How Do I Break My Lease?

There is never a completely safe way to break a lease. If you feel you have a good reason to break your lease, like the conditions in your apartment are bad, you still take a risk when you move out before your lease has expired. If your landlord sues you for rent or damages after you leave, it will be up to a judge to determine whether you had a good enough reason to break your lease. To protect yourself if you do break the lease, you should give the landlord as much notice as possible that you are moving. Your landlord has a duty to try to re­rent the apartment. After you move, watch the paper for ads, and keep an eye on the property you vacated. Once someone moves in, you are no longer responsible for the rent because your landlord cannot collect rent twice for the same apartment. The landlord can collect the difference between the old rent and the new rent, under certain conditions.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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