Profile picture for BaltoResident

Can I break my lease if I bought a house?

I recently bought a house in Baltimore City, MD. Am I able to break my lease and get my deposit because of it?
  • February 29 2012 - Baltimore
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Answers (26)

Check out your lease and see what they say regarding cancellation. The lease will define your rights and remendies there.
  • February 29 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I can't speak for your state specifically, but I have never seen a standard lease that ends automatically when the tenant buys a house. Read your lease and see what it says.

In most cases, you are responsible for the duration of the lease unless you have a buy out clause that allows you to move with a set amount of notice and generally a 1-2 months rent. You can also try to negotiate a buy out for the lease directly with the landlord. I would offer to show the house, give the landlord 30 days notice and rent for the property for that 30 days in exchange for permission to move early.
  • February 29 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Buying a house is not a reason that a landlord has to accept for legally breaking the lease and getting all your deposits back.   It is great news for you, but they still have to go through the time and expenses of turn over, including time it may be vacant.  

Most landlords are reasonable if approached with a reasonable proposal.  Perhaps you could suggest forgoing your security deposit and paying an extra month rent, or two months rent and security deposit as appropriate for the condition you leave the place.   There are many possibilities.  

Good luck.   May you enjoy your new home.
  • February 29 2012
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Profile picture for jennbonk
First Congrats on the new house.  Unfortunately, the deals are not tied to one another in an way.  Your lease is an obligation you agreed to when you entered into it.  You'll need to review your lease to see what your options would be to terminate/cancel the lease prior to the expiration date.
  • February 29 2012
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Congratulations on your purchase.
 None of us can answer that without taking a look at your lease, are you on month to  month?If so give notice.  What you can do, talk to your landlord and ask them to look for someone else, offer to help them find a new tenant.If it was a new home community you bought in, sometimes they will contribute to your lease (nothing is free in life, you will probably have to get your mortgage through them)
  • March 01 2012
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I have not heard of a standard lease that has a specific clause allowing a tenant to teminate due to purchasing a new home, so you would have to specifically negotiated that term prior to signing it.  It is no different than if a landlord wanted to sell the home.  They could, but any new owner would have to honor the terms of your lease.  Most landlords have a few major concerns.  They get their rent on time, their tenant respects the property, and their tenant respect other tenants.  If you offer to help find a new tenant that meets the landlord's approval and cover the monthly rent until that is done, most landlords will allow you to break the lease.  But they are under no obligation to do so. Here in Massachusetts, if the apartment is re rented, the landlord is not allowed to collect rent from the new tenant and from the original tenant.
  • March 01 2012
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When reading your lease to find your termination clauses, if any, you should also see if there is anything in the lease regarding subletting, which means that you may be able to find a tenant to take over your rental. Although sublets to not release your obligation to the lease should the tentant that replaces you fail to make his or her payments.

  • March 01 2012
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Profile picture for MomoStarr

I don't know but I would break the lease and move in my house. Why pay rent and mortgage. You can always workout a deal later on how to repay them. But don't let them trap you.

  • May 22 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
@Momostar:   A lease is a legally binding document, so moving out and ignoring it may mean that one will be paying rent and mortgage anyway after the landlord takes one to court.
  • May 22 2012
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You will need to try and negotiate something with your landlord.  I had this same situation happen to me.  I asked my landlord if I find a renter to take my place, will you let me out of lease?  He said Yes, so I put an ad in the newspaper and found a renter. 
  • May 22 2012
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Profile picture for user6681001
I'm a landlord and was tolld six weeks ago that my tenants were breaking thier lease a month early because "the heating bill was too high" and the "wanted to "live closer to work." -(they were here the winter before with no complaints). I like them. They took pretty good care of the house and I do appreciate that.

When they told me they had found another place (after being late on rent -which we worked out (no extra fees,etc.) and wanted to break the lease I was sympathetic and worked my butt off to find someone to take over the lease so they could leave early on the lease.

Found out today that they bought a home (yes, good for them) but are leaving me high-and-dry. The person who I thought I had it rented to begged off because they could'tt get their things out before the 31sr.  He needed to move in and have a home on the 1st.  Old renters wouldn't allow the new tenants things in before "their" month was up, even for a day....

I'm suing for breach of contract in small claims to get the last month rent.  It's not always bad landlords but conniving tenants that make it bad for everyone - Annie
  • May 24 2013
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Many leases offer a buy out clause.  Review your lease and see the options. 
  • May 26 2013
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Never break a lease.  There could be legal repercussions for breach of contract.    I have never seen a lease suddenly releasing a renter because they bought a home.  Simply talk to your landlord.   They deal with things like this all the time and if they are a reasonable person, will be happy for you and work something out.  Approach them respectfully and hopefully they will reward you for that.    If you are on a month to month, give your notice as soon as possible and be prepared to pay rent if that month crosses over into the same period you have to move into the new house.  Listen to the others on here except the one that advised you break the lease and move any way.   You very well could end up in court and paying rent, losing the security deposit and paying a mortgage disrespecting your landlord in that way.  
  • May 26 2013
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Profile picture for user813750
I broke my 1 year lease that had a clause stating the I must give 30 days notice and pay three months rent. My reason was to buy a home. I paid my rent for the month the day I gave notice and offered to help find a tenant. The owner put out an ad and due to the immaculate condition we kept the home and our taste in decor, it rented to the first person that looked at it. We've now paid for month two and the new tenant would like to move in before the end of the month. Our home has not closed yet and we paid for the whole month, so we don't plan to move early. Also, the landlord says she's keeping our deposit. Can she do that if the home has a new contract? Can we be evicted early even though we paid for the month?
  • November 06 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
@user813...

The landlord cannot evict you for the period you paid for.    However, you are in a difficult balance because if the future tenant decides waiting too long is too inconvenient you may be responsible for another month's rent.

The landlord can keep a portion of your security deposit for the costs of advertising, interviewing, background check etc for a new tenant when you break your lease early.   the landlord has to document (in writing) all deductions to the security deposit within the time frame required by law for your state. 

congrats on your new home.
  • November 06 2014
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I can't imagine any lease having a clause or language that would speak to being able to break the lease just because the tenant decides to buy a home. I would approach the landlord and explain the situation, and tell them that you will work with them to help find a new tenant, and you may even find that you'll have to offer to pay the rent until they find someone else.
  • November 08 2014
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Profile picture for newjerseypretti
Great information !! Thanks everyone, found out that I can do a day clause!
  • December 02 2014
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Profile picture for GGeer
Your lease is a contract with your landlord. Review your lease to see what your options are. If you can't find what you are looking for contact a Real Estate Attorney for advice prior to breaking your lease. We are not attorneys and can't give legal advice. 
  • December 02 2014
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Does the lease have a clause that states this is allowed? 
  • December 03 2014
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Each lease is different. Some apartment leases allow for tenants to break lease if you purchase a home.
  • December 03 2014
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Your contract does not change because you buy a home. Read your contract or have an attorney read your contract. Then I would suggest you contact your landlord and be upfront explaining your situation. You may be surprise and reach a compromise. If you do reach a new agreement be sure to get it in writting.

I wish you the best!
  • December 03 2014
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Profile picture for SUMMER339
may as well give up-everyone is money hungry and selfish-its a shame if it may be the last great deal a young person has to get a house- and just dosent have enough to pay both house aND APARTMENT-LETS dont make it easy for young people in any way!
  • 5 days ago
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
@summer339:

So, you think the landlord should subsidize your choice?    You signed a legal contract and now you want out? Welcome to adulthood.   The entitlement mentality won't take you very far in the adult world. 


  • 5 days ago
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"LETS dont make it easy for young people in any way!"

Quit your whining and grow up. You made the choice to buy without negotiating with your landlord first. Why should your landlord take the loss on rent?
  • 5 days ago
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Unfortunately,you would be safe to check your lease and visit you local housing court office where they sometimes have housing court advocates which can explain the termination clauses to you. Most times when you are purchasing a home the mortgage company will ask for a landlord reference from your landlord and to be honest it is always best to leave situations such as renting in good standing. Therefore, I would make sure I am honoring my lease and not breaking it in a negative manner. 

I hope this helps.
  • 5 days ago
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It depends on how your contract is written.  Though in most cases, you will have to pay the remaining balance of your lease term value.  Think of creative ways to talk to your landlord and work out options that may be a win-win for both of you.  Perhaps offering to spread the word about the availability of the lease through marketing, or to assist your landlord in finding a tenant will possibly persuade him to give you a reduction in the lease term value you need to pay.  Come from a place of contribution when you discuss it with your current landlord and perhaps he will be willing to give you an option that may work for the both of you.

Good Luck!
  • 5 days ago
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