What happens when you break a rental agreement?

Written by lainie petersen Google
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What happens when you break a rental agreement?
Breaking a rental agreement can have serious consequences. (for rent image by PinkShot from Fotolia.com)

Breaking a legal contract, such as a rental agreement, can have serious consequences. Tenants and landlords both need to be aware of what can happen if they break a rental agreement.

Rental Agreements

Rental agreements are legally binding agreements between a landlord and tenant. Rental agreements automatically renew unless one party gives the other advance notice. Rental agreement terms can also be changed by a landlord providing the tenant with notice of any changes.

Landlord Obligations

Rental agreements often require that a landlord give a tenant advance notice if she is going to make changes to the rental agreement or won't renew the tenancy. Rental agreements may also include repair and maintenance obligations.

Tenant Obligations

Most rental agreements require that tenants pay their rent on time, give appropriate notice if they will not be renewing the agreement, refrain from criminal activity, will not disturb other tenants and will keep their home safe, clean and undamaged.

Security Deposit

A tenant who breaks a lease by moving out without giving appropriate notice, or by damaging the apartment, risks losing all or part of his security deposit.

Evictions and Lawsuit

Tenants that do not live up to their end of a rental agreement may be subject to eviction or be sued for monetary damages by their landlord. Landlords who fail in their obligations may also face lawsuits.

Tenant Screening Services

If a tenant breaks a rental agreement, she is subject to both lawsuits and, if she refuses to leave the premises, eviction. Many tenant screening services (as well as credit reporting agencies) list judgments and evictions on their reports, which could affect your ability to rent a home, be hired for a job or get credit.

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