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Moving From An Apartment To A House? Here’s What You Need To Remember About Your Lease

The major problem that the vast majority of buyers will run into—especially when purchasing their first home—is a lease agreement that is still active with their apartment complex at the time of the purchase. If you locate the perfect home in May but your lease isn't over until September, you can't be expected to wait around.

However, the remainder of that lease agreement could represent thousands of dollars that you'll be paying to essentially "live" in two different places at the same time.

Luckily, all hope is not lost. You can take various steps to help mitigate your remaining financial risk at your apartment as much as possible.

Breaking Your Lease Early: What You Need to Know

Breaking a lease agreement prematurely is a significant decision with potential legal and financial repercussions. Whether due to unforeseen circumstances, changes in personal circumstances, or other reasons, tenants considering this option should understand the implications before taking action. Here's a comprehensive guide on what you need to know before breaking your lease early.

  1. Understand Your Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement serves as the legal contract between you and your landlord, outlining the terms and conditions of your tenancy. Before considering early termination, thoroughly review your lease agreement. Pay close attention to clauses related to early termination, such as penalties, notice requirements, and any circumstances under which termination is permitted without penalty. Understanding these provisions is crucial in assessing your options and potential liabilities.

  1. Communicate with Your Landlord

Open communication with your landlord is essential if you're contemplating breaking your lease early. Inform them of your situation as soon as possible and discuss potential solutions. Some landlords may be willing to negotiate a mutual agreement, such as finding a replacement tenant or allowing subletting, which could minimize the impact on both parties.

  1. Assess Financial Implications

Breaking your lease early may have financial consequences. Depending on the terms of your lease agreement, you could be liable for penalties, such as paying a specified amount or forfeiting your security deposit. Additionally, you may be responsible for paying rent until the property is re-rented or until the lease term expires. Understanding these financial implications is crucial in making an informed decision.

  1. Mitigate Damages

In many jurisdictions, landlords are legally obligated to mitigate their damages by making reasonable efforts to re-rent the property promptly. As a tenant, you may only be responsible for paying rent until a new tenant is found or until the lease term ends, whichever comes first. Understanding your rights and obligations regarding mitigating damages can help minimize your financial liability.

  1. Document Everything

Maintain thorough documentation of all communication with your landlord regarding the early termination of your lease. This includes emails, letters, and any written agreements or amendments to the lease terms. A clear record of discussions and agreements can protect your interests and help prevent misunderstandings or disputes later.

  1. Know Your Legal Rights

Tenant rights and landlord-tenant laws vary by jurisdiction, so it's essential to familiarize yourself with the laws that apply in your area. Some states or cities may have specific regulations governing early lease termination, security deposits, and other aspects of renting. Understanding your legal rights can empower you to make informed decisions and advocate for yourself effectively.

  1. Consider Alternative Solutions

If breaking your lease early isn't feasible or advisable, consider alternative solutions, such as subletting the property or finding a new tenant to take over the lease. However, be sure to obtain written permission from your landlord before proceeding with any alternative arrangements.

  1. Prepare for Potential Consequences

Breaking your lease early could have consequences beyond financial liabilities. It could impact your credit score, rental history, and future rental opportunities. Consider the potential repercussions and how to mitigate them, such as providing sufficient notice, fulfilling your financial obligations, and maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord.

In conclusion, breaking your lease early is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. It's essential to understand the terms of your lease agreement, communicate effectively with your landlord, and know your rights and obligations under the law. By being informed and proactive, you can navigate the process of breaking your lease early with minimal disruption and mitigate any potential negative consequences.


If you plan to move from an apartment to a house, contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information. Our professional team is happy to share our experience to help you make the best buying decision. Call us 888-670-6791.

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