Before you terminate a lease, you should be sure to know your rights as a tenant. These rights will vary depending upon the jurisdiction where you live. Despite what may or may not be written into the lease, you will have certain rights under the law.
There could be any number of reasons why you might want or even have to terminate a lease agreement. Depending on where you live, there may even already be an out clause written into the lease, but these are rare and depend on certain circumstances.
Breach of Peace
One instance in which you may wish to terminate a lease is for breach of peace. Generally speaking, when the landlord rents a space to you, he or she agrees that you may enjoy the space in a peaceful manner. However, the neighbors in the apartment next door, or even the house next door, are up all hours of the night partying and being noisy. If the landlord does not take measures to stop this from occurring, then the lease may generally be terminated with proper notice because of this breach. The law recognizes that no one should have to be subject to noise and other distractions during certain periods of the day or night, nor should they ever be in fear where they live.
Another instance in which you may wish to terminate a lease agreement is that the landlord purposely ignores making any repairs that would otherwise interfere with the safety or well being of the occupants. This could include repairing broken step, a broken furnace, or other appliances that could affect your health and safety if not properly functioning. The law recognizes that tenants are paying for the right to be safe within their homes, and things like broken fixtures or otherwise damaged parts of the home are a safety hazard.
Now that we have talked about some reasons why a tenant might want to terminate a lease, we have to understand that there are some very good reasons as to why the landlord might decide to terminate the lease as well. The primary reason that most landlords will terminate a lease is the failure to pay the rent. They have the right to reclaim their property if the rent is not being paid, and the law recognizes this fact. It will ultimately result in the renter being evicted by the court, at which time the landlord will be given the rent to set your belongings out and reclaim the property.
A landlord may also take back the property and evict the tenant when it is shown that there is illegal activity occurring on the premises, such as drug activity or otherwise.
Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, it’s important that you recognize you have certain rights under the law. If a situation ever arises, then the first thing you will need to do is to contact a competent professional in your area who will be able to advise you of your rights under the lease agreement.