How to Break a House Lease Agreement

Written by valencia higuera
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How to Break a House Lease Agreement
House Lease (house blueprint and house model studio isolated image by dinostock from

House leases are typically 12-month contracts, wherein you agree to pay rent on a residence for one year. Occasionally, you may need to cancel your lease agreement early due to unexpected situations, such as the death of a spouse, loss of income and relocation. Leases are legally binding documents, however, and your landlord isn't obligated to release you from the contract. Even so, there are ways to end your lease early.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Read your agreement. Pull out your rental agreement and look for a clause pertaining to broken leases. This will outline the repercussions for ending a lease early.

  2. 2

    Explain your situation to the landlord. Instead of disappearing or missing payments, schedule a meeting with your landlord and explain your dilemma. Based on your rental history and your reason for breaking the lease, your landlord may terminate your agreement without consequence.

  3. 3

    Offer payment upfront. Pay off the remaining lease balance, if feasible. Keep a copy of the cancelled check and ask your landlord to draft and sign a satisfaction of debt letter.

  4. 4

    Continue to pay rent on the property until your landlord can find another tenant. This may take a month or two.

  5. 5

    Sublet the house. If you are unable to break your lease without repercussions, ask a trusted friend or family member to move into the house and pay rent for the remainder of the lease term.

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