for a gardening service, pool service, and the water use for the property to ensure that everything was watered and maintained, which is not normal in this area.

On another property, I had a couple lease a 5 year old home for 1 year. It also had a pool and I paid for the same things as I did on the other property. These people approached me in an entirely different manner. First, they maintained the property in immaculate condition and were pleasant people in all ways. They didn't play any games.

These folks had taken a job in SoCal, from the Midwest, and ended up deciding that they had made a mistake. They wanted to return to their old life back in St. Louis, which they preceived as best for their family.

Because of the manner of their approach, the fact that they didn't lie and manufacture situations to try to get out of the lease, and the way that they had cared for my property, I agreed. They even acknowledged that they had signed a lease and knew that they would be liable for any rent until I re-leased it.

Since I was in the mood to sell the property at that time, I just asked them if it would be okay if I listed the property for sale and if they would cooperate with any showings on it. If they were willing to do it, I would let them out of the lease without any penalty. They agreed.

These people were the kind of renters any landlord would want. They left the home in as perfect condition as I could have ever imagined. When they left, I immediately sent them their full deposit.

So, what's the bottom line? To me, it's all in the approach, especially considering that someone who wants to break the lease has no standing to expect anything other than what's listed in the lease. You agreed to do something. You gave your word. To expect anything else is at best asking for a favor, so I would approach it in that manner. Any other approach would likely take you down a road that will just cause you additional problems.

BTW, perhaps your state might be different, but I can't see someone being held to two months rental penalty if the property is re-leased in less time. However, maybe it's different in your area. Conversely, a two month penalty is beneficial to you if it takes longer to re-lease it.

So, those are my thoughts. Good luck with your situation.
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