How To Break A Lease Without Any Lease-Breaking Fees

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How To Break A Lease Without Incurring Lease-Breaking Fees

When a landlord and tenant make a rental agreement, they must keep the lease terms until it expires. However, certain circumstances may require a tenant to break a lease sooner. When breaking a lease, a tenant may be required to pay a penalty fee. What are the costs associated with breaking a lease, and can these fees be avoided? This is DoNotPay's guide on .

A Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities When Taking on a Lease

When a tenant and landlord sign an agreement, they agree to adhere to the terms set in the lease. Every state has different requirements for what should be on a lease. Here are the most common pieces of information needed when agreeing upon terms for a lease:

  • Deposit and rent amount
  • Repairs and utility responsibilities
  • The date in which the lease was signed
  • The expiration date of the lease
  • Contact information for both the landlord and tenant
  • Rental property information
  • Policies, restrictions, and addendums

If either party fails to comply with the lease terms, the other party may have the right to break the lease.

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

When Breaking a Lease Is Acceptable

Each state has different laws and fees for breaking a lease. The following are the five most commonly accepted reasons for which you can terminate your lease early without penalty:

  1. Early Termination Clause
  2. Active Military Duty
  3. Uninhabitable Property
  4. Harassment From Landlord
  5. Domestic Violence Victim

In each case, the tenant can break the lease early and usually without penalty. To ensure that you can terminate your lease without penalty, check your state's requirements to see the specific rules.

What Fees Are Associated When Breaking a Lease?

If you want to break your lease but don't have a reason protected in your state (such as those listed above), you can choose to break the lease but will most likely incur penalty fees and more. The following are the fees or costs that a tenant can incur when choosing to break their lease:

Two Months Worth of Rent

One of the most common is that the landlord will ask them to pay at least one or two months of rent payment upfront. It depends on what was agreed upon in the lease or the policy terms.

The Remainder of the Lease Payments

If a landlord is unwilling to negotiate, they may make you pay the rest of the rent payments upfront. It depends on the state, as some states have more specific laws concerning breaking a lease.

The Difference in Price

There are times when a landlord may seek to find another tenant and has to offer the rent at a lower price due to short notice. The landlord may ask you to pay the difference upfront for the remainder of the lease. For example, if the rent payment per month is $1,200 and the new tenant agrees to a lease payment of $1,000 per month for the remainder of the term, the landlord may ask the previous tenant to pay $200 until the end of the original lease.

Breaking a lease can be both costly and confusing. If you don't have a reason acceptable in your state when breaking a lease, the expenses can ultimately add up, possibly hurting your credit. It may also make it more difficult to rent other properties in the future if terminating the lease early was incorrectly processed. What if there was a way in which you could easily break your lease stress-free, all while sending out the information properly and accurately? That is where DoNotPay comes in!

Solve Lease Breaking Fees With the Help of DoNotPay

DoNotPay provides the best solution for fighting lease termination fees in a fast, easy, and successful way. Through the Break My Lease feature, you can use DoNotPay to create an early lease termination notice; DoNotPay will then send it on your behalf to the correct location to break your lease in a fast and efficient process. If you want to break your lease but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered 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 servicemember 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.

DoNotPay Offers Help in Multiple Areas

DoNotPay is the perfect solution for breaking a lease without fees and more. DoNotPay can also help you in other areas as well. To learn more about some of the many benefits of using DoNotPay, check out the list below. Why not try DoNotPay today and see the difference it can make.

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