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???Breaking a lease with a fee to save money long term???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We will be moving in with family either October 1st or February 1st. If we move in October we will be breaking our lease which means a fee of $2700. It would release is from $1500 a month rent. We would then not pay rent totaling $7500, which if we subtract the fee, leaves us netting a savings of $4800.

If we wait and NOT break the lease, then we won't pay a fee but obvious pay all of our rent. And our generous space at our family's home will sit empty for us.

To me it makes sense to break the lease and just pay the fee. Is there anything I'm not seeing here? Ps it won't be a negative credit report if we break.
post #2 of 12

Your math looks solid - total savings of $4,800 for leaving the lease early.  Strictly speaking, when you pay a fee for early termination, you're not "breaking the lease," you're complying with the terms of the agreement.

 

I'd be sure to deal with it cleanly with the landlord.  Talk first, and see if you can get out of the fee, because sometimes that's possible if they can re-rent the place.  Once you've talked, give notice as soon as you can, in writing.  Keep copies.  Get the landlord to sign something indicating that he's received notice, and describing your understanding of the fee agreement - basically, put something in there like "In accordance with the terms of our rental agreement, and our conversation on Day/Month, I understand that we will owe a fee of $XXX for early termination of the lease."  And maybe say when you intend to pay it - when you vacate, when the landlord returns your security deposit? 

 

Make copies of the check, note when it clears the bank, keep this stuff on file - but this really should not be a problem.

post #3 of 12

Be careful with this. Make sure you get everything in writing, and be sure you only have to pay the $2700. Do they have someone who will be moving in right after you? Be absolutely sure you will not be responsible for any rent that would be remaining on your lease even if you pay the fee. Everything in writing!!!!! IMO, it would not be worth breaking a contract unless it was absolutely necessary. I mean REALLY necessary. Talking from BTDT experience.

post #4 of 12

I've broken leases before (because of job transfers) and its never just the 'fee' I've been billed.  It's always been the 'fee' plus the balance of the lease. Even if the space was re-rented, even if we discussed something different.  I was billed the total amount.  This was part of the reason I filed bankruptcy many years ago.

Even the current rental I have states the full rent must be paid, if the lease is broken there is a fee plus the balance due.  So I owe the entire year's rent, no matter what.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here is what the lease says:
Cancellation Fee. At any time during the remaining term of this Lease, if this Lease exceeds one month, you may cancel your obligation under this Lease by delivering to Manager in writing a notice of your intention to cancel this Lease. Such notice will be given in accordance with Revised Code of Washington RCW59.18.200. The notice must be accompanied by payment of a cancellation fee of $2,740.00 plus payment of the rent due for the last month or portion thereof of occupancy. Such payment will release Resident only from any further rental obligations beyond the date the cancellation is effective. However, all other terms of the Lease and the Security Deposit Agreement must be complied with, through the date of vacation of the premises on or before the effective date of the cancellation. Landlord shall retain all remedies for non-compliance with the Lease, and Resident shall be liable for any damages for non-compliance.
post #6 of 12

I am not good with legal jargon. I am probably wrong, and I hope I am, but to me, it seems you would owe the 2740.00 plus the rent that remains on your lease, plus the usual and customary 30-day notice of vacating the premises. OR, I read it wrong and you would just need to pay the fee plus a month rent, then of course you have to give your 30-day notice. I get so confused with that stuff. I am probably wrong with that too Sheepish.gif

 

I broke a lease and had to pay the rest of the 4 months of rent regardless of whether or not they got someone in there before the four months was up. I was under contract to pay the rent for the time period that was written on the lease that I signed. It didn't matter if I was leaving early, still had to pay it.

 

Hopefully someone will come along who has had a different experience than me. My advice still is to get everything in writing. Just don't want you to get screwed.

post #7 of 12

"and resident shall be liable for any damges for non-complaince" that will come back to bite you in the arse. - a million times over.

 

BTDT, do not break the lease, it's going to cost you more than what the rent would.  Stay, pay rent and move out at the end of your terms.   If you try to rent again, one of the questions on the rental app is 'have you ever broken a rental agreement'  - in most places that is a definate disqualifier.

 

Its only a few months,  yes is a 'net' of 5k on paper, but thats on paper.  In reality it will be a mess. Stay, enjoy the rental, enjoy the holidays, spend the time downsizing, cleaning out what you have and prepping for the move.  when the lease is up, you will be prepared to move and no worries about 'what if'.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

"and resident shall be liable for any damges for non-complaince" that will come back to bite you in the arse. - a million times over.

 

BTDT, do not break the lease, it's going to cost you more than what the rent would.  Stay, pay rent and move out at the end of your terms.   If you try to rent again, one of the questions on the rental app is 'have you ever broken a rental agreement'  - in most places that is a definate disqualifier.

 

Its only a few months,  yes is a 'net' of 5k on paper, but thats on paper.  In reality it will be a mess. Stay, enjoy the rental, enjoy the holidays, spend the time downsizing, cleaning out what you have and prepping for the move.  when the lease is up, you will be prepared to move and no worries about 'what if'.

Great advice!! February will be here before you know it. thumb.gif

post #9 of 12
I don't have any experience with this, but maybe you could check with a lawyer? It might be worth it to get a professional to read over the legal mumbo-jumbo.
post #10 of 12
I left my last lease a month early and my landlord (rental company) said that they couldn't legally accept rent from 2 different tenants at the same time for the same unit. My place rented out 2 days after I moved out (I had to pay rent for the next month) and they are refunding the rent that I paid minus those 2 days. I was lucky to not have a cancellation fee and they were really great about working with me...I even got my whole security deposit back. Definitely talk to them and see if they'd be willing to work with you.
post #11 of 12
I wonder if they could list it available and release you with no penalty when they found someone?
post #12 of 12

I wouldn't break the lease for the reasons other posters have mentioned. If you can't find someone to sublet or that's not allowed, just wait out the few remaining months. 

 

My husband subleased his apartment when he moved in with me in another city, but his sublessor left at the end of the school year so he was still on the hook for summer rent... though since he had about 8 months left on his lease when we moved in together, it was still probably worth it, but might not be for just a few months. 

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