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What is a Lease Break?

A lease break is when you and your landlord agree to cancel your lease contract. You usually need to pay a fee to get a landlord to let you break your lease.

A lease break is when your landlord terminates your lease completely and signs a new lease with a new renter. You no longer have any claim on the apartment and you are no longer responsible for rent payments.

Your landlord is not required to let you break your lease. He or she is only required — depending on your state - to let you sublet or transfer your lease to another, equally qualified tenant. For this reason, landlords usually charge high fees in exchange for letting you break the lease. These fees range from one month to three months of rent.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t or no longer want to pay for the rent on your apartment - and you've decided a lease break is the right option for you - you should start a conversation with your landlord. Explain your situation and ask them if they have a policy on lease breaks.

Next steps

In some situations you can break your lease legally without a penalty fee. Read about your local laws to see if these apply to you. If they don't then your best bet is probably to sublet or assign your lease.

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