How to Break Your Apartment Lease Without Paying a Penalty

Outside of apartment building.
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Moving into an apartment complex involves signing a lease agreement. For the duration of the lease, you agree to make timely rent payments. But sometimes, situations occur that force you to break your lease agreement and move out of an apartment early. Landlords differ, and some will sue for breach of contract. Rather than spend a day in court and pay hefty fines, consider ways to get out of a lease early without penalty.


Step 1

Explain situation.
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Discuss your personal finances openly. If you can no longer afford the apartment for financial reasons, explain this to your landlord and ask them to cancel your lease without penalty. Show an employment termination letter or an unemployment letter as proof of financial hardship.


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Step 2

Bring signed letter from employer.
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Provide a letter from your employer if relocating for your job. Job relocation or moving to another area for work warrants breaking an apartment lease. Talk with your landloord and explain your plans to move for employment reasons.


Step 3

Use saved money to pay off balance.
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Use your money in savings to pay off the lease balance and avoid penalty. If nearing the end of your lease agreement, dip into your emergency funds and pay off the lease balance.

Step 4

Rent due on the 1st of my month.
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Make monthly rent payments until the landlord finds another tenant. Even if you can't physically remain in the apartment, agree to pay the monthly payment or a portion of the payment until someone new moves into the apartment.