If my landlord asked me to come up with a number to be bought out of my lease, how do I negotiate something like this?

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2019

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If my landlord asked me to come up with a number to be bought out of my lease, how do I negotiate something like this?

How do I know how much the buyout is worth? The asking price for the home is $400,000. I am renting and have 5 years left on the lease.

Asked on January 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no right or wrong answer: ultimately, it must be an amount you and the landlord both agree to. Here is how I would counsel my own client, but again, it must work for you, so feel free to disregard the following if helpful.
1) What would a comparable home in a comparable area cost you to rent? If more than the current home, how much more? The difference is one component of what you should be compensated for. Say that you are paying $2,500/month to rent (for example) and that a comparable place, were you to sign a new lease, would be $2,800/month. A $300/month difference for 60 months is $18,000.00. 
If you would pay the same or less elsewhere, you would not ask for any money under this first step.
2) What would your moving cost be? That is something the landlord should pay.
3) Would you have to pay a leasing agent or broker to find you a new place? The landlord should pay that.
4) Realistically, how many days would it take you to get get back up from this house, then unpack at the next? Since you are giving up that time, the landlord should pay you for that at your daily rate.
5) Add up 1- - 4) above and add a 5% or 10% premium to it for your inconvenience; that is a reasonble number to ask for. From there, again, negotaite to something that works for both of you.

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