Signing a lease can be stressful, since many people don’t know how long they will be staying in one place. This makes agreeing to a set time frame difficult. My fiancé signed a 12 month lease earlier this year, but is now second guessing that decision because of a number of reasons that were unknown prior to signing the lease. Most apartments attempt to get each tenant to sign as long of a lease as possible by offering promotional deals, and my fiancé got a cheaper security deposit and a waived administrative fee for adding 2 months onto the length she initially wanted. Now she is considering breaking the lease and moving on to something different. The question she and I are asking ourselves is when does this become a sound decision financially?
There are a few issues that have been ongoing with the apartment. One of the managers has been less than friendly. This isn’t grounds for moving, but it certainly isn’t enjoyable and doesn’t make the place feel very comfortable. Another problem has to do with a hostile neighbor that lives directly below her.
I have been living with my fiancé about half the time during my time off from baseball season, and neither of us knew anyone before arriving in town. With baseball season approaching fast and a hostile neighbor below, my fiancé has begun to question the safety of her living situation. He has yelled obscenities and apparently has been watching us through his window when we walk by. He recently called the cops to complain about noise while I was sitting in the living room by myself. This makes breaking the lease a definite possibility going forward, but management talked to him and says they settled the issue. It doesn’t mean we are totally comfortable with the situation yet. What is the price tag on safety?
The lease will be up when my fiancé and I get married next fall. This means we will move into a new place together and probably need to get another 12 month lease. What would make more sense is to have the lease end in around this time next year because my fiancé would rather have options a year from now than in the middle of the fall. This puts breaking the lease into a serious conversation and it will certainly have an effect on our decision.
The apartment is a steal. The rent is only $600 a month and it is a nice place overall, so moving into a new apartment for 6 months before we moved in together would undoubtedly cost more. Breaking the lease at her current location requires a 30 day notice, 2 month’s rent and a $300 re-letting fee as well. All in all, we would have to pay $1500 to move out and then pay a higher rate at a new place. Is this worth it?
When Moving is Worth It
Right now, we have decided the penalty for breaking the lease is too high. We feel as though management has a handle on the situation, but it will probably be time to move on if anything new arises. A few situations that would be worth breaking a lease are:
- Fearing for your safety
- A new job that easily covers the penalty for breaking the agreement
- Your rental is unfit for living
- Changes in circumstances (getting married, family problems, etc.)
There are obviously more situations where breaking a lease may be the best choice, as being comfortable in your place of dwelling is extremely important to your well being. Finances are important, but don’t always let a high price tag prevent you from moving to somewhere you would be happier.
Are you considering breaking your lease? What is helping/hurting the decision?