Breaking Your Lease

Sometimes, breaking your lease can be a good way to avoid an eviction. When you break your lease, you move out before the term of the lease is up and before the landlord files an eviction suit.

If your lease is almost up, and depending on its terms, it may cost you less to finish out the lease than to break it. (This assumes that you can come up with the money to stay there until the lease ends.)

Before you break your lease, to ensure all appropriate measures are taken and that you are aware of the consequences of not following that process. Among other things, your lease may require you to give your landlord notice in advance about your plans, and it may obligate you to continue paying rent until your landlord finds someone to replace you as a tenant.

Your lease may also give your landlord the right to be reimbursed for the expenses he incurs trying to find a new tenant: the cost of a newspaper ad, for example. However in many leases, letting fees are a set amount.

Breaking your lease won’t release you from your obligation to pay your landlord any past-due rent you owe before you move out. Unless you pay that debt, your landlord deducts it from your security deposit together with any late fees and other expenses you owe. If your security deposit is not large enough to cover everything, you must pay the balance (unless your landlord decides to waive it.)

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