What Happens If A Tenant Breaks A Lease?

broken-leaseUnder general circumstances, a tenant is required to fulfill their end of a lease unless the landlord violates the terms of the lease or breaks the law.




Examples of the landlord violating the terms of the lease would include:

  • Not making necessary repairs to the lease property
  • Not performing routine maintenance on the lease property
  • Not disclosing information about the lease property such as the presence of harmful chemicals
  • Not keeping the lease property in livable condition

Federal law states that active duty military personnel or other types of government employees are able to break a lease with no repercussions due to the nature of the job and frequent relocation associated with it.

If a tenant breaks a lease without due reason, the tenant will be required by law to pay the remainder of the rent due for the full term of the lease unless the landlord locates a new tenant. In most places, landlords are required by law to make an effort to find a tenant to replace the tenant that moved out. Once a new tenant moves in, the tenant that broke lease will no longer be responsible for the rent due for the remainder of the broken lease.

A landlord can legally keep all or part of a rental deposit if a tenant breaks lease. The rental deposit can go towards covering costs associated with the breach of the lease contract. The amount of the rental deposit that the landlord can legally keep will depend upon each rental contract and if there is an early termination clause in the contract. If there is an early termination clause in the contract, the tenant must abide by the clause for early termination, otherwise, the landlord is entitled to the rental deposit.

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