Renters: legal reasons to vacate a lease

Occasionally, the time comes when a renter discovers that they need to leave an apartment before the end of their lease.

Tenants have myriad reasons to break their lease, but no matter what, they will likely still be charged a fine. However, there are a few ways that a tenant can back out of a lease legally and not incur any financial charges.

The best way for renters to avoid this situation is to carefully read through any lease and rental application before signing it. As irritating as it might be when landlords renege on promises for amenities, unless they're in writing or in the lease, the tenant has no right to demand them. Furthermore, vacating a lease on the grounds that these amenities were not provided will not hold up in court.

If a tenant can prove that the condition of the apartment is unlivable and has been for some time, they have the right to leave the apartment and not pay damages. This approach is particularly effective if the tenant can produce proof of communication with the landlord, showing that the latter knew about the problem and failed to address it in a timely manner.

Renters should also be careful about signing break-lease agreements. Although these may seem straightforward, they can contain a clause requiring tenants to pay out the remainder of their lease.