Ramifications of breaking lease?

marys1000May 15, 2007

I'm wondering - if you give up your deposit and break a rental lease - are there any other ramifications? Can it show up on a credit report for example? Other places?

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As a landlord, we ask prospective tenants for contact information from their previous landlords. And we call them. References are much more important to me than a credit report.

I would not rent to someone who had broken a lease, unless there were some very mitigating circumstances.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:03PM
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Why do you think that breaking a lease involves only giving up your deposit? Didn't you agree to pay rent for the entire term of the lease?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:34PM
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That's a good point - and some landlords won't try to rent out the unit as long as you're on the hook for the rent. This is pretty unusual, but hey, some people will do anything.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:04PM
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"I'm wondering - if you give up your deposit and break a rental lease - are there any other ramifications?"

Yes, you will still owe for the remainder of the lease. If you don't continue to pay, you may be take to court... then you will have lawyer fees too!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 2:04PM
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The landlord has the obligation in most states to try to rerent the apartment as soon as possible. However, if the landlord has many similar apts. vacant he/she will be tempted to show and rent those first since you will be on the hook for your former apartment. So, not a great idea to just leave. Talk with your landlord and possibly something can be worked out.
What does your lease say? Sometimes leases have a "buy out" clause, where you can break the lease for a certain price...sometimes 2 or 3 month's rent.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Once you find out what your obligation may be - e.g. having to pay for the full term ... you may want to try to re-rent it yourself ... if your lease allows a sub-let.

Your landlord may well have the opportunity to refuse to accept your prospective tenant.

And if a sub-lessee defaults on the rent ... guess who'll be on the hook to make good on that default?

Check your lease carefully, first.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 6:45PM
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I'm not in a lease - haven't been in forever but may be renting soon on a relocation. I hope to find a decent place that has a month to month option. I do not plan on breaking the lease but as I just ordered my credit report for the first time in eons and I've been thinking about all this stuff I started wondering.
I did ask right out on a phone call with one apt complex and they said you basically give 30 days notice and 1 months rent (not sure if thats in addition to the deposit, essentially 2 months rent?) and pay the full some of any "special" deals you got.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 9:31AM
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good for you for planning ahead.

However, be sure that any such "deals" are IN WRITING in your lease!

And good luck

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:37PM
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We moved long distance and rented an apartment while looking for a house to buy. The apartment lease was for 6 months and would expire at the end of March. We found a house earlier and wanted out - we gave notice at the end of December and paid for January (still living there) and then paid an additional month's rent to break the lease. Moved out at the end of January and then they used the security deposit to clean the carpet etc.

So our penalty for breaking the lease was the equivalent of a month's rent. And that penalty was spelled out in the written lease, since we knew there was a chance we wouldn't stay the whole lease period. If we had stayed the whole 6 months then we could have gone on a month-to-month lease, but then the landlord has the option of raising the rent every month.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 2:46AM
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Mary's1000--there are many apartment complexs out there that have various leases ie one month,2 3 and so on. My ex rents with Archstone on the east coast and he is trading in from a one bedroom to a two bedroom and we were just discussing all of this. These new complex's have everything, conference rooms, pools, gyms etc. I think this is the wave of the future and plan on going that way soon myself.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 4:59PM
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