Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Three Things to Know Before You Break Your Lease

Three Things to Know Before You Break Your Lease 

Unfortunately, life does not always work out as planned. If it did, I would already be semi-retired, sitting on the porch overlooking Lake Travis, proofreading this post that my assistant had just finished writing up for me. In the housing world, sometimes we make plans to live in a particular place for a particular amount of time and something comes up that forces to make a change...and we have to break our lease. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here are three things to know before you make that decision.

  1. In short, your lease is a legally binding contract, promising that you will regularly pay rent to live in a certain place for a certain amount of time. There are legal and financial ramifications for breaking this contract. Within your lease agreement, you will find the specific details and consequences that occur when you make this decision. You are breaking your word that you would fulfill the terms of you agreement and you should take that very seriously.*

  1. Breaking your lease will likely have a negative impact on your credit score and your credit report. Unless you pay up front for all the financial penalties for breaking your lease, that information will go on your credit report. As you well know, all delinquent and negative items on your credit report have a direct impact on the financial terms you are able to get or your ability to get approved for future credit applications. This information will be visible to anyone who will run your credit the next time you apply for credit of any sort.

  1. Breaking your lease will also negatively affect your ability to be approved for a lease in the future. As part of your application process, along with your credit report, property management will check your rental history, and will likely find documentation on your previous broken lease. Unfortunately for someone in this situation, many properties will not approve an application for someone who has a previous broken lease, regardless of the circumstances. In fact, some property management companies look more favorably on an eviction on your record than an a broken lease. Some property management companies will approve an applicant with a broken lease on his or her record with a few possible stipulations. Those stipulations include, but are not limited to, and larger deposit or proof of positive rental history since the broken lease.
A broken lease is not something to be taken lightly. You should be careful before you sign a lease and understand that your lease is a legally binding contract. Be very cautious before you break a lease and understand the possible ramifications of doing so. That being said, a broken lease is not the “end of the world.” You do have options of places, albeit limited, to live if you do break a lease. If you have questions about breaking a lease or have had a broken lease in the past and need house help, please contact me and I would be happy to help however I can.

*I am not a lawyer and cannot offer you legal advice so please consult a lawyer for advice on your particular situation.

Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty
I Always Have Time for Your Referrals!

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