Does Breaking A Lease Hurt Your Credit

Break My Lease Does Breaking A Lease Hurt Your Credit

Does Breaking A Lease Hurt Your Credit?

When renting a house, the landlord will typically require you to sign a lease agreement stating that you will pay for a specified period. You may, however, be forced to breach this agreement, but before you do so, you might want to consider whether breaking a lease hurts your credit.

In most cases, the lease agreement does outline the consequences of breaking a lease and how to go about it. You might, for instance, be required to notify the landlord at least a month in advance, give up your security deposit or pay two months' rent in addition to an early termination fee. These conditions exist to protect the landlord from losses resulting from your decision to break a clause of the agreement.

You might not always be in a position to meet some of these fees and demands. However, breaking a lease without paying all outstanding charges can hurt your credit. However, the DoNotPay Break My Lease product can assist you in minimizing the expenses to an affordable amount, thus helping you keep your credit score intact.

When Is Breaking a Lease Justified?

Below are some instances in which it is lawfully justifiable to break a lease.

Call of DutyAll states allow tenants in active military service to leave before the lease ends without penalty. However, the tenant should notify the landlord of this development and furnish them with a copy of the military order.
A Breach of the Warranty of HabitabilityThe landlord owes their tenant a safe and livable space. When the unit fails to meet the livable standards because of issues with heating, cooling, cleanliness, or safety standards outlined in law and the landlord does not make an effort to correct them, a tenant is justified in breaking their lease.
Interference with the Peaceful or Quiet Enjoyment of the PropertyWhen the landlord has a habit of ushering themselves into your place unannounced, harassing you, or ignoring your complaints about other tenants' poor behavior that disturb your peace. In that case, you are within your rights to break the lease.
Health Event / Senior CitizensSome states allow you to break the lease if a health issue makes it difficult to live comfortably within the rented space. Such provisions also cater to seniors who decide to break a lease to move into an assisted living facility.

Reasons That Can't Be Used to Break a Lease

Breaking a lease for any of the following reasons often attracts a penalty fee and other charges outlined in the lease agreement.

Buying a HouseBuying your house does not relieve you of your tenant duties for the period outlined in the lease agreement unless you are ready to pay all the outstanding charges before moving.
Relocating for a New Job or SchoolWhile an exception is made for active military service members, such protection does not exist for those in other jobs or people pursuing higher education.
Upgrading or DowngradingMoving to cheaper housing or upgrading to a more posh living space does not absolve you of the penalty charges that come with breaking a lease.

Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Lease/What if I Move Out without Telling My Landlord?

While the idea of moving out without informing your landlord might seem enticing, it is illegal and can come with consequences that you are not willing to live with. Some repercussions include:

  • Being sued for the rent owed- should the landlord win the legal contest, you could end up paying the rent plus legal fees.
  • Having to pay for damages resulting from your breach of the legal agreement
  • Your landlord might procure the services of a collection agency that can report you to a credit bureau, a move that could negatively affect your credit score.

How to Break a Lease on Your Own without Affecting Your Credit Score

If you have to break a lease, here is how to go about it without impacting your credit score.

  1. Communicate with your landlord if you have issues paying rent or want to move out before the agreed term lapses. Your landlord may be willing to work out a mutually beneficial solution that will not see them take action that could hurt your credit rating.
  2. Review the terms of the lease agreement. There might be a clause that allows you to break the lease agreement on the condition that you find a replacement tenant. Also, research your state laws to see how it applies to your situation; you might be happy to find out that the law allows a person in your case to break a lease without having to pay any penalties.
  3. Sublet the unit – Find someone to occupy the unit and pay rent for the remaining term while your name stays on the lease. But you have to make sure subletting is legal in your location and the landlord agrees to this arrangement. The person you sublet to whom you sublet should also be reliable, as you are ultimately responsible for the rent since your name is still on the lease.
  4. Clear the outstanding charges payable for breaking the lease to confrontations with your landlord that could result in a bad credit score.

Breaking a lease on your own without affecting your credit score can be difficult. First, there is no guarantee that talks between you and the landlord will be fruitful since the result will mainly depend on the amount of goodwill they will be willing to extend to you. The terms of the lease agreement may also be punitive, and your reasons for breaking a lease may not be justifiable by law. It is also not always easy to find a reliable person to sublet to, even when the laws allow for such an arrangement.

Fortunately, there is a way to minimize or avoid charges that result from breaking a lease.

How to Break a Lease In Your State?

If you need a detailed breakdown of how to break leases for your particular state, click on the appropriate specialized link below.

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 with the Help Of DoNotPay

You are likely to encounter high penalty fees when trying to break a lease on yourself. Some of these fees could be unaffordable and could damage your credit score should the landlord decide to pursue the matter with a collection agency that could notify a credit bureau.

You can avoid all that by minimizing these expenses by following the three steps below.

  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.


What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Helping you minimize your expenses when you break a lease is just one of the many things we do. We can assist you with

DoNotPay is a one-stop hub for these and other solutions to your pressing concerns. Look up our other offerings by signing up with us.

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