Breaking It Off

How to break your lease

The financial impact of the coronavirus cannot be understated. Perhaps you’re feeling that right now because it’s become difficult to pay your rent. Maybe you’re even thinking about breaking your lease. If it has come to that, here are some steps to take.

Read Up

Before you approach your landlord, read over the details of your lease agreement. Marketwatch reports that it should include a thorough explanation of what happens if you break the lease, along with any associated fees. Be on the lookout for details about your landlord’s responsibility. If your landlord has been failing to uphold their end of the deal, you might be in luck and able to break the lease without penalty.

Communicate Calmly

When it’s time to tell your landlord you want to terminate your lease, be as clear and calm about the situation as possible. Present your side, but be willing to listen to theirs as well. One way to help smooth things over is to offer to help your landlord find a new tenant.

Get it in Writing

If your landlord agrees to let you break the lease without penalty or makes any changes to the lease, get it all in writing. That way if your landlord has a change of heart, you have proof the deal was made.

Do a Final Walk-Through

Once you’ve packed your stuff up and moved out, make sure you do a final walk-through with your landlord. Once again, get written documentation of this process. If your landlord denies you the chance at a walk through, do it yourself. Either take a video or photos that show the state of the residence after you’ve moved out. You don’t want your landlord seeking cash or keeping your security deposit for damage that wasn’t your fault.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea