How do you get out of a renter’s lease?
When you sign a lease agreement, there is no crystal ball to predict the future. Though you have plans to commit to a lease, sometimes circumstances can make the early termination of a lease necessary. Whether you just got a dream job across the country or are building a new construction home that will be complete in a few months, ending your lease term can be expensive, tedious, and downright bothersome.
But not to worry- there are many ways to get out of a lease, including lease buyouts from Marketplace Homes. These options allow you to get out of your lease contract. If you need to move out before the end of the lease, here are some ways to get out of a rental agreement.
6 Ways to Get out of a Lease
Depending on where you live and what details are in your lease agreement, you should have several options to break your lease. Currently, there’s no law requiring an early lease buyout clause, so it’s important to discuss lease terms in full before signing. Here are some of the most common ways people end their leases early.
1. Use the lease buyout clause in your rental agreement.
In your rental agreement, there may be a buyout clause, which allows the tenant or landlord to end the lease agreement early. In this clause, the party that initiates the early lease end gives the other party monetary compensation for ending the lease early. The buyout amount can vary, but it’s usually less than the total of the remaining lease amount.
If there is a lease buyout clause in your agreement, then it will typically be one of these three types:
- Notice and Penalty: The notifying party pays a penalty fee after informing the other party in advance.
- Rent Responsible Clause: A more cost-effective option, this one has the resident continue to pay rent until a new tenant moves in to take over the lease. It’s possible for this to be a sublet.
- Military Personnel Lease Buyout: Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, active duty, deployed, or reassigned military members can buy out of their lease after giving advance written notice or a copy of orders to move. Landlords legally cannot deny the military serviceperson the right to end their lease. If a service member dies while in military service, their surviving spouse can also terminate the lease without penalty within a year of their passing.
2. State legitimate medical reasons.
If you have a valid medical reason that requires relocation to rehab or assisted living, you can get out of a lease. To break your lease for this reason, you’ll need to present a “proof of need” letter from your doctor or court. This will help you exit your landlord-tenant lease agreement within two months.
3. Provide a copy of a protective order/restraining order.
When your personal safety is at risk, you can break your lease early without paying a penalty. Whether it’s a matter of harassment, domestic violence, or other life-threatening situations, the lessee can get out of the lease without a termination fee after presenting legal documentation to the landlord. Examples of valid documentation include:
- A copy of a protective order/restraining order.
- A report of from law enforcement.
- An affidavit verifying the victim’s abuse that’s signed by a third party.
Under this provision, the tenant’s lease can end 30 days after they submit the vacate notice or after they make the next rent payment. Since this is an urgent legal matter, you will most likely not need to pay a penalty, eliminating the need to find the best lease buyout loan in your area.
4. The landlord doesn’t keep their end of the deal.
If your landlord doesn’t keep the rental property safe and livable, then you can legally break your lease. Unresolved pest problems, noise issues, or other safety issues like gas leaks and mold are also valid conditions for a lease break. You must check with lease termination laws in your state to get the specifics to see if you can use this.
5. Sublet your rental.
A landlord makes their bottom line through a steady rental income, so a reasonable one may accept a subletter in your stead. Read the terms of your lease carefully to make sure you’re allowed to find someone to take over your lease and pay the residual value of your monthly payments. Also, check to make sure there are any buyout fees for this option on your lease.
6. Use Lease Buyout from Marketplace Homes when you buy a New Construction Home.
Breaking a lease can involve fees when you don’t have medical, military, or legal reasons. However, our Lease Buyout program can help you with the cost burden of breaking a lease. If you buy a new construction home and it’s ready before the end of your lease, we can assist you with these costs after closing.
Can I buy out of my lease?
If renters want a buyout lease early, then they have a few options. Naturally, it’s easier to wait until the lease term is over and not sign the new lease. However, when time is of the essence, renters can potentially find a replacement tenant, explore lease buyout options and absorb the penalty, or present legal or medical paperwork that expedites a penalty-free move.
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Alicia Persson is a real estate content/SEO writer at Marketplace Homes. She has several years of experience working in real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined Marketplace, she was a freelance writer for 7 years, leading to a specialization in real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies. During her writing years, she learned the basics of SEO and gained experience writing for many different clients, making her highly versatile at creating diverse content.
She is a proud University of Virginia master’s graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When Alicia is not writing, she plays keytar and sings in a local 90’s rock cover band, or she spends time with her amazing family.