Can I break my lease if my job transfers me?

Asked on January 12, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

To start, you need to read your lease. There may be language that addresses this issue. If not, then you are not entitled you to terminate your lease which means that you are still liable for the remaining rent. However you should be aware that, your landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages" after you move out. What this means is that they must use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant. If, and when, that happens you will then be relieved of any further financial obligation.
In order to move things along, perhaps you know of someone who would like take over your space. Also, ask if you can sublet your unit. In a sublet you in effect become the "landlord" or techically "sublandlord". Then, you could charge the subtenant less than what you are paying but it would at least give you some rent relief. However, you would need your landlord's permission to do so and, with a sublease, you will still remain liable for the rent if your subtenant fails to pay.
Finally, check with your employer to see if it can help offset some of your rental expenses through a relocation allowance. Many companies will do this.

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.