How To Get Out Of Your Lease Without Ruining Your Credit
Renting has its pros and cons like anything in life. The cons being it’s not really your home and instead of building equity by paying off a mortgage, you are flushing your money down the toilet. The fact that it’s not really your home can be a pro too because you’re not committed to it. You’re not responsible for repairs and you’re not as concerned about how people treat it, which is great for hosting. With a house, if you want to leave, you have to go through the arduous process of selling your home, which is complicated even if everything goes smoothly. There are also scenarios that can trap you in your property, like if there are issues with the structure or if the market goes cold. Although these issues are nonexistent with rentals, you still can’t get out of your lease at the drop of a hat, at least not without ruining your credit.
You could easily just pack up your stuff and walk away from your rental, but your property manager will likely report it to the credit bureau, making it very difficult to get approved for another apartment or mortgage. It does seem unfair, however, that you’re pouring all this money into a property, not reaping any benefits and can’t leave as you please, requiring a minimum of 60 days notice. If you need to dash quickly for an unexpected job opportunity or a great deal on a new apartment, here are some things you can do that can get you out of your lease quickly:
1) Pay The Penalty
This is an obvious solution but should still be mentioned. If you approach your landlord and are willing to pay 2 months rent to cover the 60 days notice, they will be more than happy to break your lease, without the necessity of contacting the credit bureau because you met the terms of the contract.
Not all leases allow for subletting but give your contract a review. If you’re allowed to sublet, it’s as simple as listing your apartment and having someone else take on your 60 days notice and if they decide to stay beyond that, it saves your landlord the hassle of having to find a new tenant. If you’re having trouble attracting renters, post a lower rental rate and make up the few hundred dollar difference out of pocket.
3) Check Your Contract
Many contracts include opt-out clauses, for example, if there are aspects of the apartment that were intact when you signed the lease that has since fallen apart, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to initiate the necessary repairs or else they could be in breach of contract. Read over your lease carefully and verify if any of the terms aren’t being met and then try and opt out. Always remember that they have your credit in their hands and even if they are wrong, they can do damage. Try and be as diplomatic as possible.
Despite what people say to the contrary, there are good people in the world and you’d be surprised what you’d get if you just asked. Give your notice face-to-face, thank your landlord for being so great, give them a small gift (like a bottle of wine), give them a big smile and ask nicely.
Want to learn more about the pros and cons of renting? Check out the Pros and Cons of Renting to Own a Home.