How do you know it will only cost $250 plus $855 to break your lease? I am a landlord. EVERYONE assumes they can get out of a lease by just paying one month's rent and possibly forfeiting the deposit. Um...not in my state. You signed an agreement for the entire term of the lease. If you break your lease, your landlord could likely sue you and, since there are no extreme circumstances here (like someone died or something,) I'm thinking the judge would rule against you. Then you'd likely have to pay their legal fees as well.
Then there's the ethics. You agreed to a lease term. Although it sounds like you may live in a large complex, there are expenses for the landlord to pay. If everyone just thought they could break their lease whenever they wanted, what would be the point of even having leases? Landlord's (even for big complexes) usually have mortgages and other expenses to pay. Plus, it is a pain to rent out a place. Again, different scenario for big complexes, they usually have employees to do the work, but those employees need to eat. If everyone moved out whenever they felt like it, the employees' jobs could be at risk. Also, if this is a big complex, they may have a lot more resources for suing tenants who break their leases. For me it would be a major inconvenience. For them it may just be a call to their lawyer who has a simple procedure they follow to sue lease breakers.
Anyone who knows me IRL, please don't spread this around, but I'm actually pretty cool about people breaking leases. (I don't want people to know this because I hate it when people break leases. It's a total pain.) I just don't want to hassle with the court s system, so if I have someone who wants to break a lease, I let them do it as long as they keep paying rent until I can find a new tenant. Sometimes that can take several months. And, depending on how much work it takes, I sometimes keep their security deposit as well. I had one person break their lease who actually sent me a letter threatening to take me to court if I didn't return their deposit. I sent a polite, but legal, letter telling her she was welcome to do that, but since she still owed me over $3,000 as her lease stated, I was expecting the judge to honor that and make her pay ME. She dropped the baloney about suing me.
So, don't just ASSUME you can get out of your lease so easily. You may find out that you are out of a LOT of money if you do that.
As I said, why would a landlord sign a lease if it does them squat. AND, if I have someone who intends to break a lease to move into my place, I don't rent to them. I don't want to risk having someone with a known history. Which is why I always call the current landlord for references. You may find the landlord of this house does that, then how will you deal with your current landlord?
Edited by SundayCrepes - 6/29/11 at 11:13pm