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How to Break an Apartment Lease

If you’re in a position where you need to break your apartment lease but you’re not sure what to do, don’t worry. We’ve got a few things to consider while you’re thinking about your options of getting out of a lease.

The Rental is Unlivable

Most landlords are obligated to keep up general property maintenance and make sure every space adheres to health and safety codes. Situations that make a property uninhabitable are mold, lack of running water, no trash etc. If you feel like your space is impacting your ability to live healthy, you might be able to break your lease.

You are on Active Military Duty

If you are in the armed forces, you might be able to get out of your lease earlier than planned.

You’ve Read and Documented Everything

Make sure to read your lease and look over the procedures and penalties for cancelling early. Make sure to check all the details to see what is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s responsibility.

Get Confirmation in Writing

Make sure to get written confirmation of anything. If your landlord says you can move out early with a small penalty or no penalty, get it in writing. Do not rely on a verbal agreement.

Do the Walk-Through

No matter how stressed or excited you are to move, you need to protect yourself from unexpected charges by walking through your place with the landlord and getting a written record of what happened. If you can’t schedule a walk through with your landlord, take detailed pictures or videos the day you leave.

Get Help

Apartment and tenant laws are state-specific. It’s a good idea to research your basic rights. If you believe a landlords’ actions are illegal, you might be able to get help from a legal aid program, housing agency, or consumer protection attorney.

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