How Can we get out of our apartment lease? We have purchased a house and need to get out of our contract -

Asked by Adriana, 77006 Sat Jul 3, 2010

We have been living in the same apartment complex for two years. We have just bought a house and want to get out of our lease contract earlier. Are we allowed to get out earlier because we just bought our home? What are the maximum legally allowed penalties ? Your help and advice is trully apreciated here.

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James Ryan, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Leesburg, VA
Sun Jul 4, 2010
Hi Adriana, you have great advice so far, and to reiterate, the lease holds all the information you need. Many leases, after the first year, roll to a month to month period. If you are lucky, this is the type of lease you have, and you can terminate the lease with a 30 day notice. If you need help in getting the best rate and terms of your new mortgage, feel free to call HSOA, a Nationally Chartered Bank in business over 75 years. You can be prequalified in minutes, and pre approved in hours even without an address. Know exactly what you will be paying on your new home so you can shop with confidence. All consultaions are free and without obligation! Jim Ryan, HSOA, 703 591 5626 ext 419, Cell: 703 615 4675. Yes, we are available even today!
Happy Fourth of July!
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sat Jul 3, 2010
You're bound by the terms and conditions of your lease. So it's impossible to answer what the "maximum legally allowed penalties" are. What does your lease say?

As a side note, there's no law or regulation that allows you to terminate a lease because you bought a house.

Be sure to read your lease carefully. Last summer, I was selling a home and some renters wanted to buy it. They thought the penalty was 2 month's of rent. So they negotiated the price based on the assumption that they'd have to pay an additional 2 months of rent. (Put another way, they thought they'd be paying for both the rental and the new home for 2 months, overlapping.) Turned out they'd read their lease wrong, and it worked out to a 4 month penalty.

You certainly can try negotiating with the apartment complex management if it turns out that you can't afford to pay the penalty. But they're in a much stronger position than you are. And you may have additional problems: If the lease has a while to run, you may not qualify for financing on your home purchase due to double payments (rent and mortgage) you'd be paying at the beginning.

Just out of curiosity, why didn't this question occur earlier in the process?

Hope that helps.
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Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Sat Jul 3, 2010
Adriana, did you discuss your lease situation with your agent when preparing to purchase? A lease/tenant situation is something that is normally reviewed going through disclosures and Q and A with your agent. "Are you in a lease situation and when does it end" is a common question to ask ahead of time. You may have been able to negotiate a longer closing date or maybe close and have the sellers rent back from you for a short time to mitigage your losses. Talk over possibilities with all parties and see if you can work something out.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Jul 3, 2010
You should give them as much notice as you can so they can start looking for another tenant to replace. you. Deepdning on how much time is left on your lease, is how much they can seek to recover, say you sigend a 1 year renewal on your lease, and there are 6 months left, you could be held liable for those 6 months if they dont find a new tenant, say it takes them 60 days to find a new tenant, then you could be responsible for the 60 days it was vacant.

At this point make sure you give a written notice and give at leats 30 days notice, if you can give 60 then do so.

You need to read you r lease carefully and see if there is anything in there that allows you to break the lease. If so use that to get out out of it.

good luck working things out and good luck with your new house.
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James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Sat Jul 3, 2010
Adriana you need to talk to the rental office. There may be an option to buy your way out of your lease early. You signed a contract that gave you the exclusive right to occupy your apartment for the term of the lease. In return you took on the obligation to pay the monthly rent for the term of the lease. In my area the maximum legal obligation is to fulfill the contract that you signed.
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