What Happens When a Tenant Breaks a Lease?

Tenants represent your income stream, which is why all landlords need to put language in their lease agreements discussing what will happen if a tenant breaks their lease. Still, you’ll almost surely encounter tenants who want to leave their lease early, so what are your options when that happens?

Know Your Rights

It’s important to know the local laws regarding rental properties. That way, you know you have the legal backing to enforce the language in your lease agreement that deals with breaking a lease. A lease is a legally binding agreement meant to protect you and your tenant—it’s there for a reason.

Common Reasons for Breaking the Lease

There are a number of reasons why your tenant may be seeking to break their lease, and knowing the specific cause may help you decide how to proceed. 

Here are some of the more common reasons for breaking a lease:

  • Military redeployment
  • Job loss or transfer
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Cohabitating with a partner
  • Dissatisfaction with apartment

Not all of these are equal, of course. You’re more likely to be understanding about breaking a lease when a tenant is transferred to another military base, as opposed to a tenant who simply doesn’t like the parking arrangement.

Your Options

While you can hold your tenant strictly to the terms of their lease, it’s usually best to work with them to find an equitable solution. Any fees spelled out in the lease should be paid, as well as remaining rent, but it’s usually best to try and find a new tenant or allow the tenant to find a sublease to mitigate damages.

Whatever happens, it’s important to remember that you have an agreement with the tenant that both of you are expected to abide by. With Reliable Property Management, we’ll provide the support you need to ensure that your tenants uphold their end of the lease agreement.