Blog Post Breaking a Lease After a Break-up

Breaking a Lease After a Break-up
Dec

4

2016

Breaking a Lease After a Break-up

Breaking a lease after a break-up should always be your very last resort. However, what happens when your relationship went sour and you’re both on the lease?
Be Smart, Be Adults About It
People move in together at the time when they decide to take the next step in their relationship. No one can anticipate when relationships may go south and you realize that you’re both on the lease. Bummer, right?
Couples oftentimes work things out and find a civil way to get out of lease after a breakup. However, when you share an apartment and especially now that it’s your ex, things could get messy in terms of living arrangements. So, how would someone handle a leasing agreement after couples decide to split? Here are some tips.
Notify Your Landlord 
If one of you wants to move out early, your landlord must be notified ASAP.  In some cases, your landlord may be compassionate and useful in situations like these. For example, if one of you decides to stay in the lease, but cannot afford to pay the entire amount, your landlord may offer to run a new credit check and see if the person qualifies based on one income. If not, then your landlord may offer better alternatives, like relocating to a smaller and cheaper unit to help save on rent.
Financial Consequences of Breaking Up with Someone You Live With 
It’s always easy to put the financial responsibility on the person that may have caused this breakup, but that’s not how the world works or how the leasing agreement is set up.  Legally, you are both responsible as both of you have signed the lease on equal terms. Failing to make the payments on your rent can cause your landlord to file against both of you in small claims, which in fact could ruin credit due to this blemish.  Therefore, breaking a lease should not be an option.
Talk to your landlord and read through the lease to figure out your legal obligations.  If both of you want to get out of this lease, you may take a financial hit by paying a lease break penalty.  However, it may also not be a good option, because your agreement may state that you must submit your 30-60 days notice to vacate + pay a 2 months lease break penalty.
Transferring Your Apartment Lease is The Best Option 
If both of you are at a point when you cannot even stand each other, and breaking a lease is costly, your other option is to find replacement tenant(s) for your lease.  It may take time, resources and time out of your schedule, but this may be the best and most affordable option out of this lease agreement.  
You must ask your landlord for all the qualifications required of a new replacement tenant. In most cases, the new tenant must be able to show proof of their income equivalent to 3x the monthly rent, good credit score of at least 650+ and clean background checks.
  Rent.com Breaks Down Logistics of Breaking-up-and-Moving-out Process 
  • 56% of renters say that actually moving their stuff out was the hardest part to deal with. Renters agreed that dividing up stuff was way harder than dividing up financial responsibilities.
  • Renters were most likely to live together post-split, because they couldn’t find another place they could afford (33%). And, of these, women (34%) are more likely to stay in the apartment than men (30%).
  • 25% of renters remained roomies because, umm, why should* I* be the one who has to move out? Yes, really.
  • Older renters (45+) have a harder time finding an affordable place to live than younger renters (18-24). (My guess: The kiddos don’t feel as bad about crashing with friends or the ‘rents.)
  • 45% of renters 25-34 agreed that, in the future, they’d save more money as a precaution before moving in with a significant other again, 21% of all renters say they’d put the apartment in their name, and 17% said they’d look into getting a prenuptial renting agreement.
  • And 27% of all renters say that the whole moving-in, breaking-up, and moving-out thing put SUCH a bad taste in their mouth that they’d never live with anyone else again. (Aw 🙁) During the breakup, 61% of those surveyed said friends and family were the biggest solace, but 16% said a good stiff drink did the trick (ha!).
 

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