I have a broken lease!
The vast majority of apartments will not work for you if you owe money to another rental property or if you fail to meet a rental agreement. The properties that will work with you have different qualification criteria. Almost without exception, the property will want to know that you have restored your rental history. Some of them will want additional deposits and it usually depends on how much you owe on the property you broke your lease on. Apartments can go back to the beginning of time by checking rental history. Even owning a property for 10 years can easily get denied.
I have a broken lease out of state.
Once a broken lease is reported to the credit bureau, it will show up no matter where you are. If you owe money on a property, most of them will not work with you. In effect, a broken out-of-state lease is the same as a broken lease with a local apartment. Your options will remain the same … make payment arrangements or go to a property that works for you.
I don’t have a broken lease, but I owe money on a property!
Usually that means you owe a cleaning fee. Again … the apartments don’t work for you. But usually the amounts owed are not that much and you can arrange for them to be paid.
I have a broken lease. But my credit is good!
Many apartments, especially the newer ones, use a point system like Saferent or Credit Retriever. If you score in the except range and your background is verified, some of them will work for you. But most apartments will automatically deny you if you owe money to another property.
I have over one broken lease!
Difficult … but not entirely impossible. They will give you an additional deposit and may require a co-signer. Additional deposit can be up to one month’s rent. Sometimes the first and last month. Very few apartments will do this.
I have a broken lease and bad credit.
There are a small number of apartments that will work for you, but you must have your rental history restored and it must be verifiable. Living with your mother, aunt, cousin, or uncle may not count as rental history for many rental properties. Just because you are not currently on a lease does not mean that you do not have a verifiable rental history.
I don’t have a broken lease, but my roommate or spouse does!
Most rental properties will not put your roommate as an occupant. All persons over the age of 18 occupying the apartment must be on the lease and qualify to live there. They could easily deny you. There are still some properties that will work with an occupant situation, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find them. It’s ridiculous when people who make between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 a year can’t qualify for a $ 500-a-month apartment … but it’s a fact.
I have an eviction!
This is a bigger problem than a broken lease. Even apartments that will function with a broken lease may not touch an eviction. The reason is that they had to take you to court. This is a major expense for properties, not to mention a nuisance.
I am on a lease right now and I want to break it!
Stop … take a deep breath. Are you sure that’s what you want to do? Breaking a lease with an apartment is a leading cause of denials and severely limits the number of rental properties you will qualify for. It will stay on your credit forever, until you take care of it, and of course it will be denied in most places you go.
What are payment arrangements?
Before your broken lease goes into collection, you have a window of opportunity to make arrangements to pay off your lease in small AFFORDABLE payments. The manager will give you a letter informing you that your arrangements and many apartments will work with you. There are many, many properties that will insist that you pay in full before working with you.
I have made payment arrangements. Why did they deny me?
Most rental properties want your broken lease to be paid in full before accepting it. Fortunately, there are some properties that will work with payment arrangements. What this means is that you go back to the property where you broke your lease and tell them that you want to cancel your broken lease. Fixes can cost $ 20, $ 30, $ 50 a month, and maybe more. Whatever you agree with the property manager. NEGOTIATE … Make your first payment and receive a letter stating that you have made the necessary arrangements to cancel your broken lease. Then with that letter … you can go to the apartments that will work with you. It is important that you continue to make the payments or the property will return it to your credit.
I co-signed for a friend and they skipped the rent!
You have a broken lease … sorry! You can dispute it over your credit or find your friend and have him make payment arrangements. But you are responsible from the point of view of the apartment.
How to legally break a lease.
If you are in the military and you are being transferred or redeployed … no problem! Otherwise, you will have to pay a re-rental fee. Usually 85% of a month’s rent. Sometimes you will also have to return the concessions. (Let’s say you got a $ 250.00 discount on your first month’s rent) Many apartments will hold you responsible for the rent until it is re-rented. That’s the scary part … be sure to clear that up with the manager. No property can charge 2 rentals in the same unit at the same time. Talk to your apartment manager and be clear that you understand their policies regarding rental rates.
I receive mail from a collection agency about my broken lease.
This means the credit bureau has been reported and is now on your credit report. Your broken lease is official. You will have to pay it off, make payment arrangements, or find a rental property that works for you. When you find yourself here, you almost have to work with an apartment locator or a real estate agent.
I broke a lease, but I also had a very good reason.
For all practical purposes, an apartment lease is tight … let me repeat that … IRONCLAD. If it is absolutely necessary for you to break a lease for an apartment, talk to your manager or landlord first, explain your situation, and try to make payment arrangements with them. Most of them understand and will work with you. Some of them will do the impossible. Property managers can be understanding, but remember they’ve heard it all. There are procedures that you must follow to the letter. This is why most of them cannot accept partial payments (although many will … for a while). In practical terms, most people break a lease because they lose their job or get divorced. Sometimes a family member gets sick. Sometimes it is an abusive situation. As sad as it is … none of these things will matter if you don’t meet the terms of your lease … sorry.
Someone got in my car and I drove off!
Nobody wants to live in fear, but the lease for an apartment is ironclad. That means you will end up with a broken lease. I’ve seen apartment managers let people out, but it’s usually just one of those unfortunate things, from an apartment point of view. Definitely tell the manager and call the police. Whatever happens is at the manager’s discretion. Be thorough and have documentation when you speak with him / her.
They said they hadn’t given 30 days’ notice!
The apartments are very strict about it. You must give proper notice and they should know that you have given proper notice. Write it down, date it, and make an additional copy for your records. DON’T JUST LEAVE IT IN THE NIGHT BOX. Even though your lease has expired, you could still end up with a broken lease because you didn’t give proper notice. Worse yet … you could be denied at the next property you are looking at. Most properties want you to notify by day 3. There are a lot of apartments that require you to give 60 days notice. Make sure you know exactly what the policy is. Ah, one more thing! Just because you’ve lived there for five years, paid your rent on time, and been an ideal tenant, don’t think they can’t break your lease without notice.