How NOT to Break a Lease

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How NOT to Break a Lease

aptsherpa · Nov 9, 2005

Desperate times call for… desperate measures

Your apartment is so awful that you need to get out now. The management, however, really doesn’t want to let you go. Maybe it’s because you’re one of few renters left who actually pay rent and/or don’t sell drugs out of your apartment. Whatever the reason, you’ve gotta go—but it ain’t gonna be easy. Here are some highly unadvisable—wholly unadvisable, really—ways to get out of your apartment lease.

Get evicted

Hold on to your rent checks, ladies and gentlemen. Buy yourself a puppy, tear up some carpet, Jackson Pollack-ize your walls, do whatever it takes to get yourself kicked out of your apartment. This approach, while certainly fun, is ill-advised because of the potential it has to ruin your credit rating and tenancy record. If conditions in your apartment complex are that bad, though, maybe you’d like to go out with a bang.

Provoke your landlord

In some states, renters can get out of their legal obligations to carry out a rental agreement if their landlord threatens them with a firearm or other deadly weapon. This is definitely a last resort, and might be more difficult to carry out in certain housing situations than others. Still, if your landlord really is that crazy, you’ve got an easy out.

Provoke your ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend, or stalker)

If you have a standing order of protection against a particular individual and that order has been repeatedly violated without any action taken by the landlord, you are (in some states) removed from the obligation to carry out the terms of your lease.

Definite don’ts

Don’t just move out and stop paying rent. This will negatively affect your credit rating and your chances of finding good housing in the future.

Don’t assume your roommate will cover your part of the rent or find a new roommate once you leave. If your name is on the lease, it’s your responsibility to ensure your part of the rent is paid

If you’re feeling down about your lease-breaking situation, try reading these absurd—and expensive—horror stories to cheer up:

Different stories left a hole of $780 in my wallet.

When my husband’s job transferred him to another part of the state, we realized we were going to have to break the lease and we would have to pay a penalty. However, the way the staff handled it, left little to be desired! We got 2 different stories. The first being …

Seven month lease cost us almost $13,000.

…We signed a seven month lease, but just purchased an out-of-state home in Colorado . My husband’s work has been moved to Denver , but we will be paying moving expenses. …I received a hand delivered ” Break Lease ” memo that itemized a bill totaling $12,979.67. Mind you if the full amount of the remaining lease is less than $5750.00, that is approximately $7200.00 in fees for no good reason. I can just…

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