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How To Keep Your Landlord Happy When Breaking An Apartment Rental Lease

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 30, 2008
Landlords know that sometimes things happen that can cause a tenant to break an apartment rental lease. In a perfect world, everyone would finish out their contract before moving on, but many landlords and property management companies realize that sometimes unavoidable events occur. You can do a few simple things to work with your landlord that may help you avoid penalties when breaking your lease.

Let Your Apartment Rental Landlord Know Early

Giving your landlord or property management company plenty of notice will most likely be met with cooperation if you have to break your apartment rental lease. Try not to spring a broken lease on a landlord and instead give them as much notice as possible. This will give them time to try to find a replacement tenant. If you behave professionally, so will your landlord.

A lease is a legally binding contract and you signed it willingly. If your time in your rental apartment has been good, but you're being transferred out of town, let your landlord know. Tell them you'd be happy to renew if it weren't for the move. If you remain calm and rational, your landlord is more likely to let you break the lease without penalty. Remember they do not have to do this. The landlord has the legal right to not let your break your lease without penalty. Talk with your company's human resources department about a possible relocation package. Some include a payment to cover a broken lease fee.

If military service is causing you to break your lease, it should have a military clause that allows you to break it without penalty. If your landlord doesn't know about a military clause, check with your base or post legal department for help.

Help Find A Replacement Tenant

Helping your landlord find a replacement tenant is a good way to make your landlord happy if you have to break your lease. Recommending your apartment to friends and family is a good start. Even if they're not looking for a new place to live, they may know someone who is. A good recommendation is a positive thing for both the landlord and new tenant.

Let Your Landlord Show Your Apartment Rental

Letting your landlord or property management company show your apartment rental to prospective tenants will help them find a replacement tenant faster. Be sure to keep your apartment in a neat and tidy condition. It is especially important to keep the apartment clutter-free, the bed made, dishes put away, and the bathrooms clean. It will help your landlord show off the apartment to potential tenants and, although it may be an inconvenience, it could save you hundreds of dollars in penalty fees.

The easier you make breaking an apartment rental lease on your landlord, the more likely they are to let the penalties slide. It is easier to keep everyone happy if you work together to find a new tenant.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is an author for Beal Properties in Chicago. Beal Property is a property management company specializing in apartment rental units in Chicago.
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