How to terminate lease before occupancy?

By Tenant

By the time a tenant signed a lease agreement, he is now bound to the lease. Many landlords often ask or hire a lawyer to draft all their lease agreements for their tenants. Any signed lease agreements can be disbanded if the landlord and the tenant can come up with a mutual understanding. The only thing a tenant can do is to talk to the landlord and inform him of your situation and try to see if your landlord will get you off the hook. But the most difficult part is when you have to break the lease before you even moved in the rental unit.
Listed below are some options you can choose from on how to deal with early termination of lease before moving in.
1. Tenant Replacement.
 Advertise the apartment unit you have through the local paper or websites. Do not forget to include your contact information.
 If there are already potential tenants, communicate with them directly. Inform them of the location of the property, how much security deposit they should pay and what type of lease agreement you have.
 Do not forget to schedule a day or an afternoon off of your landlord to show the prospective tenant the rental unit. It is very important that you inform the landlord first that you are looking for a replacement before showing the rental unit out.
 Once you found a replacement tenant, contact your landlord and explain to him the situation. It is now up to the landlord whether or not he will accept the replacement tenant and run a credit check.
2. Misconduct made by the landlord.
 Always read the lease agreement. Your lease may contain conditions such as suitable parking.
 Visit the property and check if the conditions on the lease agreement are being meet. Take pictures if the conditions do not exist.
 You can break your lease if you will have difficulty accessing the rental unit.

Edited on: Thursday, April 11th, 2013 2:48 am

15 Responses to “How to terminate lease before occupancy?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


April 11th, 2013 3:00 am

Does this mean that if I found out that the apartment is full of rodents and roaches a day before I move in


April 11th, 2013 10:20 am

I signed a lease agreement and paid for all the security deposit


April 11th, 2013 5:40 pm

Can I sue my landlord if he won’t allow me to break my lease?


April 12th, 2013 1:00 am

If I found out that the apartment unit is illegal can I sue my landlord for it and break my lease?


April 12th, 2013 8:20 am

So does that mean that if I found out that the advertised apartment does not have the amnesties and the fixtures the landlord advertised


April 12th, 2013 3:40 pm

My mom signed a lease agreement for a house in the Upper East Side however she found out that she could not move in because the rent was increased and she no longer can afford it. She told her landlord about it and he refused to let her off the lease and insists that my mom should pay the remaining 10 months’ rent. Do we have legal rights to sue the landlord for this?


April 12th, 2013 11:00 pm

I never signed any lease agreement but I paid the landlord for all the fees. All I have is a receipt from the landlord. I never moved in yet and decided not to move in due to some personal issues. Can I still ask the landlord to give me back the money I paid him?


April 13th, 2013 6:20 am

Good thing I have a sympathetic landlord and he let me off the hook after I explained to him the situation.


April 13th, 2013 1:40 pm

I will never give the security deposit back but I will return the tenant’s first and last month rent.


April 13th, 2013 9:00 pm

What about all the hassles I went through doing credit and background checks? Can I demand the tenant to pay for them?


April 14th, 2013 4:20 am

It is very hard to put your rental property in the market now so I would ask the tenant to pay a certain amount of money in order to compensate the months that I do not have income because of them backing out.


April 14th, 2013 11:40 am

This is case to case basis for me. As a LL I will have to assess the situation before doing anything.


April 14th, 2013 7:00 pm

Nice Post! It’s very interesting!


April 15th, 2013 2:20 am

I pity those who are experiencing this right now.


April 15th, 2013 9:40 am

Good thing I do not have to go through all the hassles and headaches of breaking my lease early for I have a good landlord that I can talk to anytime.LOL


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