How can I end my lease payments early?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I end my lease payments early?

We provided notice via e-mail to our property manager on 05/22 of concerns regarding affording monthly lease payments due to a lost job. At the beginning of June, an early termination agreement was signed after the property manager stated there was no early termination allowed. Within the agreement, we are released from the lease obligation if the unit is rented or at the end of our lease term 09/30. The property has only been shown 3 times, of which we were required to be available for showing. The rental amount was increased and the property listing is very broad and undetailed. We have found the listing on Zillow. Without a termination clause, other than real estate jargon that mentions something of a 60 day notice, is there any way to fight the continued rent payments until 09/30?

Asked on August 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, if there is no early termination clause in the lease itself, with which you have complied, it's up to the landlord to let you out early (if they choose to do so) and under what terms. A job loss or other economic or personal issue not caused by the landlord provides no basis for escaping the lease early, unfortunately. As a general rule, only if the other party does something impairing your performance of or adherance to the lease/contract, or violating your rights under it, can you get out of your obligations early.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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