Is there a law that has a waiting period for when you can back out of a lease if it hasn’t gone into effect yet?

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Is there a law that has a waiting period for when you can back out of a lease if it hasn’t gone into effect yet?

I re-signed a 6 month lease 3 days ago. Unfortunately that night something came up to prevent me from being able to stick out a 6 month lease. I called the office and left a message and called them again this morning to see if I could back out of the lease and they told me the paperwork had been processed and I would need to pay to break the lease. Is there a waiting period for that or is there nothing I can do?

Asked on January 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, unlike a mortgage, there is no waiting or rescissionary period on a lease. That is, the lease goes into effect as soon as the tenant accepts and signs it. You therefore could potentially be held liable for all 6 months or rent, unless either the lease gives you some right to terminate early (such as by paying 30 or 60 days) or the landlord agrees to let you terminate early, possibly by paying a fee; note that if the landlord agrees to let you out of the lease, make sure you get the agreement in writing (even email) to memorandize it and avoid any later misunderstandings or disagreements.


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