Renter’s Tips to Get Out of a Lease with an Ex

You need to know how to get out of a lease with an ex if you have your name in it. Otherwise, you are obligated to continue paying even if you no longer live in the apartment.

how to get out of a lease with an ex

Your ex may not afford to pay the whole rent, and you do not want to violate the lease. Of course, a lease violation comes with a penalty and will appear in your rental history.

Understand that you also have the renters right to break a lease legally. Unfortunately, breaking a lease can be expensive but possible.

How to get out of a lease with an ex

Consider the steps and options below to get out of a lease with your ex:

  1. Review your lease

Check your lease thoroughly for any section detailing how you can get out of it. For example, an opt-out clause that allows you to move out early after paying a fee.

Your lease may contain an early termination clause you point to if your landlord does not fulfill their obligations. Ensure to run by a lawyer to make a good decision. However, if your landlord disagrees about violating the lease terms, it could land you in an expensive legal squabble.

  1. Evaluate the financial and legal commitments

Talk to your property manager to find out about any financial and legal obligations before packing up. Go through the rental agreement with your ex and the leasing agent and look out for fees associated with breaking a lease, when to give a vacating notice, and the subtenants or subletting rules.

After evaluating what to expect, have a timeline to follow, leading up to the day you get out of the lease with your ex.

You also want the security deposit back, and you have the right to get a refund, whether you move out in the middle or end of your lease. If you put forth the money with your ex, inform the landlord or office that they have to issue two checks. Your portion should be mailed to your new address. Follow this guide to know what you need to do before asking for a refund.

Note also that depending on your lease terms and applicable state laws, your landlord can keep all or only part of the security deposit if you break the lease.

  1. Contact your landlord immediately

Meet your landlord and explain the situation. If you are remaining in the apartment, ask for a new lease in your name only. Otherwise, ask to be taken off the lease.

If you are staying in the apartment and your ex is moving out, you need to prove that you can pay the rent yourself. Your landlord will ask for your employment information such as pay stubs. A landlord can also ask for your bank statement but that is up to you to decide to give it to them. However, a landlord cannot get information about your account balance but can ask your bank if the check received from you has sufficient funds.

If your ex moves out, they are breaking the lease. Since you are co-tenants, you also break the lease. Work this out with the landlord as soon as possible to prevent an “Eviction for Cause” notice.

Some landlords do not have a problem with this if you are a good tenant. Besides, it is cheaper and easier for you to stay than for them to re-lease the apartment to a new tenant.

  1. Find someone to take over your lease

You can offer to help find a new tenant to get out of a lease with an ex. If you are leaving the apartment, your ex may not welcome the idea of bringing in someone else. But ensure to discuss the idea of them getting someone else they know in the lease.

It is in your best interest to find a new tenant because a new tenant in the rental takes you off the hook for the remaining rent due in the lease.

If the market is hot, your landlord might even quickly rent out the place to another person who agrees to join the lease.

You or your ex can use social media to post the listing. Ask family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers if they know anyone in need of an apartment as a co-tenant.

  1. Sublet to avoid breaking the lease

If you cannot find someone to replace the lease, and there are no clauses for opt-out in your lease, consider subletting.

The subletter will cover your full rent. Even if they pay 70-80 percent of your rent, it saves you a lot of money. Lower rent and shorter terms that come with subletting may get you more options. If you sublet the apartment, follow the proper steps with your landlord.

  1. Pay the lease break fee

Consider paying the lease break fee to prevent it from affecting my credit. This idea is great if it was a one-month rent. You can also ask your ex boyfriend or girlfriend to pay half and be done.

  1. Divide the home goods

A home you furnish together means you may have to divide the assets after a breakup. The items brought into the relationship must go back with the owner.

The situation is different for furniture pieces you bought together. There needs to be a reasonable negotiation to keep things cordial by sharing the stuff evenly.

If you cannot come to an agreement, consider selling the furniture and décor and split the profits 50/50. Ensure to discuss things of sentimental value reasonably and not out of spite.

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