How Can You Break A Lease Without Penalty

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

How Can You Break Your Lease Without Penalty?

One of your biggest responsibilities as a tenant is always ensuring you pay your rent on time and fulfill all other terms of your lease agreement, especially when it comes to the lease length. However, some unforeseen circumstances may force you to break your lease early, forcing you to incur various fines and other legal actions.

The main question now is: how can you ? Unfortunately, the right answer to this question eludes many renters. Not knowing what happens when you break a lease, who to report to, or the right procedure to follow can lead to even more mistakes down the road.

Here's a comprehensive guide on how to break your rental lease without penalty and how DoNotPay can help.

When Can a Tenant Break a Lease Without Penalty?

As impossible as it may sometimes seem, getting off of your lease early without consequences is quite possible. The lease will often outline all the processes and potential ramifications for terminating it before the agreed date.

However, you will still find a myriad of reasons where you can terminate your lease without serious repercussions. These may include:

Illegal Rental UnitSome landlords may illegally convert basements, garages, or other commercial structures into rental units to make some extra bucks each month. Most states allow you to break your lease early if you don’t know of the illegality of the rental unit. You may also get back the full rental amount you paid or a portion of it in some situations.
Non-compliance With the Local Health and Safety CodesThe landlord's inability to maintain a habitable housing environment should be enough cause to vacate the premises without penalty. A rental unit that doesn't comply with your state's health and safety codes may lack one or more of the following:
  • Running water
  • Plumbing
  • Heat
  • Trash bins
  • Stable walls
  • Proper roofing

If your landlord fails to resolve any of the above issues, then you should be within your legal rights to terminate your lease without penalty.

Violation of the Tenants' Privacy RightsUnfortunately, not every tenant knows that their landlord must provide at least 24-hour notice before entering their property. Moreover, the landlord should have a good reason for visiting your rental unit. The building may technically belong to them, but your lease agreement entitles you to privacy.

You can obtain a court order to start processing the early termination of your lease without penalty if your landlord continues to invade your privacy without prior notice or proper reason.

Military ServiceRenters who are also active-duty military can get out of their lease agreements and other legal obligations if they receive a last-minute call to relocate. All full-time active-duty military personnel are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act allows them to terminate their rental lease agreements without penalty when called upon to relocate or on a long-term mission.
Domestic Violence, Stalking, Harassment, or Sexual AssaultAnother legal reason to break a lease is when you're a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual harassment. The victim must also inform the landlord that they are facing a real threat of possible future violence on the premises. This must be done in writing.

Possible Consequences for Early Termination of a Lease Agreement

A lease is a legal contract between the property owner and the tenant. And like most contracts, breaking them often comes with repercussions, especially if you don't have the legal justification for breaking your lease.

This section highlights some potential ramifications for :

  1. A lawsuit
  2. Lowered credit score
  3. Difficulty finding a new rental unit
  4. Difficulty getting a loan

Whenever possible, try negotiating with your landlord first before seeking alternative options to break your lease. Most landlords might understand your situation if it's justifiable and let you off the hook for terminating your lease early. But this isn't always a guarantee.

How Can You Break Your Lease Without Penalty with the Help of DoNotPay?

There's a lot more to break a rental lease than most tenants understand. If you're lucky, you may end up losing only your deposit. But some lease termination processes can turn ugly fast. Besides just hurting your credit or costing you more than you bargained for, terminating a lease can expose you to other legal action.

DoNotPay offers you a better, easier, quicker, and guaranteed way out of your lease without penalty. The DoNotPay app has the right team and experience to help you with your lease agreement termination case without spending a penny. Here's an app you can rely on to help you settle your lease agreement dispute with your landlord quickly and easily.

If you want to use DoNotPay to break your lease without penalty, follow these 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.

How to Break a Lease For 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

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

You can trust the DoNotPay app to handle your rental lease dispute quickly, easily, and successfully. But the platform offers several other services you can benefit from as well, including:

Trying to get out of a rental lease by yourself can be a long and strenuous process. Most times, you might not even break your lease successfully. DoNotPay provides you with an easier, more efficient, and guaranteed way to break your lease. Try DoNotPay today!

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