Do I need to give 3 months notice to break a 1 year lease even if it says nothing about early termintion on the lease itself?

UPDATED: May 25, 2012

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Do I need to give 3 months notice to break a 1 year lease even if it says nothing about early termintion on the lease itself?

I am in an uncomfortable living situation with my ex-boyfriend (we broke up in the middle of a one year lease) and our landlords, who are his friends and live above us. I told them last month I couldn’t afford rent and the situation was too uncomfortable. They told me the law is you have to give 3 months notice but they would let me give just one as long as I stayed until next month. I can’t find any info on this law and my lease doesn’t say anything about breaking it. I cannot afford to pay even one months rent as I lost my job and I understand it will hurt my credit score.

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  A lease is a contract and the terms of the contract will govern how the parties are to act.  Does the lease say that you can terminate on 3 months notice becuase under the law a termination would be a breach of the contract.  If they are willing to let you out like that then please get it in writing because if it is not in writing it is worth nothing.  Can you borrow the money for the time being becuase it sounds like a good offer. Otherwise you could be stuck. And make sure that the termination agreement severs you from joint liability under the original lease agreement. Good luck. 

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