5 Ways to Get Out of Leases without Penalty

Posted by newszone on February 2nd, 2020

When a tenant wants to rent an apartment or house, he has to make a lease agreement or rental contract with the landlord. This agreement means that the landlord will allow the tenant to live in the apartment for a set amount of time under a few terms and conditions. A tenant usually has the intention to live there for the full amount of time but an unexpected situation may occur where the tenant has to move out of the apartment earlier than expected. According to the Eviction Laws if a tenant breaks any terms of the lease agreement they may be evicted. But there are some times when the tenant can get out of a lease without paying the penalty.

1. Violation of Habitability Standards in the Property

A residential property where the tenant is staying has to be according to the habitability standards. It is the duty of the landlord to maintain the property in a fit and habitable condition. There are some common conditions that must prevail in a habitable property. The landlord has to make sure that the common areas are clean. Providing proper trash bins to the tenants for garbage. It is the right of the tenants to have water, gas, electricity all the time. If there is any damage on the property the tenant has to perform repairs. The most important condition for habitable standards of a property is following health and safety codes for the property. 

2. Violation of Rules of Entry or Harassing the Tenant 

It is a common etiquette to ask for permission before entering someone else's home. Likewise, a landlord is not an exception, he or she has to ask for permission from the tenant to enter the rental unit. The landlord has to give at least 24 hours notice before entering the tenant’s rental unit. A landlord has to have a legal reason to enter the apartment. These legal reasons include inspection of the rental unit, making repairs to the unit, showing the unit to a prospective tenant, etc. If the landlord tries to enter the tenant’s rental unit for no legal reasons or without proper notice or makes continued attempts to enter the tenant’s unit, then the tenant has the right to break the lease agreement without penalty. If the tenant harasses the tenants, then the tenant has to obtain a court order to get the landlord to stop the harassing behavior. If the landlord violates the court order and also refuses to quit the behavior then the tenant can terminate the lease agreement without paying any penalty.

3. Active Duty Military Member

If the tenant is an active duty military member then he or she has certain protections from the Service Members Civil Relief Act. When a military member receives a change of station orders then they can have the protection. For example, if an active military member signs a lease contract with the landlord and then receives orders to relocate to another area for a minimum period of 90 days, then the tenant can provide the landlord with a written notice to terminate the lease agreement. This notice has to serve at least 30 days before the desired date of termination. It is best to provide proof of the military change of station order.

4. Victims of Domestic Violence

It is everyone's right to have protection against domestic violence. Most of the states include protections for the victims of domestic violence in the state landlord tenant laws. If a tenant becomes a victim of domestic violence then the tenant has the right to terminate their lease agreement without paying any penalty for it. But the domestic violence must occur within the last three to six months or else it will not be valid.

5. Illegal Apartment

If after renting the apartment the tenant finds out that the apartment is an illegal apartment, then the tenant can terminate the lease agreement without paying any penalty. Some state laws require the tenant to pay at least a portion of the fees.

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