Move Out Of The Lease can be the fastest and cheapest way to get out of a lease. Generally, if someone wants to get out of lease early, then need to pay a breakage fee to the respective landlord. But transferring lease or sublet to an equally qualified tenant can be an easy way out.
It can be a new job in a different city or a breakup, or things happen in your life that just do not fit with the terms of your lease. Generally, we have four options to get out of your lease early: sublet, assign, pay a lease break fee, or move out after notifying your landlord (hope it re-rent quickly). Options in details are as follows.
Subletting can be the fastest and cheapest way to get out of a lease. But technically you are still responsible for rent payments, its just someone else is living at your rented place and has agreed to pay rent. Landlords are less likely to charge extra fees for a sublet. The approval process usually involves a review of proposed sublet agreement, the credit, background, and employment information of the applicant.
Second option is finding someone who is willing to move to your place, then transferring the remaining lease over to that person. The original lease of yours remains active. Just simply assigning to the new tenant—monthly rent and end date of the lease remain the same, most importantly the landlord is not responsible for repainting or cleaning up the apartment like they would be for a brand-new tenant.
Assigning is very similar in few ways with subletting, but the big difference is that your relationship with the landlord officially ends. As they legally release you from the lease and you are no longer responsible for paying the rent. Landlords may charge a fee for lease assignment, and approval process is same as when a renter applies for a new lease at a building.
A lease break is a situation when landlord terminates the lease contract and puts the unit back on the market. This generally involves you paying some kind of penalty fee and along with forfeit of damage deposit. Sometimes these can be very costly—as much as two or three months of rent. You might be able to negotiate a lower fee in some instances.
Keep in mind, however, there are certain situations in which you’re legally allowed to break a lease with no penalties—for example, if you’re a service member and you’re entering active military duty in another location, or if your rental unit is in bad shape and it’s become uninhabitable. Read through the laws in your state to see if you might have a valid reason to get out of your lease early without paying a fee.
If the landlord is inflexible, you may have to depend on legal proceedings like “damage mitigation.” In most states, if you move out before the end of your lease, your landlord is required to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant to replace you. You are the only person responsible for rent payments until that new renter signs a lease.
If you’re in a popular rental market like Vancouver, —there’s a good chance it won’t take too long for the place to rent. But if the rental market is slow where you live, you could end up being responsible for a significant chunk of money (especially if you have a lot of time left on your original lease). Keep in mind that your landlord only has a responsibility to look for a new tenant, not necessarily to find one. As you can see, this is the last option for a reason: it leaves a lot up to chance.