What Happens When You Break a Lease Early

What Happens When You Break a Lease Early

What Happens When You Break a Lease Early


Leases are an essential part of renting an apartment or a house. They contain the details of your tenancy, including the lease term, rent amount, security deposit, and other conditions. When you sign a lease, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions until the end of the lease term. However, sometimes, unforeseen circumstances may force you to break the lease early. It could be due to a job transfer, a family emergency, or a rent increase. Whatever your reasons are, breaking a lease early can have significant consequences. In this blog post, we'll explore what happens when you break a lease early, so you can make an informed decision.


1. You'll Have to Pay a Penalty

The most common consequence of breaking a lease early is paying a penalty. You'll have to pay a sum of money to compensate your landlord for the damages they incur. The penalty is usually equal to one or two months' rent, but it could be more if you have several months remaining on your lease term. You'll also have to pay any unpaid rent, utility bills, or damages to the apartment.

2. You'll Lose Your Security Deposit

If you break a lease early, you'll likely lose your security deposit. Your landlord may use your security deposit to cover the unpaid rent or damages caused by your early move-out. Your landlord may also charge you for cleaning, repairing, or repainting the apartment to make it ready for the next tenant.

3. You'll Have a Bad Rental History

Breaking a lease early can hurt your rental history. When you apply for a new apartment, landlords and property managers will most likely check your rental history. If they see that you've broken a lease in the past, they may reject your application or ask for a higher security deposit. It's essential to communicate with your landlord if you're facing a situation that forces you to move out early. They may be more lenient and understanding if you're upfront and honest.

4. You May Get Sued

If you break a lease early and don't pay the penalty or the unpaid rent, your landlord may sue you. They may also report your unpaid rent to the credit bureaus, which could damage your credit score. If you have a court judgment against you, it will stay on your record for several years, making it harder to rent a new apartment or get a loan.

5. You Can negotiate

If you're facing a situation that requires you to break a lease early, you may be able to negotiate with your landlord. You can offer to find a new tenant to take over your lease and pay the penalty fee. You can also offer to pay a portion of the remaining rent or utility bills to ease the landlord's burden. If you're upfront and honest, your landlord may be more lenient and understanding.



Breaking a lease early can have significant consequences, including paying a penalty, losing your security deposit, damaging your rental history, getting sued, and having a court judgment against you. However, in some cases, it's unavoidable, and you'll need to communicate with your landlord and negotiate a fair solution. If you're looking for apartments for rent in Jacksonville, FL, The Lofts at Wildlight is a great choice. We have a variety of floor plans and amenities to suit your needs. Contact us today to schedule a personal tour and learn more about our leasing terms.

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