Timing a move with the end of an apartment lease can be a real tricky science. If you need more time, you can always extend your lease by going ” month to month.” The slight increase in rent is more than justified for the added convenience and peace of mind. However, if the perfect opportunity came knocking and you are still very deep into your lease, there are still options available for you . The easiest would be to find someone to take over the apartment!
I know, I know, easier said than done. But there are two ways for this to happen: you can either sublease or have the new tenant assume the lease. A sublease allows you to actually rent the apartment to another person, who replaces you in the apartment and hopefully keeps making the required rent payments. (with a sublease, you are still obligated to pay the rent if your subtenant fails to pay, yikes) Also, subleases are hard to come by. If allowed, the landlord will most likely need to approve the new tenant.
Now, if a new tenant actually assumes your old lease, you are free from it for good! (making this a more viable option) They sign a new lease from the landlord for whatever remaining time that was left. If they neglect to pay, the landlord can not come after you for payment!
If none of those options worked, you may simply need to break the lease. It’s not as scary as it sounds if you do the math first to see the financial consequences. I’ll walk you through an example right now. Assume you have 6 months left on your lease and you are having trouble paying the $600 rent (your budget allows for only $500 in rent) ). In order to move out into a more affordable apartment within that $500 range , you must pay a $1000 penalty to break the lease. Then, it does not make sense because you are basically paying $1000 to get out of $600 in additional rent (6 months x $100). In this, scenario, should stay in the apartment and somehow find other ways to pay the rent, even if it means putting the additional $100 a month on a credit card (but nothing more than $100!). On the contrary, if the rent was $800 per month and you can find an apartment for only $500 out there, it totally makes financial sense to break the lease. (since $1,800 is significantly greater than the $1,000 penalty)
Make sure to give the landlord enough time to find a new tenant or they may slap even more fees on you. You also want to verify that the landlord is really trying to rent the property. If you are not allowed to sublease and they are still not actively searching for new tenants, you could have a valid legal defense if the landlord tries to collect additional rent fees from you! Who know, maybe you’ll even end up on The People’s Court:
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