How to Move to a Different Apartment in the Same Building Without Breaking the Lease

You love your apartment complex: The location is perfect and the price is reasonable, but your exact unit's location isn't ideal. Maybe you have a noisy neighbor or you're on the side that overlooks the pool, making it difficult to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Whatever the issue, a move within the same complex could be the perfect solution. But if you still have time left on your lease, you may be rightfully concerned that a transfer could be seen as breaking that lease. There are some steps you can take to boost the chances of keeping your lease in place while moving.

How to Move to a Different Apartment in the Same Building Without Breaking the Lease
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Prepare to Negotiate

You'll put yourself in the best negotiating position if you do your research first. Start with the lease itself. Even if you break your lease to move to another state, your landlord must legally take steps to re-rent the apartment and credit what they make on that rent to what you still owe. But you're moving within the same complex, so you're technically satisfying their need to keep an apartment from remaining vacant in one area. Your move just opens up an unexpected vacancy in another.

Your apartment community may have verbiage directly addressing transfers. Some leases specifically state that if you are unhappy with your unit, you may have the opportunity to transfer to another apartment. If such wording doesn't exist, research how many vacancies your apartment complex has; prepare to point out that you'll be keeping the vacancy rate the same with minimal inconvenience on the landlord's part.

Talk to Your Landlord

Don't approach the landlord assuming your request will be turned down. In fact, it's to your landlord's benefit to work with you on this. First bring up the issues with your living arrangements, if you haven't already, and see if there's a resolution they can offer. If such a resolution isn't an option and you absolutely must move no matter what, skip this part and explain that you need to move to the next available apartment.

Your landlord's amenability to this depends on a variety of factors, including the number of current vacancies and whether or not your issue truly is something that merits a move. If there currently is no available unit, ask to be put on a waiting list. Be prepared to pay a fee for the transfer, but this amount should be far more affordable than the cost of breaking your lease to relocate to another community.

Moving can be disruptive, but when you're upgrading to a more comfortable living situation, it's often a big relief. If you can stay within the same apartment complex, it can be far easier than adjusting to a new place in a different part of town. Plus, you'll have the added benefit of getting away from the situation that prompted you to move in the first place.