Can You Break A Lease Before You Move In

Break My Lease Can You Break A Lease Before You Move In

How To Break a Lease Before You Move In

After you sign your lease, many things can happen before you move in. You might not be able to move in for a personal circumstance or an issue with the rental unit. If you signed a lease and have regrets, can you break a lease before you move in?

Breaking a lease can always be difficult, and breaking a lease before you move in can seem like uncharted territory. We will answer the question, "can you break a lease before you move in?" and give you tips to negotiate with the landlord or pursue legal options. If you want an easier way to break your lease before you move in, rely on DoNotPay to break the lease on your behalf.

Guide to Breaking a Lease By State

No matter what state you are in, if you want to break your lease, start by looking at the table below. This can help you learn how you can break your lease before moving in, depending on your state:

TexasCaliforniaNew York
IllinoisNorth CarolinaOhio
GeorgiaVirginiaWashington State
ColoradoNew JerseyPennsylvania
South CarolinaMinnesota Alabama
Washington DCKansasKentucky
LouisianaNew MexicoArkansas
HawaiiUtahWest Virginia
New HampshireNebraskaMaine
IdahoSouth DakotaNorth Dakota
VermontRhode IslandMississippi

How Can You Break a Lease Before You Move in on Your Own?

Talk With the Landlord

If you managed to make a good impression with the landlord or know the landlord personally, you can ask the landlord to break the lease. It helps there is still some time before your move-in date. The landlord may be understanding if they still have ample time to look for a new renter.

You make a hardship request to break the lease, especially if you have a convincing reason, such as:

  • Job loss or transfer
  • Caring for a loved one
  • Family issues

A hardship request is often the most painless way to break the lease before you move in. If you’d rather not do this without help, DoNotPay can write and mail a hardship letter to your landlord on your behalf. 

Claim Your Legal Right To Break the Lease

If your landlord does not honor your hardship request to break the lease, you still have legal options to break the lease before you move in. Protecting your legal rights can be expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. 

Although you haven't lived in the rental property yet, there are seven legal reasons to break the lease, depending on your state:

  1. Harassment: While it's unlikely the landlord would harass a new renter, landlords may use intimidation to bully a tenant into leaving the property without proper eviction.
  2. Habitability: Did the landlord promise they would fix the heat, cooling, plumbing before you move in? You may be able to break the lease if the landlord does not make the property habitable before your move-in date.
  3. Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA): If you are called to active duty or a new duty station as a uniformed service member, you can break your lease under federal protections.
  4. Mandatory Disclosure: Certain states prohibit a landlord from renting a property without disclosing specific details. You may be able to break your lease if the landlord did not inform you before signing.
  5. Lease Violations: If a landlord violates lease provisions, many states allow you to break the lease.
  6. Health Events: If you become disabled between signing your lease and the move-in date, you may be able to break your lease in some states.
  7. Domestic Violence: If you or a dependent is a domestic violence victim, you may be able to break the lease in some states to protect yourself or a dependent.

Draft a letter with your legal demand to break the lease and the corresponding valid legal reason. If you aren't sure where to start, DoNotPay can generate a letter and send it on your behalf.

Break a Lease Before You Move in With DoNotPay

Breaking a lease on your own can be stressful, especially if you don't have time and money to waste. DoNotPay makes legally breaking your lease easy from our convenient mobile app or website. We will send a legal demand to the landlord in only a few simple clicks.

Here's how you can get started in 3 easy steps:

  1. Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.


  2. Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.


  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.


DoNotPay will then follow the appropriate course of action, depending on your circumstances, to quickly and successfully solve your lease problem:

  • If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
  • If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
  • If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
  • If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.

Other Lease Issues That DoNotPay Can Help With

DoNotPay can also help with the following lease-breaking situations and much more:

Sign up for DoNotPay, and terminate your lease without the stress today!

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