tenant breaks lease before moving in

Updated September 2023

You’ve recently gone through the lengthy process of finding and screening a new tenant for your rental property. Both parties have signed the lease. But then the tenant suddenly contacts you to let you know about their change of plans and that they no longer intend to move in. As a landlord, what should you do?

What are your legal obligations when a tenant terminates their lease early? And what steps can you take to protect your financial interests and find a new tenant as quickly as possible?

Spoiler alert! Legally, the tenant is bound by the contract they signed and is therefore responsible for the rent until the end of the lease. However, most states have a “good faith” law that requires the landlord to actively look for a new tenant to release the unwilling tenant from the burden of the lease.

While you may be fulfilling your end of the agreement, what should you do if the tenant breaking the lease refuses to fulfill their financial responsibilities? Or what if you are the one who wants to break the lease before the new tenant moves in? We’ll answer these questions and more in today’s guide.

Table Of Contents: Can Tenants Break The Lease Before Moving In?

In order to deal with situations like this, you need to know your legal rights and obligations and also the limits of the law that are designed to protect both you and the tenant.

What Happens When A Tenant Breaks Their Lease Before Moving In?

What Happens When A Tenant Breaks Their Lease Before Moving In?Once you’ve found and vetted a new tenant for your property, it can be a big relief to have that rental agreement signed. The signing of the lease is the start of a legally binding contract between you and the tenant, even if they are not yet occupying the property.

This means that if the tenant notifies you they’ve changed their mind and will no longer be moving in, you should treat this as a notification of their intention to break the lease.

The consequences of breaking the lease should be clearly stated in your rental contract. This can include fees that the tenant should pay to help offset the cost of finding a new tenant sooner than expected.

In most cases, the tenant is responsible for paying the rent until the date they agreed to in the signed lease. It’s a legally binding contract. The only exception is if the landlord has not fulfilled their obligations, such as providing the property in a habitable state. If the tenant can prove that claim, they would not be liable for the rent.

However, state laws encourage you to find a new tenant as soon as possible. When you sign a lease agreement with a replacement tenant, the previous lease becomes null and void, and the old tenant is no longer liable for the rent.

That’s what the law says, but what should you do as a landlord when a tenant lets you know they do not intend to move in?

1. Ask For Documentation

Ask the tenant to provide written documentation of their intention to break the lease, in the form of a 30-day notice. You will require this document for your records.

This letter should include the reason for terminating the lease and details for how the landlord can contact the tenant to resolve any outstanding issues.

2. Explain Next Steps

Explain to the tenant that the conditions of their lease agreement mean they are legally liable for rent for the entire lease term. However, you should inform them that you’ll try to re-rent the property as soon as possible as part of the good faith effort required by most states. The tenant is responsible for paying rent until your property is rented out again, regardless of whether they have ever lived there.

Side Note: If someone who is an active member of the military is called up for active duty for more than 90 days, their lease agreement becomes null.

3. Try To Find A New Tenant

Most states require a good-faith effort on your part to find a new tenant as quickly as possible. This means you should begin marketing the property immediately and sign a new lease agreement with a new tenant as soon as you can.

Once you have a new rental contract in place, the old lease is no longer valid. Even though the former tenant signed a lease but never moved in, we recommend signing an early lease termination letter with them. This will ensure that the terms of this termination are clearly documented.

The tenant can help you find a new tenant to take over their lease and request that you transfer the lease to the new tenant’s name. You can still charge the new tenant an application fee to conduct proper screening before agreeing to the lease transfer.

How To Write An Early Lease Termination Letter

An early lease termination letter is an addendum to a lease agreement that is signed by both parties. This letter states that the lease will be considered null and void as of a specific date. It should also include details of any fees owed and how they will be collected.

This document is extremely important if there is any disagreement between you and the tenant about money owed that needs to be resolved by the court.

This letter will serve as legal documentation for the end of the lease. If the tenant does not pay what they owe, this letter will be useful in pursuing the collection of any overdue rent and fees. Any employed property manager can help with this process, but we also have a copy of an early termination letter you can customize.

Adding An Early Termination Of Lease Clause

If you’re worried about a tenant backing out before they move in, it might be a good idea to ensure your standard lease includes a clear termination clause. This clause can cover what will happen if the tenant wants to back out of the lease early.

The clause may simply state that the tenant is responsible for paying rent until the end of their lease or a new tenant is found, whichever happens first. However, some landlords choose to have a specific termination fee that ends the lease. This can be an attractive option for properties that are in high demand to avoid having to chase the unwilling tenant for funds.

Tenant Breaks A Lease Before Moving In: Landlord Options

While the step-by-step process given above is the standard procedure that can be followed when a tenant breaks a lease before they move in, you have other options. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option best suits your situation.

If the property you’re dealing with was difficult to rent or you made a lot of concessions in order to rent to this tenant, it’s best to follow the standard protocol. This protocol simply follows the contract you and the tenant both signed. It ensures you will not lose out financially. While it may seem harsh, the tenant also signed this legal contract.

But if you have a property you’re likely to be able to rent out quickly, there are other things you can do when a tenant comes to you saying, “I signed a lease but changed my mind.” Below are some tips to consider when a tenant decides to terminate their lease early.

Allow Early Termination

Tenant Breaks A Lease Before Moving In: Landlord OptionsDoes your lease agreement allow for early termination? If so, your tenant has the right to use this early termination clause at any time as long as they follow the protocol outlined in the lease.

Usually, this means they’ll need to pay a fee in order to end the rental agreement early, and they may also forfeit their security deposit. Once the termination has occurred, both parties can continue with their business as usual.

If you’re in a position to do so, it’s usually easier to end the lease agreement without fighting for rent than it is to pursue rent collection from an unwilling tenant. However, every situation is different, so be careful about making this choice.

Tenants who get a job in a different city, for example, lose their job and cannot make rent, or are otherwise in a changing situation that’s out of their control may not be able to keep paying rent. Rather than holding onto the hope that they’ll be able to find the money, it’s usually best to cut your losses and move on.

If both parties agree, it’s legal to end the lease at any time. You can decide to do this if you feel it won’t hurt your business too much.

What Happens To The Security Deposit When A Tenant Breaks Their Lease?

When signing their rental contract, the tenant should also pay a security deposit to cover any potential damage to the property once they move out. But if they break their lease before actually moving in, they cannot be held responsible for any damages, so this security deposit should be returned to them.

Some landlords choose to include forfeiting the security deposit as a condition of early termination of a lease agreement. Others choose to start charging against the security deposit for rent owed. The landlord is then left in the position of returning any remaining security deposit to the tenant or pursuing them for additional funds not covered by the deposit.

However, some states, such as California and Texas, specifically do not allow for security deposits to be used to cover unpaid rent. This protects the integrity of the tenant’s deposit and the landlord, as tenants cannot refuse to pay rent near the end of their contract by claiming that it’s already been covered by the security deposit.

It’s always a good idea to double-check your state and local landlord-tenant laws before using the security deposit to cover anything but damages to the property.

Can The Tenant Back Out Of A Lease Within 3 Days Of Signing?

When the tenant doesn’t get their deposit back immediately or wants to give you an earful when you stand your ground on rent responsibility, they may invoke a “right to rescind.”

This refers to a consumer protection law that requires financial lenders to allow borrowers to back out of a loan under certain circumstances within three days of signing.

Unfortunately for the tenant, this right does not relate in any way to lease agreements and rental properties.

If the tenant tries to convince you of this policy, go ahead and debunk the notion that there is a right to rescind or cancel a lease agreement within three days.

Can Landlords Break A Lease Before Tenants Move In?

If you sign a lease agreement with a tenant but then, before they move in, decide that you can no longer rent them the property, you are also breaking the legally binding contract.

To break a lease as the landlord, whether the tenant has moved in or not, you must provide a  justification that’s acceptable under local laws. Even then, you’re still required to give the tenant 30-60 days to find a new home. So, if the tenant is scheduled to move into your property within that window, you may still be required to let them do so.

You can speak to the tenant and come to an agreement with a different justification or a shorter period to find a new home. However, the tenant is not legally required to break the lease at your request.

When Tenants Cancel A Lease Before Moving In: FAQs

When a tenant decides to cancel a lease before ever moving into the rental property, it can cause quite a bit of confusion, especially regarding a landlord’s rights.

Can you keep the security deposit if the tenant cancels the lease?

In most cases, the landlord can keep the security deposit if a tenant backs out. The exact terms on whether or not this is possible will depend on two things:

  • What is written in the lease agreement
  • What state and local laws say about security deposits

If your local laws allow you to use the security deposit to cover unpaid rent when a tenant backs out before moving in, you should consider writing this into your standard lease. Having it included in the agreement that you and your tenant sign will make it easier to explain this to them should this situation occur.

However, if your property is located in a place where the security deposit can never be used to cover rent, it will need to be returned to the tenant in full once the lease period is over or the property is re-rented. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s likely that you’ll need to go to civil court to resolve the rent nonpayment and property abandonment.

From there, a judge can advise you on how to pursue rent collection and what to do with a security deposit.

Does breaking a lease hurt a tenant’s credit rating?

Tenants who are caught in a tricky situation may be worried about whether breaking the lease will affect their credit. Some may turn to you for advice. While you should point them to a financial expert for information, it’s good to know the basics.

If a tenant backs out and does not pay rent after signing a lease, they are still responsible for any unpaid rent. As the landlord, you can file suit to get that rent back. If you win the suit, you may then pass the debt to a collection agency. Unpaid debt that goes through collections can have an effect on a tenant’s credit score.

Ultimately, this means a tenant’s credit could be hurt by them backing out of a lease, if they do not meet a resolution with the landlord or pay what they owe.

Can a tenant change their mind before signing a lease?

While it’s frustrating for the landlord, a tenant can change their mind anytime before signing a lease. Until the contract is signed, there is nothing legally binding them to rent the property, and they cannot be forced to do so.

If a tenant has already paid a security deposit before they change their mind, you should return  this money to them in full if they do not sign the lease. There was no agreement in place, so them giving you the security deposit early was a mistake on their part, but it would be wrong to keep this money.

Once they’ve signed a lease but don’t want to move in, however, it’s within your rights to pursue rent collection.

Do I have to let a tenant sublease?

If your tenant no longer wants to move into the home they rented but they also don’t want to pay rent on the vacant property, they may consider subleasing.

Your lease agreement should include a clause regarding whether you allow subleasing and under what conditions. In most states, landlords cannot refuse a sublease without good reason.

Bear in mind that subletting is different from subleasing. In the case of subletting, the tenant finds a new tenant to take over their lease and you enter into a new contract with the new tenant. By contrast, if your tenant subleases, they continue to be responsible for the rental property, including paying the rent and any damages, but they do this by renting the property to another person.

Are tenants still liable to pay rent if they haven’t paid their security deposit?

If a tenant has not yet paid a security deposit, but they have already signed the lease, they are still beholden to the legally binding contract and to pay the rent. However, if you have not yet collected the security deposit, it can be challenging to recoup the money.

A Landlord’s Rights When A Tenant Breaks A Lease

Life is full of the unexpected, so sometimes a tenant will sign a lease in good faith but find that it’s no longer feasible for them to move in. If your property is in high demand, this may not be of great concern since you can probably find a new tenant easily. However, if you’re working with a challenging property, this can be a major blow. You’ll need to invest more time and money to find a new tenant.

Legally, once the lease agreement is signed, you and the tenant are in a binding contract. This means they are liable for the rent on the property until the end of the contract. However, most states have a law in place that requires landlords to look for a new tenant to take over the lease as soon as possible.

While the law is clear-cut, making this work in practice can be challenging. You should outline the consequences of breaking the lease in the contract so that it’s clear to both you and the tenant. However, tenants are not always willing to pay, so you may need to pursue what they owe you through legal means.

While the security deposit that should have been paid when the rental agreement was signed exists to cover unexpected expenses such as this, not all states allow landlords to use security deposits to cover rent owed. Before relying on this as a safety net, check your local laws.

Real-Life Example: Tenant Who Wants To Break The Lease Early

In Episode #164 of the RentPrep For Landlords Podcast, we dive into different issues that landlords call our company about. On a recent podcast, we actually discussed a real-life example of a tenant wanting to break the lease before moving in.

You can tune in below to hear how that story progressed.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS


  1. If you signed the lease then you are bound to the terms. Your best bet would be to approach the landlord immediately and explain that you no longer want the unit. But you are risking the possibility that the landlord will try to enforce the agreement.

    These situations are touchy and some landlords are more lenient than others. But the bottom line is that you signed the agreement so you are legally responsible for the terms.

    Most landlords will work something out if they’re given enough notice. Some will charge partial rent for the time it takes to find a new tenant. It all depends on the landlord. Legally they can hold you responsible, so walking away without paying anything would be fortunate on your part.

    • I’ve contacted the landlord, and he was a bit rude. I’m not sure what’s the outcome now, but I didn’t leave any sort of cash with him. Not even the roommates has contacted me back. I hope I’m not in for a situation.

      • Of course he’s upset, but I don’t think it’s worth his time to pursue anything. Next time be sure of your decision before you sign the lease! You got away with one.

  2. It depends mostly on whether they moved in or not.

    If not, then I would return any security deposit and move on.

    If they did move in, then I would give them this option – they can pay late and initiate the eviction process, which will create an eviction record that will follow them. Or they can move out to avoid the eviction process. As an added incentive, you’ll be kind enough to return their security deposit.

  3. Jayla, if you signed a lease.. it’s legally binding you to the lease term. So to get out of it you’ll need to break your lease. And how your landlord responds to this will depend on the landlord themselves.

    Some, like me, would apply the security deposit to lost rent and let you out of the lease immediately so I had more time to find a replacement. I can’t imagine you’ll get the security deposit refunded in full and be let out of the lease.

    Bottom line is a commitment was made. A lease is in place to protect both you and the landlord. He couldn’t accept your security deposit and then decide to give the place to someone else after the lease was signed.

  4. Roscoe, you signed the lease on the 27th, therefore it was in effect on the 27th. You made a legal agreement so you’d have to honor it or break it.

  5. Once you sign the agreement, it’s binding. Meaning that you have to honor it. Just the same, the landlord must honor his end as well. That’s why we have agreements, to protect ourselves. Imagine how upset you’d be if the shoe was on the other foot. The landlord took your deposit after you signed the agreement and then all the sudden calls you to say that he changed his mind and is giving the place to someone else. You’d be upset because by signing the agreement he made a commitment.

    Make sense? You can ask the landlord to let you out of the lease, but he certainly doesn’t have to.

  6. Katie, this is one of those rare situations where you should be able to break the lease since you didn’t move in yet. If there is a pest infestation prior to move-in, the landlord is responsible for the extermination.

    Approach this with good communication and reason. Have a conversation with the landlord and explain that you’re the type of tenant that will NEVER be happy knowing that there was a pest problem. You want peace for both you and the landlord so this situation is not ideal for either.

  7. You can’t be evicted without good reason. I’d let them know you’re not going anywhere and ride out the lease. And don’t be paranoid about the inspection vehicle, you’ll be given at least 24 hours notice before anyone can come in to inspect your rental unit. At least that’s the law..

  8. We just signed the lease to the apartment about 3 days before finding out the family memeber we are living with has fallin gravley ill and we are now to stay where we are to take care of them. Both deposit and rent paid in full, we even switched the light expecting to be in the apartment by the 1st. But becuase of this cercumstance we cannot fullfill our lease. we trully feel horrible about the situation and spoke to our realtor. What is the worse case senario. We are asking for at least half of our money back given that we would need to pay the bills for the house we are in now. We would be ok if they took the security deposit for the first months rent. We are worried they will try to tie us down to the lease. We’ve never signed a lease before so we are not sure what to expect. Please advise.

    Also when we signed the lease we only signed it for 4 people to live with us but it looks like i will have 2 more people that willbe staying with us tillthey get on our feet, would the leas still be valid if i need to make a change?

  9. You signed the lease, so no. It’s a legal binding agreement with no 3 day grace period to change your mind, like with some contracts. Your best chance to get out of the lease is to talk with the landlord, but it all depends on his policy. He may let you out and not want to deal with a problem right off the bat, or he can hold you to the lease.

  10. Roxy, you absolutely have a right to keep the deposit to cover damages (lost rent). As long as she signed the lease and agreed to the lease terms. By the letter of the lease, by not moving in and paying February’s rent, she would be in violation of the lease terms.

    Stick to your guns, these people sound like scam artists. Call the police next time they come around uninvited so you can get the incidents documented. Worst case scenario is that she tries to sue you. In which case, you could show the signed lease, along with the Police records to show that you have been harassed over the matter.

  11. If you didn’t sign the lease then ultimately you can back out because there are no “terms” to be held to.

  12. Um… NO, it’s not legal!!!

    I would sincerely hope that the landlord isn’t crazy enough to break a lease because he “doesn’t like” the tenant. If there was no reason to terminate the lease, he would be violating the agreement.

  13. It’s a hard lesson learned as a landlord. You went outside of your normal routine, and made exceptions. If everything was done correctly, would you be in this situation? Probably not. We all make these mistakes at some point so don’t feel bad, but you can’t have your cake and eat it to. The cost for the mistake is the loss of the security deposit and a months rent. Give the money back and move on.

  14. I’m not sure I’d say it was “unfair”. If you signed a lease or an agreement, it’s binding by both parties. You agreed to the terms and paid the deposit, why would the landlord be obligated to break the lease? Just remember the same lease protects you from the landlord backing out of the agreement as well don’t forget. It’s mutually binding.

    Now if the landlord wanted to give you the deposit back and move on, that’s their choice but they’re certainly not obligated to do so.

  15. You need to talk with the landlord in the most reasonable, non-threatening way. He legally does NOT have to let her out of the lease if it was signed. But most landlords would understand the situation and not want to deal with a tenant that can’t pay every month.

  16. Time frame does not matter when it comes to residential lease agreements. Many states have laws giving someone 3 days to back out of a contract, but not for rentals. So your only option is to reason with the landlord and ask to be let out. Otherwise, they’re not obligated to do so since the lease was signed.

  17. Hmmm, depends on whether the screening process is considered complete and the lease is binding at this stage. If you haven’t technically been “approved” yet, they would have nothing to lose by letting you back out of the lease. Did you pay the security deposit yet? Or have you already moved in?

  18. Of course he could break the lease and re-rent the unit. Unless there is some sort of subsidized housing situation or something making it more complicated than it has to be.

    But at the end of the day, it’s a contract that he can legally enforce. So unless you have a very compelling reason, ie. lost a job, moving, etc., it sounds like he doesn’t want the hassles of re-renting the unit.

  19. Once it’s signed, it’s enforceable. You can certainly ask the landlord and see if they’ll let you go month to month. You definitely have a better chance of negotiating after your first least term was fulfilled so I’d say there’s a good chance.

  20. Unfortunately there’s not a whole lot you can do. You are the lease holder, and only subleasing, therefore you would be responsible. Even if the person you subleased to is the one being unreasonable. The property owner didn’t have an agreement or terms with her, only you I assume. So it would your problem to deal with.

  21. I would give the new tenants the option to wait out the turnover first. If they don’t want to then I would refund any deposit and terminate the agreement.

  22. Ken, I’m with you, they shouldn’t have bound the rental agreement without a co-signer… especially considering its their own policy to have a co-signer. My advice might be to act as if the agreement was void from the beginning because of a lack of a co-signer.

    Now, lets look at the situation from the point that you’re at now with everything.. they are holding your son to the lease. In any court, regardless of state, you’ll never be charged more than 2.5 months worth of rent. Some of that would be covered by the security deposit obviously. So worst case scenario, you’ll pay for a few months of vacancy.

    But going back to the co-signer policy, I don’t think they can hold the agreement up. They should be more than happy to walk away with a security deposit that they don’t deserve. I believe in court they’d lose even the security deposit and your son can claim he was under the understanding that he needed a co-signer and assumed the agreement was void. So it might be a sacrifice to end things where they are and not waste everyone’s time to just walk away from the security deposit if they agree to end any collection efforts. Otherwise, I’m confident they’d lose a judge’s decision, and therefore would have nothing to show for their stubbornness.

    • ” In any court, regardless of state, you’ll never be charged more than 2.5 months worth of rent.” Could you clarify the 2.5 months limit? I thought that, as long the landlord made a good faith effort to re-lease the property, the tenant was bound to pay the entire rent for the duration of the lease.

      • This is based on my experience Jay, not anything from a law book. I have been on the landlord side of many broken lease lawsuits and claims through my years owning a collection agency, as well as my time performing background checks, so I’m drawing from actual outcomes. And I have never seen a landlord awarded more than 3 months of lost rent from a broken lease. Even if they make every effort to re-rent the unit. In fact, if they can prove they made every effort, then and only then would they be awarded the higher amounts of 2 or 3 months. I have one particular case in mind that was related to a tenant who was renting an apartment above a hair salon, which she was also renting for her salon business. She abandoned the property after only 3 months to rent a competing space across the street. It drove the landlord crazy seeing her in the space across the street knowing that his rent was being neglected and he was stuck with a vacant space and a signed 2 year lease. I thought he’d have more success considering the space was partially commercial, but he was only awarded 2.5 months of the remaining 21 months on the lease. The money was never collected as that’s a whole different discussion of itself.

  23. You can certainly make a good argument that you were told in writing, but at the end of the day it comes down to what is on the lease agreement that you and them both sign. So be sure to straighten anything out before you sign anything.

  24. Sure, but I would give the agent a heads up so it’s not a weird or awkward situation when they bring someone by for a showing thinking the place is vacant. But if the lease is valid and your rent is paid up, it’s your place still.

  25. Have you already paid the original rent amount listed in the original lease you signed? If so, and they cashed it/accepted it, I would think you can make the case that this was the agreed upon terms. Regardless of whether they signed the lease or not, accepting the payment would bind the lease.

  26. Better to have the conversation sooner than later. Just approach it reasonably and be willing to accept that you might lose some or all of the security deposit if the landlord is not willing to work with you. Depending on the situation, hopefully there’s enough time that the landlord can regroup and rerent without a loss. This would make him more likely to let you out.

  27. Well they can’t cash the check since it’s been cancelled, so there’s no worry there. I would explain that you cancelled the check because you were told that you could come pick up the check and you simply wanted to save yourself the trip.

    Now, just because they said come get the check, doesn’t mean they were letting you out of your lease. Unless they said they were letting you out of your lease, I wouldn’t make the assumption. I would try to talk with them and reason. But at the end of the day, you have your money and they have a signed lease. So unless they feel like pursuing the issue there’s not much they can do about it now.

  28. The only situation I can imagine you being responsible for another tenant’s lease term is if you got out of your lease early, and they are charging for lost rent. With the unit being rented and them collecting rent, they can’t charge twice, so your payments would stop. But it doesn’t sound right that they’d expect your payments/lease term to continue because the new tenant didn’t work out. I kind of get where they’re coming from, but it’s a huge stretch. And I’m not sure it’s legal.

    I’d ask for clarification and if you feel that it’s unreasonable, I would consult an attorney. The last thing you want is to have a judgment against you for something you might not owe for.

  29. First be sure the lease even allows for subleasing. Many landlords and property managers want to stay away from subleasing and include language against it in the lease.

  30. It depends on the lease and the landlord Luz. Most leases are binding when signed and agreed to. So there’s a good chance you’ll be breaking the lease and it’s up to the landlord how they want to handle that.

  31. You signed the lease so that sticks. You deal with the outlets separately, it’s not related.

    My advice is to approach the landlord with good communication and explain you’d like to be let out of your lease instead of trying to find violations that might get you out. If they want to let you out, they will. As for the outlets they’ll have to address those in time as well if they are not to code.

  32. A good lesson in “you tend to get what you pay for” seeing that the rent is cheap. I understand where you’re coming from, but the only way to get out of a lease is for it to be broken, or to be let out. My advice is to approach management and explain your situation. If that doesn’t work you can scour the lease and look for something that connects the dysfunctional gates or lack of security to a breach. In other words, your lease specifically states these amenities will be provided to you, and obviously they are not currently.

  33. Probably not Mike. Unfortunately you signed the lease and agreed to the terms, I can’t see a change in management creating a loophole in any way.

    I understand your concern though. Part of me wants to say don’t immediate jump to conclusions that things are going to now be awful. Chances are if the ship was ran right by the other company, a new driver in the seat (so to speak) shouldn’t make a big difference. But then again I’ve heard enough horror stories to know there’s certainly a chance things might take a turn for the worse, as feared.

    My best advice is to be open about the problems noted online. Don’t let it be the elephant in the room. I’d approach them and say “hey I’m concerned about some of these things I saw from your reviews, can you help me understand how we’re not going to have the same problems..” Or something along those lines, just to open the conversation. Unfortunately many property management companies aren’t even aware of the damage bad reviews are doing to them. Hopefully when it’s brought into the open, they can address some of the potential concerns and avoid future problems.

    Maybe this is just me being optimistic, but you can’t assume the worst based on reviews that you likely don’t know the whole story. Or if anything was done to address the issues and complaints.

  34. Hi Stephen I just sign a rental lease and I never got to see the rental property until after the lease was signed. There were contingencies that had to be stated before processing the application which I had none but I thought the rental place would include painting between Tenants. Now I had to request to see the property and it needs to be painted which they will not paint because I stated no contingencies not to mention after I signed the contract which I had to do within 3 days of approval the place wasn’t ready to be showed to the public. Also I never received my copy of the lease. Help what rights do I have?

  35. While all of the points here are true as discussed by Stephen, I think the author encourages the landlord to exercise their right to the maximum extent for their benefit. For landlords, Stephen’s advice is great. But for tenants, I will suggest looking for other advice on how to pressure your apartment management to work with you if you have unexpected events pop up that causes you to need to break the lease. In my past experience, there are way too many apartment managers who are unwilling to work with honest and well intentioned tenants on unexpected circumstances, and I hope that the culture is changed. I sincerely think it is the manager’s best interests to work with tenants instead of simply saying this is policy, bla bla bla. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the tenant needs to be fair to the landlord too. But the landlord often has much more power already, and them throwing their weight around just because they can sometimes disgust me a lot. You need to recognize that you can always stick to policy, but if you are being an a-hole and show zero empathy to a situation when the tenant is proposing an outcome where you are still reasonably compensated, you should allow it instead of saying ‘we can’t do this per policy’. If not, you can always expect complaints from tenants on various platforms, such as apartment rating websites or just giving you a bad word of mouth reputation. I encourage tenants to consider their options based on fairness to both yourself and the landlord’s interests, don’t just accept it just because it is in the lease because too often than not, landlords just make it as restrictive as possible without a second thought and tenants are not able to fight any of it because they are unwilling to read, to question or to negotiate, which is what led us to more and more unreasonable clauses in rental contracts today, just because the landlord is able to put it there and enough people are willing to accept it without reading it or questioning it. Be aware that whatever you propose must be reasonable though, and does not put the landlord in a spot where they may be losing money because of the proposition – that should not be your intent as a well-intentioned tenant. Read your leases and understand it, ask for deviations to make it as favorable for you as possible before signing, or to establish it as a contract of adhesion if they refuse to negotiate (take it or leave it contract) so that you are as well protected as possible if something crazy unexpected occurs. Tenants, stand for your rights, for both yourself and your fellow renters. Promote fairness in the rental world and don’t be a silent victim and accept everything without negotiating.

  36. I signed a lease in Missouri and was unable to take possession of the property on the agreed upon date. The toilet was not installed and there was an awful spell, potentially mold. We do not have time to fully move again before our current lease is up so we just want to renew it instead of going to this new place. The rental company wants to move us to a different unit in the same complex, but I am still wary of the conditions of the second one since of first one were bad. I am willing to give up my deposit but don’t know if I can get out of the lease since we were unable to take possession. If you have any advice I would appreciate it.

    • Hello,
      I have just arrived to Texas before 1 week for my higher studies. I actually want to break the leasing, because all my friends are living in another apartment. The moving date of signed apartment is Aug 18th. Yesterday I have given notice to the landlord that i will not be able to move in. He acted rude and asked me to pay 250$ of cancellation fee and to find someone for replacing the same apartment number. When I signed through online, Landlord has not signed yet. Even though I have signed, they have not yet sent me the confirmation letter. Now they are threatening me to do the above penalty. Since I’m new to this place, and I do not know anyone, how can I find someone. Can Anyone tell me what should I do in this situation. ( What if I do not come to US and still I am in my home country)

  37. Hi there,
    I have signed a lease for 1 year effective Jul 1st and paid the security deposit along with 1 month rent but my landlord won’t give me the keys, everyday he would make an excuse with different reasons so I extended the lease with my current landlord after waiting for 3 days, with a fear in mind that where would I go after June 30th if he refused to provide the keys. Now that I told him that I have extended
    the lease at my current place, he said he will sue me and I wold be responsible for the whole year rent.
    Please advise!

  38. Hello,
    I signed a lease basically yesterday which begins in 3 weeks, and still have not paid first last and security. In literally that time, I have found a better housing option for me. What are my options in terms of dropping out of this lease without legal repercussions? There is also another roommate involved who I would be leaving without a roommate.

  39. Here’s a good one, my daughter signed a lease with two other girls and my daughter and another roommate had to have co-signers. Interesting thing the co-signers didn’t sign the lease. They signed two weeks ago, we have been asking since then for a copy of the lease and still have not received anything. I do not know the terms, who much is owed. As a co-signer am I not entitled to that information. Now I also learned my daughters potential roommates has bedbugs, so I want to cancel and get out of lease

  40. I gave the first months rent and deposit to management company to rent a home i havent sign the lease until tomorrow can i get my money back i found a better place

  41. What happens if someone signed a lease but hasn’t paid anything yet and now wants to back out of the lease?

  42. What happens if a lease is signed between the property management company and a party and the owner of the property lets a different party move in without consulting with the property management company. Which party has the legal right to move in? Deposit has been paid to the management company, but not first month’s rent.

  43. I did not sign a lease but gave a security deposit, we could not come to terms on the lease so I did not sign it, she is now keeping my money for damages… is this legal?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *