How to Get out of a Lease Early

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Lease is a legal agreement between a tenant and a landlord, calling for the former to pay the latter for using his/her asset for a specified period of time. The term of lease is determined when signing the contract, but sometimes a tenant may want to get out of a lease early. There can be any reason behind a tenant’s decision to get out of a lease early but he/she must follow the proper procedure.

Review your lease carefully

Start by carefully reading your lease and understanding all its provisions. Ideally, you should have read through the document before signing the agreement in the first place. If you had read the lease before signing it, you should at least be roughly familiar with parts related to lease termination notice and moving out. For example, the lease agreement may give you the option to leave the lease early if your landlord is not making repairs in time.

Draft a letter to your landlord

Write a letter to your landlord notifying him or her that you want to get out of the lease prematurely. Explain the reasons behind your decision in the letter and cite any sections or provisions in the contract that support your stance. No matter how angry you are at your landlord, make sure the letter is written respectfully and concisely. Keep a copy of letter with you for the record and mail the original copy to the landlord through certified mail, so that you have proof that it was sent.

File a petition with the court

Usually the landlord will address the problems or allow you to move out. However, if that is not the case, you may need to file a petition with the court to help you get out of the lease. Call your local courthouse to find out tenants’ laws and rights in your jurisdiction. Knowing these laws and your rights as tenant will help you determine your course of action.

Have everything written and documented

It is important to have everything written and documented before filing a petition with the court. Remember you should have a valid, legal reason to terminate the lease early. For example, you cannot seek the court’s assistance to get out of a lease because you want to move in with your boyfriend.

Find a tenant to replace you

Though the landlord cannot force you to live in his/her house, he is more likely to let you get out of the lease without creating any issues if he has a replacement for you. Make sure your landlord does not have to lose any rental income during the transition and he/she will be more than willing to accommodate your request.

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