Tired of your roommate? Had a spat with your rental manager? You might be quick to want to jump out of your lease.
- The reason. If your reason for wanting to move out lies in the range of not liking your neighbors or kitchen tile, you'll most likely be stuck paying high fees. Depending on your lease, this could include handling the cost of finding a new tenant to paying out the remainder of your lease. If your reasons are unavoidable (i.e. being called for military duty, needing to medically withdraw from school), then your chances will be higher of being able to work something out with your landlord.
- Proof. If you have a legitimate reason for needing to break your lease, come prepared to show your cause on paper. Landlords have renters making up excuses to move out all the time, so you have to be able to provide proof of your situation to up his or her chance of working with you. The key word is “chance.” They don't have to allow you to break your lease, and in most cases, they won't.
- Alternatives. Consider all your options. Is there really no way for you to be happy in your apartment? If the issue is an interpersonal conflict, use your diplomatic skills to work it out. If the problem lies with your apartment itself, talk to the office. Apartment managers will do what they can to make sure tenants are happy within their community.
- Subletting. Is subletting your apartment an option? Put up flyers, recruit friends. If you can find someone to move into your apartment, you will only have to pay a one-time subletting fee to move out.
- Credit. If all else fails and you still just want to move out, consider your credit. As a young adult, you are just now starting to build your credit. Like any other unpaid debt, breaking a lease early, and thus failing to pay your full lease, will cause a hit on your credit. This will make it hard to buy or rent anything else in the future.
To understand the apartment's perspective… It's important to realize that apartment leasing is incredibly cyclical in Gainesville. There are certain times of the year when tens of thousands are looking for a place to live while during other times only a handful might be in the market. Because of this, most leases are for 12 months, and the vast majority starts at the beginning of a semester. It's much easier to rent a particular apartment in June than it is to rent the same apartment in September. This is the reason why Gainesville apartments tend to take an aggressive approach when tenants skip out on their leases.
Again, we're not attorneys, and everyone's situation is different. If you have a specific question, we recommend that you contact an attorney. We just want to make sure that you know that your lease is a serious obligation and it deserves serious consideration before it's broken.
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