Breaking a Lease Without Paying the Fees

Lease agreement contract sheet and brown pen at bottom right corner on wood table background in vintage style

Renting a home has several advantages, but once you have signed that lease, you will not be able to move out anytime you wish. It is usually stated on most contract leases that tenants have to inform their landlord at least a month ahead if they’re planning to leave their rental.

If the tenant needs to leave a rented place even before the term is up – whether they’ve purchased their own home or is planning to move somewhere closer to work – they’ll have to talk to their landlord and see if they can avoid paying high fees for breaking the lease.

In many cases, landlords can be reasonable and understanding of their tenants’ current situation. If the reason for the abrupt move is legitimate, many of them are willing to negotiate a strategy that will be beneficial to them and their tenants as well.

However, this isn’t always the case. Tenants signed a legal contract, after all, so some landlords may not be happy with the idea of releasing their tenants without settling their financial obligations. But, if you really need to break the lease in search of greener pasture, here are a few things you can do before you start looking for interstate removalists here in Adelaide.

Look for a permanent replacement

There are times when your landlord may ask you to look for a possible replacement, especially if you still have several months lefts on your lease. There are websites where you can post about looking for a replacement tenant, so the search may be a lot easier than you thought.

If you can find one and your landlord is willing to re-rent your unit, then you do not have to worry about paying the fees. But, if the landlord has to offer the place to the new tenant at a lower rate, you may have to pay the difference.

If both you and your landlord are unable to find a suitable replacement before you move, you are still required to pay rent according to law.

See if you can sublet the unit

Subletting, otherwise known as subleasing, is when the original tenant who signed the contract looks for another person who will pay the monthly rent. This new tenant is then referred to as the subtenant. This is very common when the tenants are students.

Some of them may only need a place to stay for a few months but would have to sign a lease for one year. In these cases, they would have to look for a temporary tenant once the original one has moved out. This setup, however, is not widely available in many areas.

Some lease agreements specify that subletting isn’t permitted. So, make sure you check the fine print before looking for a subtenant.

Negotiate an exit strategy with your landlord

Close up of lease agreement empty document with pen

Sometimes, all you have to do is talk to your landlords. They are humans, too, and many of them will be willing to negotiate an agreeable strategy with you if you must move out of their rental for personal or professional reasons.

If you have been a responsible tenant, pay your rent on time, and have built a good relationship with your landlord, chances are they will allow you to leave without having to deal with the penalty. Legally, however, you still have to pay rent until your contractual agreement is up.




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