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Breaking Your Lease

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When landlords have tenants, usually the tenant will enter a lease. Landlords will usually take certain reasonable steps to handle a situation in which a tenant breaks their lease.
A lease will last for a fixed term. This often either 6 months to a year typically. When the term ends you can either choose to move or sign a new lease. There are some agreements that allow a tenant to pay month-to-month rather than commit to a year, but these are not as common and more difficult to find. If you continue to stay in a place even though your landlord wants you to move on and your lease is already over, then this tenant risks facing an eviction lawsuit.
Many people wonder what would happen if they wanted to leave their place before the lease is over. This could happen for a variety of reasons such as a job move, an invitation to live with someone else, or you may just decide that your location is not the place that you want to be in anymore.
In some cases, a landlord might just let you go. This may depend on if there are a lot of other applicants trying to get housing. If your landlord is not willing to let you go, then what will happen differs depending on what state you live in.
Just because you pay your landlord month-to-month does not mean that you do not owe him money for your entire term. You signed a lease, so you owe your landlord that entire amount. Usually, a landlord will need to take steps to re-rent the place and credit that rent to your debt. It is important to check your state's laws or contact a real estate lawyer if you have any questions.
You may be responsible for the cost of advertising. The best thing that you could do is give your landlord as much of an advance notice as possible. You may also want to look for a replacement tenant of your own. If a situation like this happens, they will likely keep your security deposit. They may also send you a letter demanding rent.
If your landlord has not tried to get a new tenant, you may want to send a polite letter back to your landlord with your state's laws. In most situations, you will have to pay a month's worth of rent as damages regardless. If this situation escalates, then you may have to appear in court. Contact Palacios Law Group if you are in need of real estate advice.

Source: NOLO

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