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When Tenants Want to Break Their Lease

closeup of someone ripping up a piece of paper

From time to time, a tenant may feel they have no other option than to break their lease. This can stem from an array of circumstances, from personal to professional. However, it could also be based on a landlord’s breach of contract. Knowing where you legally stand can greatly affect the outcome.


Protect yourself from liability complications by adding clauses to your rental agreement. Whether you center on an Early Termination of Lease clause or a Buy-out Option, draw up your official contract and verify that you have proper documentation of your tenant’s signed agreement.

Handle with care

When a tenant chooses to break their lease, it’s often due to a sensitive event such as divorce, job loss, domestic violence, or illness. Handle the situation with care. Showing compassion may not only be the right approach, but could save you money and time in the long run by preventing. Pursuing evictions and managing debt collectors can be costly.

Although setting clear protocols for every situation can help you avoid damages, you’ll find that solution-based thinking and compassion can be equally beneficial. Every situation is unique, so be sure to proceed with discretion when attempting to resolve. Keep in mind that there are laws in place that specifically protect tenants when they want to break their lease, so it’s critical that you’re prepared to handle these situations when they arise.

Safety First

More complex situations can and do occur, such as a tenant breaking a lease due to an unlivable unit. Tenants are promised a safe and operational environment, and if breached, they can legally break their lease.

Gaining a full understanding of what each party is responsible to uphold is key to preventing the unfortunate event of a tenant breaking their lease.

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