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Can you move out before your lease has ended?

People cannot plan for everything. You may find yourself in a situation in which you need to move out of your apartment early, even though your lease has not ended yet. Can you do this? It is possible, but you need to be careful about how you proceed to avoid legal trouble.

Read your lease agreement

Before you start this process, review your original lease agreement. Make sure you understand your rights and exactly what you agreed when moving in. Some leases have a section explaining what to do if you wish to opt out of the agreement. Follow those guidelines if they exist. A lease is technically a contract, so you are bound to its terms unless your landlord signs a new contract releasing you from it.

Tell the landlord about your situation

Your situation may require you to move fairly quickly, but you should give your landlord as much notice as possible. As soon as you know you need to break the lease, talk to your landlord about it. Give your reason so they understand why you need to leave.

Put the new agreement in writing

If your landlord is willing to let you move out early, make sure you create a written document. Your landlord may ask you to continue paying rent until a certain date, help them find a new renter or other actions that reduce the impact of your landlord losing a tenant. Decide what terms you consider reasonable. You should also decide in writing when your exact departure date will be, plus other important details.

It can be very wise to consult an attorney during this process. An attorney will have extensive knowledge of your rights in this situation. They can help you proceed in a way that benefits you and prevents future problems from arising. You should never sign a contract without understanding how it will impact you.

What if my landlord is the problem?

In specific situations, you may need to seek a lease break without landlord permission. If the facility has unlivable conditions and the landlord has ignored or refused to fix it, you may be allowed to leave without drafting a new contract.

If that happens, you may need to take legal action against your landlord. They are required to provide certain services, like your plumbing and water, and to fix unsafe conditions that could cause harm. Oftentimes, they will simply have to fix the problem but, if the conditions are truly terrible, you may be allowed to move out entirely. A skilled tenant law attorney can answer further questions about your situation.

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