Why Does It Cost So Much to Break Your Lease?

June 28, 17


This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."

There are dozens – if not hundreds – of reasons a person might need to break the lease on his or her apartment, and those reasons all have one thing in common: the hassle involved in the process. No one looks forward to breaking a lease because they know it requires some effort; it can also cost a resident money.

In many instances communities do not allow early termination of the lease. In other instances, an early termination addendum may be signed with your other lease documents. This addendum would outline the specifics of what is required to break the lease.

The Purpose of a Lease

Remember that a lease is a binding contract on both parties for the dates outlined. When a lease between a resident and property owner is signed, the resident gets certain rights to that space for the period of the lease; the property owner, on the other hand, gets assurance that the lease holder will be occupying the space for the term of the lease (usually a year, though Springs offers flexible lease terms) and that there will be regular set income from that space for that term.

When a lease is broken, the owner and leasing agent now have a challenge: a space that was assumed to be occupied is now going to be vacant, so there will be unexpected cleaning and repair costs, costs to promote the apartment, costs associated with showing the apartment, etc., while at the same time a loss of income from that space.

Many states have different laws regarding early lease termination and most apartment communities will apply the highest standards allowed by local law. It is very important when entering a lease agreement that you ask the leasing team to explain local law and the lease break policy at that community and any fees that would be owed and required length of notice should be explained at that time.

We understand that sometimes people need to relocate due to job transfers, marital statuses change, and other major (and often unpredictable) life events happen. When a request for an early termination is made, you will still be accountable for your entire lease. Make sure you really understand the policy and what it may mean for you.

Read Your Lease Carefully

The best guidance we can give is for anyone searching for a new apartment home is to read your lease carefully. All leases outline what you’re responsible for should you ask to break your lease (like the notice that needs to be given to the property management). Knowing the terms related to breaking a lease could very well help you avoid unexpected costs and plenty of stress.

We understand that life often throws the unexpected our way, and we genuinely understand the need to vacate before a lease is up. Fair Housing laws compel us to treat everybody equally and therefore prohibit us from “making exceptions” to the requirements outlined in the lease. Feel free to call your local leasing office to have a conversation about early lease termination, Fair Housing or applicable state and local laws.

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