What is the right way to go about lease termination? 5 Answers as of June 03, 2011

I’m a college student and the leasing period hasn’t started yet but the apartment I am signed up to live in has become unaffordable for me due to recent circumstances. I know leases are binding agreements but they have let off other people for this reason before. I just need some advice on what to do to convince them to let me off. How is the right way to go about this?

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The Grigsby Firm
The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
This depends on the specific terms of your lease. Look in your lease for a termination clause. If none are there you may want to speak with your landlord about your situation. Typically you can get out of a lease with two months rent payment.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 6/3/2011
Law Office of Corey D. Bryan
Law Office of Corey D. Bryan | Corey D. Bryan
It depends on which state you are in as to what the law is in that State. If the contract becomes impossible for you to perform then you have a potential legal argument as to why you should be let out of this lease. I would read the lease and see if there is a provision for early termination of lease. There may already be a provision that would allow you to get out of this lease upon the payment of some type of penalty. I would call the landlord explain the situation and see what happens. If he still insists you keep the lease; try to negotiate a fee to reimburse the landlord for his trouble in re-renting the property that would make him and you happy in order to get out of the lease.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/3/2011
Komanapalli Massey LLP
Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
If the lease has yet to begin, your best bet is simply to explain your situation and ask them to let you out of the lease. If it has already begun, then impossibility of performance can be a viable defense, should they seek to enforce the lease. The maxim, "you cannot squeeze blood from a turnip" applies. You might attempt to find an alternate who would be willing to take your place under the lease. If he or she is as credit-worthy as you, the lessors should have no objection and be satisfied. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/2/2011
Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
Read the lease termination provisions. Request to be let out of the lease in writing. It may be that the landlord can locate a replacement quickly or has a waiting list. Basically, what you're able to do is governed by what is in the lease. Consult an attorney in person if necessary. Legal Aid in many places is able to provide assistance.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/2/2011
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