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Old 04-15-2010, 01:01 PM
 
101 posts, read 292,962 times
Reputation: 40

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Hello folks.

We are currently renting a townhouse, the lease will expire in the 3rd week of August.

In the meantime, we bought a house and will close at the end of April. I figured we will plan to move out of our rental by mid-June, since I will be extremely busy at work during May, and we wanted to get some painting, etc done in the new house.

When we signed our lease last year, we mentioned that we would be looking for a house, and the landlord said he would try to work something out with us when the time came (nothing was put in writing).

So now, I am prepared to pay May and upto half of June's rent, but would like to terminate my lease early, so that I don't have to pay rent for mid-June to August (~$5000).

Has anyone been in a similar bind? Can I sublet for 2.5 months to minimize my losses? I guess I also need to go over the fine print in my lease...

Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:16 PM
 
3,106 posts, read 8,773,893 times
Reputation: 2275
We did that with our former landlord up in The Woodlands who had said the same thing about letting us out of our lease early if we didn't feel things were working out. It was same for him - to notify us if things weren't working out on his end with us as his tenants. Of course, we were model tenants.

However, we didn't have anything in writing but didn't think it was a problem considering we planned to stay at least a year. 9 months after we signed the lease, we decided to move for a variety of reasons - all of which we spelled out to our landlord who graciously released us from our commitment. In turn, we made sure to have the house cleaned top-to-bottom, had the carpets all professionally steamed, the landscaping freshly groomed and had all the wheelchair access retrofits returned to its original condition. Our landlord called to tell us that everything looked great and he sent our deposit back that very day.

All you can do is ask but read the fine print of your lease first. I don't know if verbal agreements hold up but wouldn't count on it if the response is not what you had hoped for. I hope it all works out for you in the long run.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Pearland, TX
3,333 posts, read 8,772,319 times
Reputation: 2333
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
Hello folks.

We are currently renting a townhouse, the lease will expire in the 3rd week of August.

In the meantime, we bought a house and will close at the end of April. I figured we will plan to move out of our rental by mid-June, since I will be extremely busy at work during May, and we wanted to get some painting, etc done in the new house.

When we signed our lease last year, we mentioned that we would be looking for a house, and the landlord said he would try to work something out with us when the time came (nothing was put in writing).

So now, I am prepared to pay May and upto half of June's rent, but would like to terminate my lease early, so that I don't have to pay rent for mid-June to August (~$5000).

Has anyone been in a similar bind? Can I sublet for 2.5 months to minimize my losses? I guess I also need to go over the fine print in my lease...

Thanks.
Nobody will be able to tell you with certainty. You need to read y our lease contract.
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:12 PM
l3m
 
Location: Northwest Houston
105 posts, read 280,177 times
Reputation: 80
Yes, read your contract. You will be charged a reletting fee, which is specified in your contract (usually 85-95% of the monthly rent). This fee is unavoidable. You should tell your landlord that you will be leaving. Your landlord is always looking for renters and until they find a renter for your apartment, you will have to pay the rent until the end of your end of your contract. They may find a renter quickly and you won't lose much. This is how they do it at my apartment complex. I'm sure yours will do the same. Regarding subletting, they may not allow that since they want to screen who lives in the apartment.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:20 PM
 
101 posts, read 292,962 times
Reputation: 40
I didn't expect a verbal agreement/promise to hold up. Our landlord is a real gentleman though, and do expect him to make a good faith effort. However, I fully understand that he wants to maximize his rent income - I would have tried to do the same if I were in his place. The townhouse was built 2 yrs ago, on the market for sale unsuccessfully since then, finally made available for lease, which is when we found it last August.

Oh well. I will read the lease agreement carefully when I get home tonight and see how things shake out.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Pearland, TX
3,333 posts, read 8,772,319 times
Reputation: 2333
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
I didn't expect a verbal agreement/promise to hold up. Our landlord is a real gentleman though, and do expect him to make a good faith effort. However, I fully understand that he wants to maximize his rent income - I would have tried to do the same if I were in his place. The townhouse was built 2 yrs ago, on the market for sale unsuccessfully since then, finally made available for lease, which is when we found it last August.

Oh well. I will read the lease agreement carefully when I get home tonight and see how things shake out.
All that said, I've had two leases and both were worked out to everyone's satisfaction. It's rare that you get screwed.

Ronnie
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:04 PM
 
3,106 posts, read 8,773,893 times
Reputation: 2275
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
I didn't expect a verbal agreement/promise to hold up. Our landlord is a real gentleman though, and do expect him to make a good faith effort. However, I fully understand that he wants to maximize his rent income - I would have tried to do the same if I were in his place. The townhouse was built 2 yrs ago, on the market for sale unsuccessfully since then, finally made available for lease, which is when we found it last August.

Oh well. I will read the lease agreement carefully when I get home tonight and see how things shake out.
If your take on your landlord is that he is a gentleman, that he understood you were in the hunt for a permanent home and you give him ample notice now, then I think your situation should resolve without conflict. We gave 2 months notice & they were able to get a new tenant less than a month later to start renting 2 weeks after we left. It was a good situation for all involved.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:12 PM
 
101 posts, read 292,962 times
Reputation: 40
Good to hear about the positive experiences.

I have given my landlord our timeline in writing. I read the lease (pretty standard Texas Association of Realtors lease) and the stipulations are that notice of early termination must be given at least 30 days in advance, and that the lease can be terminated early by "mutual agreement". No mention of a reletting fee. Subletting is not allowed.

So I guess its up to my landlord. Will keep my fingers crossed and hope to save ~$5000.
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