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Old 10-05-2010, 11:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,022 times
Reputation: 11
Default Breaking a 1-year lease

I've been living in the same apartment for the last 6 years and resigned a 1-year lease this past June (4-months ago). However, in addition to my savings, I've recently become the beneficiary of a small inheritance that gives me enough to drop 20% down on a house, and give me some leeway to put toward any meager repairs a new/old home might require. My question is what can I expect to have to pay if and when I break my lease agreement. Thanks!

Ry
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:44 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
20,717 posts, read 22,866,882 times
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You're committed to the terms of the lease. If the LL can mitigate his loss by finding another tenant that would work in your favor, or you could suggest to the LL that you try to find someone to replace you.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:40 AM
 
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Read your lease, it should tell you what you need to know. My lease states I can pay 2 mths rent and get out of my lease for whatever reason. Some leases state you are responsible to pay the balance of the lease. Some say if you can find another approved renter, it all depends on what you agreed upon, when you signed the lease.

I find a bit amusing that ppl don't know the answer to these kinds of questions. I'm assuming ppl don't take the time to read their leases before signing them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,340 posts, read 9,530,209 times
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People do not take the time to read a lease when they sign and then when they have questions, they have no idea where the lease is located. Reading the lease will answer questions 9 out of 10 times.
To the OP, read the lease. If it is not clear on steps to early termination, talk to the LL and get the answer.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:24 AM
 
3,939 posts, read 3,899,957 times
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But just remember that LLs may be flexible no matter what the lease says.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayfouroh View Post
But just remember that LLs may be flexible no matter what the lease says.

Very true and if they agree to change the terms of that lease, you better make sure you get in writing and get it notorized.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,133 posts, read 9,372,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
Very true and if they agree to change the terms of that lease, you better make sure you get in writing and get it notorized.
Really? Is notarized becoming the norm for this stuff? Personally, as a landlord, if I agreed to be lenient, I would be happy to put it in writing, but if someone requested I get it notarized for them, I would change my mind and play hardball because it would irritate me. If they want it notarized, they can find and pay a notary to come to my office with them to notarize it for me.

Leases themselves are not even notarized, so why should a change to the lease be?

I agree with what others have said. Read your lease first then talk to the landlord. If you've rented for over 6 years, you have a history. So then it comes down to what that history was. If you've been a "good tenant" (ie. paid rent on time, not bothered your neighbors, kept the place looking nice, etc.), the LL will likely work with you. If it were me, and you were a "good tenant" I would have you pay October (already due) and November, since you would now be giving notice partway through October, and I would let you off the hook after that, and deal with deposit as normal.

If you had not been a "good tenant", if I had to chase rent from you regularly, or if I had more than one or two legitimate complaints from neighbors or HOA, etc, then I would hold you to the letter of the lease. In my lease and my state, that means that you would owe rent until either the end of the lease or until I could rerent, whichever comes first. Your deposit would also be forfeit.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:11 AM
 
4,439 posts, read 4,929,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
Really? Is notarized becoming the norm for this stuff? Personally, as a landlord, if I agreed to be lenient, I would be happy to put it in writing, but if someone requested I get it notarized for them, I would change my mind and play hardball because it would irritate me. If they want it notarized, they can find and pay a notary to come to my office with them to notarize it for me.

Leases themselves are not even notarized, so why should a change to the lease be?

I agree with what others have said. Read your lease first then talk to the landlord. If you've rented for over 6 years, you have a history. So then it comes down to what that history was. If you've been a "good tenant" (ie. paid rent on time, not bothered your neighbors, kept the place looking nice, etc.), the LL will likely work with you. If it were me, and you were a "good tenant" I would have you pay October (already due) and November, since you would now be giving notice partway through October, and I would let you off the hook after that, and deal with deposit as normal.

If you had not been a "good tenant", if I had to chase rent from you regularly, or if I had more than one or two legitimate complaints from neighbors or HOA, etc, then I would hold you to the letter of the lease. In my lease and my state, that means that you would owe rent until either the end of the lease or until I could rerent, whichever comes first. Your deposit would also be forfeit.

You can do whatever you want, but when it comes my livelyhood, I trust no one and document everything. Things have a way of coming back and biting you in the ass.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:37 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,022 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks guys! Even though the 45-page (!) lease agreement covers everything from use of treadmills to use of the suntanning beds, it's notably obscure when it comes to breaking the lease say only that "the tenant is responsible" for upholding the terms of the lease. I have a pretty good relationship with my landlord representatives as I've been a 'no fuss' tenant for my entire stay here - always pay on time, do most repairs myself without ever asking for compensation, etc. I'm sure they, the representatives, will understand my situation, but their higher-ups within the property management company that handles the complex probably won't. Oh well,... I'll take my licks and get on with my life. Thanks for your help!

Ry
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,638 posts, read 5,509,543 times
Reputation: 3305
What's the big rush? Why not simply live out your contract as you agreed and move into the house a little later? It would only be a few more months and it would give you plenty of time to check out what's available so you can be sure you get the best bang for your buck. I would try to time it so that closing occurs shortly before the lease is up to give you time to pack and move and clean. That will also allow you to let the lease convert to month-to-month if your closing is delayed, so you don't have to scramble for storage and temporary housing.
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