Can I break a rental lease if I purchase a house for the first time?

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Can I break a rental lease if I purchase a house for the first time?

I’m a new homebuyer but have a rental lease agreement for another 9 months, however I want to purchase a home can I break my lease and get my full deposit amount I gave the property management?

Asked on May 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless your lease provides for termination in the event that you purchase a house (highly unlikely), then you are obligated to pay rent for the remiander of the lease term. What you can do if your landlord will not release you, is to see if they will let you sublet the premises to someone else. Otherwise, if you leave early you still must pay the rent. That having been said, your landlord is under a "duty to mitigate damages". This means that they must make a good faith effort to re-lease the space ASAP. Once they do, you will be relieved of your rental obligation at that time.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. A lease is a contract: you are obligated by it for its full length or duration (i.e. for all the rent due for the remaining 9 months). The fact that it would be better for you to get out of the lease, or that you want to stop renting, or have a good opportunity to get a house, etc. is completely irrelevant and has no bearing on the enforceabilty of the lease, the same way the landlord could not evict you early (before your lease is up) simply because a friend of his wanted to rent your space, or someone else offered him more money for your unit. You can buy the new home, but will stay have to pay for your rental for another nine months.


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