Can You Break A Rental Lease If You Buy A House

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Can You Break A Rental Lease If You Buy A House

Buying a house is a big step in your life. For many people, however, it's a delicate balancing act. You need to remain in your rental property until you have a chance to find a new property and get it move-in ready. Meanwhile, that process may not occur at a convenient time in your lease.

You may be wondering, “Learn more about how to break your lease legally in three steps with DoNotPay.

When You Can Legally Break a Lease

Legally, you can break a lease under several conditions. Sometimes, it may depend on your specific lease or your state's laws, so make sure you refer to your lease as you determine whether you can break a lease because you bought a house.

In general, you can break a lease if:

  • The home is no longer habitable for some reason, including a major health and safety violation.
  • The landlord has violated the legal rules of entry, including failing to give appropriate notice before entering the property, on a regular basis.
  • The landlord has harassed you frequently, including trying to enter the property for unnecessary reasons.
  • You need to move because you are active duty military and have been assigned to a new location.

You may also have the right to break your lease, assuming that you provide adequate notice, if your lease includes a term indicating that you can break your lease if you buy a house. If your lease contains a home-buying clause, you may need to give adequate notice, as defined by the terms of your lease (which is generally between 30 and 60 days) and provide proof of your purchase to break the lease.

Rules for Breaking Your Lease for Each State

Check out your state’s specific renters’ laws to see how much notice you need to give and what your state’s rules are for breaking your lease legally:

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 to Break a Lease When You Buy a House

Although buying a house is not a stand-alone, legal reason to break your lease, you may still be able to avoid significant penalties if you handle breaking your lease properly. If you need to break your lease on your own as you buy a house, you may have several options:

1. Talk to your landlord and come to a mutual agreement

Sometimes, you and your landlord can arrive at an agreement that you're ready to break the lease and that it is in everyone's best interests. If your landlord agrees, in writing, to let you out of the lease early, you will not have to worry about the potential consequences of breaking a lease early. You can:

  • Notify your landlord, in writing, about your intent to break the lease
  • Ask to be let out of your lease

Sometimes, your landlord will allow you to break the lease on their own, without making the process more complicated than necessary. Breaking a lease does not have to be difficult or time-consuming when a landlord is willing to work with you, but this is not always the case.

2. Use the home-buying clause in your lease to break the agreement.

Read through your lease and see whether it contains a home-buying clause. Then, submit your intent to break the lease to your landlord, including:

  • A letter of intent.
  • Proof of your purchase.
  • Adequate notice, based on the terms laid out in your lease.

3. Show that your new home purchase, along with the rent for your unit, causes undue financial hardship.

In some states, landlords have to do what they can to mitigate financial hardship for their clients. Your lease may also contain a financial hardship clause that you can use to break it. You may need to show these three things:

  1. Proof of the financial hardship
  2. Evidence regarding your new property purchase
  3. Adequate notice, based on when you plan to leave the property

You may have to negotiate with your landlord in order to break your lease as you buy a property, even if it will cause you financial hardship to keep paying for the rent, since this is the risk you assumed when purchasing a house.

DoNotPay Makes It Easy to Break Your Lease When You Buy a Home

If you need to , or for any other reason, DoNotPay can help. 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 create the appropriate “break your lease” demand letter for you based on your circumstances:

  • 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.

DoNotPay Can Help Answer Your Questions About Your Lease

Do you need to know more about how to break your lease and your legal rights as a tenant? Check out our library of questions and answers, including:

Why Use DoNotPay to Break Your Lease?

can be a big step, and it can cause a lot of problems. With DoNotPay, breaking your lease is:

  • Faster
  • Simpler
  • More practical

You'll get the written record you need to establish that you have taken all legal steps in breaking your lease. We'll make sure you have the proof you need to establish your right to break your lease, and we will create the letter to your landlord or the state for you. It's all provided, and it's all in one convenient location.

Ready to Break Your Lease After Buying a House?

If you've just bought a house and are ready to break your lease, check out DoNotPay's tools today!

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