Can You Break A Lease If You Lose Your Job

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Can You Break A Lease If You Lose Your Job

Have you recently lost your job and wondered if you can break your lease? In most states, job loss is not often a condition protected under renters' rights. However, your landlord may be willing to work with you to break your lease if you have a good rental history with them and are on good terms.

Breaking a lease for reasons that have no legal basis, such as unemployment, divorce, or moving for a new job, are referred to as hardship requests. These terms will vary on a case-by-case basis, and it's difficult to know what the outcome of your request to break your lease will be. This DoNotPay guide can walk you through the steps of , as well as offer an alternative to trying to do this tedious work on your own.

Can I Break My Lease If I Lose My Job?

Losing a job or ongoing unemployment is rarely a legal reason to break your lease. Attempting to get out of a lease without going through the proper channels can result in:

  • Owing more money to your landlord: The security deposit is often mistakenly believed to cover the rent if someone breaks their lease, but it only covers potential damages. You may be fully liable to pay the remainder of your lease if you break it without following the law.
  • Getting sued: Your landlord could take you to court for failing to meet the lease terms, and you could face fines on top of any rent you owe.
  • Difficulty renting another property: Most landlords and rental companies require references, and if you are on bad terms with your current landlord, it could hurt your chances of getting into a new place.
  • A hit to your credit score: If you end up owing a debt to your landlord, this debt could be reported to the credit bureau. A debt added to your credit report will lower your credit score until you start to pay it off.

If you'd like to see the specific laws surrounding breaking a lease in your state, view the appropriate link in the table below:

CaliforniaNew MexicoNew York
North CarolinaNebraskaOhio
VirginiaSouth DakotaWashington State
New JerseyRhode IslandPennsylvania
South CarolinaMinnesota Alabama
Washington DCKansasKentucky
HawaiiFloridaWest Virginia
New HampshireIllinoisMaine
IdahoGeorgiaNorth Dakota

If you approach the situation with your landlord professionally and follow the correct steps, you have much better odds of ending up with a favorable outcome. Whether you enlist the help of DoNotPay to contact your landlord or attempt it yourself, there are specific steps to follow to ensure you try to break your lease without significant penalties.

How to Break Your Lease by Yourself

If you've recently lost your job or the rent you pay is more than you can afford, you may be considering breaking your lease due to financial hardships. The correct steps to ensure a more positive outcome begin with:

  1. Getting everything in writing: it's best to always have proof of conversations that happen between you and your landlord, especially if important decisions are made.
  2. Gathering all the necessary documents: If you face financial hardships, you could collect pay stubs and bank statements that show how much money you are bringing in and how it affects your ability to pay rent.
  3. Study your lease: It's wise to fully understand your lease to know of any implications of breaking your lease. There may be fees and buyouts involved, and you will want to know about them to be better financially prepared.

When you are ready to move forward, you will want to contact your landlord with your concerns. If they are willing to work with you, they will lay out terms for you that they will need you to meet to break your lease.

This process may feel intimidating if you are uncomfortable confronting your landlord, especially if your relationship with your landlord isn't great. Fortunately, DoNotPay can take this difficult task out of your hands to do the work for you. The following steps will explain how easily and quickly DoNotPay can get you started on .

DoNotPay Can Help You Break Your Lease After Losing Your Job

If you can no longer afford rent and want to break your lease but aren't sure where to start, DoNotPay can guide you through it. 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.

  • 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.

Regardless of what state or city you're in, DoNotPay can help you follow the correct steps to break your lease if you've lost your job or are facing other financial hardships.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Solve Your Problems?

DoNotPay has been in the business of helping our customers with legal and non-legal issues for many years. In addition to helping you break your lease, we also have products and services that can help you:

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