Fixed-term leases obligate tenants for a set period of time, such as one year. In some situations, and depending on state law, tenants might have the right to move out before the lease expires without further liability for payment of rent. In addition, in many states, landlords must make reasonable efforts to rerent a unit (regardless of the tenant’s reason for leaving), and cannot continue to charge the former tenant for rent after finding a new tenant. This is called the landlord’s duty to mitigate damages. Read on to learn your state's rules about breaking a lease, including when it might be legally justified to leave early, and what tenants can do if they want to break a lease without having a legally acceptable reason to do so.
State-by-State Rules on Tenants Rights to Break a Rental Lease:
Learn when and how tenants may legally break a lease in your state and how to limit liability for rent through the end of the lease term.