If something comes up like a job change, medical issue or romantic breakup then you can ask your landlord to let you break your lease. You can do this verbally or more formally with an early lease termination letter. If they say yes, then you should get their approval in writing in case there are any future disputes.
You'll want to sign a lease termination agreement if:
- Your landlord said they'd agree to it
- You are okay with paying a fee in exchange for total release from your lease
The agreement - sometimes also called a mutually agreed upon termination agreement, or just an early lease termination agreement - needs to completely release you from your duties as a leaseholder. The basic terms to include are:
- Start and end dates of the lease, the address and the name of your landlord
- Monthly rent amount
- Security deposit amount
- A lease modification or lease addendum clause that states when the lease is cancelled
It's in the interest of both sides to make sure that the termination agreement includes a clause that releases you both from any kind of liability to one another. Here's what a standard mutual release term might look like:
- Each party hereto releases the other party hereto from all claims, demands, damages, rights, liabilities, and causes of action of any nature whatsoever, whether at law or equity, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, which are related or in any manner incidental to the Lease or the Premises and which first arise out of transactions and occurrences from and after the Termination Date.
It should state clearly that your landlord won't hold you responsible for any additional fees or rent payments after the date of termination.
Consideration for the release
The agreement should absolutely include all of the fees that you paid or agreed to pay exchange for the release from the lease.
No document can prevent lawsuits but if you and your landlord sign a termination agreement it will make parting ways much clearer, ensuring that you're both on the same page about your move-out date, condition of the apartment, security deposit return and any fees. Having a signed agreement can also help you in your defense should things go sour.
If you’re worried that your landlord won’t agree to release you from your lease then you can try finding subtenant, which is quicker with less fees.
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