Renters: Should You Break a Lease to Buy Your Home?

Renters, when is it right to break a lease?

One of the advantages of renting versus owning a home is that you’re not burdened with the task of trying to sell the property if you move. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can just walk away from a lease agreement before it’s set to expire without facing some kind of penalty. Even so, if you’re a renter looking to move onto the property market, sometimes a home is too good to pass up, causing you to consider breaking your lease. Here are some tips for doing it the right way.

Check Out Your Rental Agreement

Before you hand in your notice, you need to look over your lease to see what you’re responsible for if you leave ahead of schedule. For example, your landlord may require you to pay the remaining rent for the rest of the lease term in full, or at least hand over a certain percentage of what’s owed. You may also lose your security deposit.

Let Your Landlord Know Early

Telling your landlord, you need to move may not be the most pleasant conversation, but it’s still one you need to have. If you have a solid reason for having to relocate, don’t hesitate to clue them in. What’s more, if you’re in a good relationship with your landlord, he/she may be willing to look for a new tenant while you work on moving out. The more notice you can give, the more time they will have to find someone to take your place. In some states, landlords are required to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the property, so it’s to your benefit to show you’re trying to make it as easy as possible for them.

Tell Your Realtor

Your realtor is there to look out for you. Often, your realtor can fill the property with a new tenant in order to make moving into your new home a smooth and seamless transition – without any more financial burdens than necessary. Talk to your realtor to let them know you are eager to buy and move from your rented accommodation.

Be Aware of the Consequences

Packing up and leaving in the middle of the night is an absolute no-no. You open the door to a civil lawsuit if they decide to sue you for the outstanding rent balance owned on the lease. If they win, you could be in big financial trouble. Not only that, but your landlord could report you to the credit bureaus. This mark could stay on your report for up to seven years!

When in doubt, ask a professional for advice. Contact Dean Rathbun when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you.