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How Can I Get Out of a Lease Without Penalty?

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Most lease agreements are signed as fixed-term rental leases. The lease states the duration of the tenancy, which is usually one year. Moving out or getting out of a lease before the expiration of the fixed term may lead to serious consequences, such as continuing to pay rent due until the end of the lease term.

For this reason, many tenants in Florida wonder, “How can I break my lease without penalty?” If you want to get out of a lease or leave early without paying the remainder of the rent, consult with a Bradenton landlord-tenant attorney at Moran, Sanchy & Associates to explore your legal options.

How to break your lease without penalty?

If you are evicted by the landlord or want to leave early and move out before the lease term expires, you are legally bound to pay the remainder of the rent due until the lease ends. Thus, if your fixed-term lease agreement is 12 months, but you decide to move out at the 9th month, you will still have to pay rent for the 10th, 11th, and 12th months even though you no longer live in the rental unit.

However, under certain circumstances, a tenant can get out of a lease without some form of penalty:

  1. The landlord’s actions or lack thereof make the rental unit uninhabitable for the tenant. Under Section 83.51, Florida Statutes, landlords have an obligation to maintain their premises and provide habitable housing under the state’s building, housing, and health codes. If the rental unit becomes unsafe or uninhabitable or the landlord violates Florida’s health or safety codes, the tenant may be able to break a lease without penalty.
  2. The landlord violates the tenant’s privacy rights or harasses them. Section 83.53, Florida Statutes, requires landlords to give the tenants at least 12-hour notice before entering the rental unit. The reasonable time for the purpose of repair is between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., according to Florida law. If the landlord violates the tenant’s right to privacy, the tenant may have legal grounds to get out of a lease without having to pay the remainder of the rent due under the lease agreement. Also, a landlord making physical or verbal threats may constitute landlord harassment and give grounds to leave before the end of the lease.
  3. The tenant enters active military duty. You might be able to get out of a lease without paying any additional rent to your landlord if you entered active military service after the lease agreement was signed.
  4. Issues with neighbors. In some cases, excessive noise or other issues with neighbors may rise to the level of a nuisance. If the landlord fails to provide you with quiet enjoyment in the rental unit, as promised in the lease agreement, you may have grounds to break your lease and move out without penalty.

If you are considering getting out of a lease but are concerned about the possible penalties and consequences, talk to a lawyer. Contact our landlord-tenant dispute lawyers at Moran, Sanchy & Associates to determine how you can break a lease without penalty in Florida. Call at 941-366-1800 to receive a consultation.