4 Tips To Help You Avoid Breaking Your Lease

Alex & Leah Del Mundo
Published on May 21, 2021

4 Tips To Help You Avoid Breaking Your Lease

 

Most renters in Guam tend to make plans for the next 6 to 12 months. While breaking a lease is generally a big no-no, sometimes there’s no way around it. Life happens, and certain circumstances might warrant getting out of your rental situation. And if you’re Military, you may have been given order to move.  Regardless of the situation, the thought of breaking your rental contract can keep you up at night.

Before you forfeit your deposit of the remaining rent owed on your lease, it is advisable that you know your options and then discuss them with your landlord or property manager.

 

1. TALK ABOUT YOUR SITUATION

If your life situation has altered or you have a problem with the property, talk things through and don’t assume you have to deal with it alone.  

Start by talking to the landlord or property manager. We may live in a world of emails and digital communication, but a face-to-face discussion can be more beneficial than an email exchange. Be concise and clear when you inform them about your circumstances and why you are unhappy or are in need of a change. If you are Military, give your landlord the  heads-up that you may be leaving soon.

Before knocking on your landlord’s door or making an appointment with your property manager, carefully think your situation through and decide whether you really need to quit your lease. 

Some problems can be worked out with the manager. If your roommate is leaving and you will struggle to afford the rent by yourself, the property has some issues or the noisy neighbors are contributing to a miserable living situation, your manager should be able to work with you to help fix the issue. 

Property managers and landlords are used to having to deal with these types of problems and will most likely have some sort of operational framework in place to help resolve them, whether it be unpleasant noisy neighbors or issues with the property itself. 

Let them know what is making you unhappy and you may be surprised at how quickly the issue can be resolved, without having to break your lease.

 

2. CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS

After you have spoken to your landlord or property manager and discussed your situation, you may both decide that it is necessary that you quit your lease. However, you can then work through your available options. 

Depending on the scale of the company that is managing the property you are leasing and the terms of your lease agreement, you might have several options available to you.

If you require more room or need to downsize, you may be able to move into another property in your building. This can be an easy and attractive option if you are expecting a baby and will need more room in your home, or if your roommate has left the apartment and you require less space and more affordable accommodations. 

You can also check to see if your landlord or property management team has another property available at a different location. If you need to relocate for your job, it could be that your property management company owns several buildings in other states  and there is an option that you can transfer.

However, depending on state tenant laws, your lease terms or tenancy agreement, some of these changes to your lease may involve fees.

 

3. NEGOTIATE YOUR LEASE BEFORE YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE

Although you may have some options, the best way to avoid breaking your lease is to make sure you negotiate before you agree to the rental terms.

If you are considering buying a house in the near future, it would be worth trying to include a mortgage clause. The length of time to complete the purchase of a property can be unpredictable, especially with a short-sale home. It is a good idea to have a flexible lease that won’t hit you with heavy fines. 

If your job requires you to relocate, you can negotiate a clause in the lease that covers relocation. Military always requires Military Clause with rental agreements so Military tenant can avoid penalties.

You can’t always predict every change and turn life will bring, but for the ones that you can, try to include a clause in the lease that gives you an “out”, just in case.  

However, be ready for the landlord to counter this clause or accept another offer that does NOT have this clause included.  Your realtor can help you know what the rental market is like and if it’s wise to do this.

 

4.  TRY TO THINK AHEAD

Negotiate your rental agreement before moving into the property to have the best chance of avoiding breaking your lease.

Breaking a lease is not ideal, but sometimes unavoidable. Much of what happens when you break a lease is up to you and how you handle the situation. Life happens, and you have to roll with the punches. If you do have to break your lease, do it with your reputation intact.

If you need assistance in breaking your Guam lease and finding a new rental, give us a call at 1-671-687-7520 and we’ll make sure to connect you with one of our experienced real estate agents.