How To Write A Hardship Letter For Breaking Your Lease

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How to Write a Hardship Letter for Breaking Your Lease

Sometimes, your circumstances can change after you have already signed a lease. If your financial, emotional, physical, or any other situations have changed and are preventing you from being able to afford rent or live in your current rental, you may need to look into writing a early.

When you sign a lease, you never imagine that something will come up that will stop you from paying your lease. However, if an event like this does occur, you might be able to get out of your lease with minimal fees if you file a convincing hardship letter.

If you need assistance writing a hardship letter to break your lease, DoNotPay can help.

Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Lease

When you sign a lease, you are creating a contract between yourself and your landlord. Just like any contract, if you break it without cause, you might end up facing legal repercussions. Some of these repercussions could include:

  • You could be sued by your landlord to pay the rent you owe.
  • You could end up with an eviction on your record, which can negatively affect your credit score.
  • You might have trouble getting a new lease with an eviction record/bad credit.
  • You might get sued by your landlord for breach of contract and damages.
  • You could have substantial costs for breaking your lease early, like having to pay the full rent until your lease expires.

Reasons That Can't Be Used to Break a Lease

While there are legal reasons that would allow you to break your lease with nominal fees, there are also quite a few situations that won't allow you to easily break your lease.

  • You bought a house. If you are house shopping, you should go month-to-month to make it easier to end your lease.
  • You want to upgrade or downgrade your living space.
  • You want to find a new place to live closer to family.
  • You have to relocate for school or a job.
  • You want to move in with a partner.

Unfortunately, another reason that is often not enough on its own is hardship. If you are experiencing a hardship that requires you to break your lease early, you will have to go through extra measures to try to avoid the consequences of breaking a lease early.

Essential Information for Breaking Leases by State

If you need to break your lease for any reason, including hardships, you can find information about the laws for your state 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 Your Lease by Yourself Using a Hardship Letter

If you are considering breaking your lease early due to hardship, there are several things you will want to do:

  1. Check over your rental agreement to see what it says about breaking your lease early.
  2. Talk to your landlord to see if any kind of agreement can be implemented.
  3. Send your landlord a hardship letter if your circumstances are not typically covered under the legal reasons to break your lease.
  4. Consider finding a renter to take over your lease/start a new lease in your rental.
  5. Consider any offers there are for terminating your lease.
  6. Be ready to pay fees for terminating your lease early.
  7. Check any local tenants' unions to see if they can help.
  8. Make sure everything you talk about with your landlord is in writing, including the hardship letter.
  9. Get some advice.
  10. Know any exceptions that might apply to you that would allow you to break your lease.

Sample Hardship Letter for Breaking Your Lease Early offers many tips to help you write a proper hardship letter, including:

  • Be kind, polite, and honest
  • Offer to help your landlord find a new tenant or sublet
  • Explain how your circumstances have changed after signing your lease
  • Explain why it’s in their best interest to let you go without penalty

If you want to write a letter on your own to try to break your lease due to hardship, here is a sample :

Your Name

Your Address

Your Contact Information


To [Landlord Name],

I am the tenant living in [Apartment number and number] at [Address]. I am writing to you because my [financial or personal] situation has significantly changed recently. Due to my current [financial, personal, or specific hardship] I need to break my lease early, and I am hoping I can do so without exceptional monetary penalty since I am providing over 30 days’ notice.

Since my [income or circumstances] has changed due to circumstances out of my control, I would not be able to afford rent moving forward. I am trying to leave now, so you can replace me with a tenant who can afford to properly pay the rent for this unit.

To do what I can to help you, I can advertise my apartment, prepare my apartment for any showings, and look for someone to sublet, if that is something you’re interested in.

I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. Let me know what I can do to help you.



[Tenant Name]

Break Your Lease With the Help of DoNotPay

If you don't want to deal with the process of breaking your lease on your own, or you aren't sure how to do it, DoNotPay can help. We can write the hardship letter for you to help you avoid any legal trouble or excessive fines for breaking your lease early.

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 create the perfect solution for you, depending 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.

Why Use DoNotPay to Break Your Lease When Facing Hardships

Trying to break your lease on your own can prove to be challenging. Instead, here are several reasons you should use DoNotPay to go through the process.

  • It's fast: You only have to spend a few minutes entering information.
  • It's easy: You type in information, and we do everything else, including writing the hardship letter for you.
  • It's successful: You can rest assured that DoNotPay will help you break your lease.

DoNotPay Works Across Many Types of Problems

We are happy to help you through the process of breaking your lease due to hardship, but there is plenty more we can do. Here are several examples of other tasks we can help you with.


Leases are great if you aren't ready to settle permanently or don't want to deal with the hassle of fixing up your place. However, if your financial situation changes, and you need to break your lease, it can be a challenging process.

for DoNotPay, and we will be happy to assist you with breaking your lease due to hardship. You can also discover the many other things we can help you with.

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