So you’ve found your dream home, but you’re still tied into your lease on your rental. Staying close with your landlord and communicating any changes is crucial, and often times can save you from more payments and headaches later on. Lucky for renters we’ve put together tips on terminating your lease early (without burning any bridges) to help get you into your new home faster (and save you some money along the way!).
Obtain a Copy of Your Lease
It’s always a good idea to keep a hard copy of any important documents, especially a legally binding document like a rental lease. If you do not have a hard copy, or a digital copy saved on file reach out to your landlord to obtain a copy for your reference and that you can keep on file.
Read Over the Terms of Your Lease
Reading a lease can be difficult as there is often times heavy legal jargon. If you are uncomfortable reading and interpreting your lease have a lawyer look it over to extract the information you need. The primary items you will need to find are the lease termination policy and and subletting policies. Be sure you are cognizant of the amount of notice you need to give your landlord prior to moving out which will also be highlighted in your lease agreement. Your lease should also highlight any fees or monetary penalties that must be paid due to early termination, or lack of notice.
See if Any Special Conditions Apply
The below conditions will void the terms of your lease. Check to see if any apply to you prior to reaching out to your landlord.
1. The Rental Unit is Uninhabitable: This would apply if your landlord is not agreeing to keep up genial maintenance of the property. This may include mold problems, water leaking, lack of water or waste removal services, etc.
2. Your Landlord is Illegally Entering Your Unit: Your landlord will likely need to enter your apartment for a multitude of reasons. If their presence is unwarranted in your rental space (i.e trespassing, harassment, etc.) you may be entitled to terminating your lease with no penalty.
3. You Are on Active Military Duty: This is applicable if you are deployed 90 days or more out of the year.
4. You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
5. Your Unit is Being Rented Out Illegally
Look at Subletting
If your lease/landlord does not prohibit subletting your unit then go about trying to find someone to sublet. You can go about finding someone to rent your space by,
- Checking in With Friends and Family: See if there is anyone within your circle who is looking for temporary housing. It’s always nice renting to someone you know and trust!
- Use Social Media: If you have a private Instagram or Facebook consider posting here, or on Facebook Marketplace to reach a wider audience.
- Use a Digital Platform: Flip is a great app to use to try to find someone to sublet, and helps you with the entire process!
Keep in mind, although you are no longer physically living in the space you are still legally responsible for the new tenant who is.
Connect With Your Landlord
Keep an open line of communication with your landlord to ensure the termination of your lease runs smoothly. If you are able to find someone to sublet be sure to inform your landlord ASAP, and make sure your give your landlord proper written notice prior to making the switch. Be sure to get any new terms updated in writing for your reference prior to moving out.