How to Exit a Lease Agreement Due to Family Hardship

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 to Exit a Lease Agreement Due to Family Hardship

Unfortunately, knowing can be quite challenging. Even though you already have a lot on your plate right now, you may now be wondering, “What happens when you break a lease?” What are the legal channels to follow? Who do you contact? These are some of the questions you will need answers to.

Family hardships can happen for various reasons. Maybe you lost your job or got divorced. As much as you may have just cause for wanting out of your rental lease, your landlord may see things differently.

Therefore, it is imperative to know your options and follow the right process for getting out of your lease due to family hardships. This article is meant for tenants in such a situation.

When Breaking Your Lease Due to Severe Hardship Is Justified

Generally, there may be times when you're in such a financial crisis that even paying for your financial arrears becomes a problem. As much as breaking a lease can hurt your credit and cause a myriad of other problems, you don't see a way out of the situation.

Here are some examples where tribunals have ruled in favor of applicants who are suffering severe hardships:

  • A tenant becomes unable to care for his/her disabled partner or child with complex medical needs, but the child can get better medical attention when living with a relative in a different location.
  • The tenant suffered serious motor accident injuries that resulted in mobility issues and a drop in household income. The renter can request to break his/her lease to move elsewhere to access financial and family support.
  • The renter is so deep in rental arrears but still cannot make the payments without suffering severe hardships during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • The renter was diagnosed with a terminal condition, causing financial hardship and an urgent need for medical care.

Other examples of severe hardships might also include:

  • Inability to live in the rented property for safety reasons
  • Loss of income that may result from loss of employment
  • Change in family circumstances forces the renter to seek urgent relocation

All these reasons may help the tribunal rule in your favor and exempt you from facing significant fines and other consequences for terminating your lease agreement early. You can also use these reasons to first try to talk to your landlord because they may be sympathetic to your family’s current hardships.

Consequences of Illegally Breaking a Rental Lease

While nobody ever imagines having to break their rental leases early when committing to the leasing contract, it can happen. When it does, your next action is always to try and break the lease without penalty.

Committing to any legal contract, then breaking it usually comes with inherent risks. In the case of rental leases, the main risk tends to be financial. However, the consequences of terminating your lease can extend further or even prompt legal action against you.

Here are some potential consequences you may incur from breaking your lease early:

You Could Get SuedA litigious landlord might take legal action against you for terminating your lease early and sue you for the inconvenience resulting from the early lease termination.
You May Face Some Hefty FeesBy agreeing to sign a rental lease, you essentially agree to pay a fee in exchange for occupancy for a certain period. Some leases impose hefty fines on the renter if he/she breaks the lease before its full term. This fine can sometimes equal one- or two-months’ rent or more.
Dent Your Credit ScoreUnpaid rent can damage your credit score and expose you to even more hardships. For example, you could have difficulty getting rental contracts or new loans when you need them most.
Trouble Renting Your Next HomeLandlords also always prefer tenants that they can trust and have a history of staying true to their lease agreements. Therefore, if you have a history of breaking rental leases early, you might find it difficult to find your next apartment. Some landlords will call your previous landlords for reference and deny you tenancy if they find out you broke your last rental contract.

How to Exit a Lease Agreement Due to Family Hardship

To on your own, try to do these things:

  1. Talk to your landlord: This should be your first course of action because there is a chance that your landlord will be understanding during your time of need.
  2. Check your lease for an early termination clause: See what the penalty is for breaking your lease early
  3. Gather evidence to prove you and your family are experiencing significant family hardship that is preventing you from paying rent or continuing your lease: This may include medical bills, police reports, and more.
  4. Write a hardship letter to your landlord or state: Create a demand letter that details why you need to break your lease, while asking for sympathy and no excessive penalties.

How to Exit a Lease Agreement Due to Family Hardship With the Help of DoNotPay

Knowing the legal reasons to break a lease and the overall cost of breaking a lease is just a step toward getting out of one without penalties. However, there are times when the better option is trying to minimize the penalties or legal consequences.

DoNotPay provides you with a much better solution to help you get out of your lease quickly, easily, and successfully. The DoNotPay app provides you with three easy steps to help you exit your lease without repercussions. Here's what you need to do:

  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.

The four ways DoNotPay can then solve your lease problem include:

  • 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.

As you can see, the process is straightforward and requires very little work on your part.

Why Use DoNotPay to Exit Lease Agreement Due to Family Hardships

The DoNotPay app guarantees you a successful lease termination process due to family hardship and will have you in the clear within a short time. Here are three other important reasons to consider using the app:

  1. It is fast: After you answer questions for a couple of minutes, DoNotPay gets right to work solving the problem for you with a hardship letter.
  2. It is easy to use: All you have to do is answer a few questions.
  3. It is very successful: It tailors the solution to specifically meet your needs and has the experience to do so properly.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Help You?

Besides helping you exit your lease agreement without legal consequences or financial penalties, you can also rely on the app to assist you with other daily life issues, including:

As you can see, DoNotPay offers you the guarantee you need to exit your lease agreement peacefully. Try the DoNotPay app today to get out of your lease agreement due to family hardship.

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