WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Poll: Have you ever had to break a lease?
  • 49.2% - No, I honor all my commitments. 797
  • 14.6% - No, it was going to cost too much. 237
  • 26.2% - Yes, and it wasn't really a big deal. 424
  • 8.6% - Yes, and it was a complete nightmare. 139
  • 1.4% - I've got something to say about this in the comments. 23
1620 votes

Well, how do you fare compared to the Zeitgeist? Chat up your fellow wooters and let us know how lame this poll was or what obvious choices we missed. For example: Was this poll a) STUPID, b) DUMB, c) POINTLESS or d) ALL OF THE ABOVE?

spitfire6006006


quality posts: 2 Private Messages spitfire6006006

Where's the "it's never come up" option?
The only lease I've signed was to rent the duplex I live in.

theco2


quality posts: 86 Private Messages theco2

Never a lease, but a cell phone contract. Cell phone companies are just plain evil!

scizzie


quality posts: 0 Private Messages scizzie

I had to break an apartment lease. I would have had to pay the rest of the rent on the lease, so I had to find a person to take over my lease and do a ton of paperwork. It was pretty much a nightmare!

thumperchick


quality posts: 249 Private Messages thumperchick

Yes and we made a deal for me to handle the cleaning, pay one extra month - and they would return my security deposit, which they stiffed me on. Still - cheap exit for breaking a lease.

We broke another to buy a house - and they were really cool about it, but they have a waiting list dozens deep for that neighborhood, so us leaving wasn't a problem. Even got our deposits back.

goodwolfe21


quality posts: 0 Private Messages goodwolfe21

Oddly, what really perplexed me, was the 53% (as of this writing) of readers who chose number one; "No, I honor all my commitments"..what the heck does that mean? People who have had to, don't honor theirs? I leased an apartment in Miami where my company had transferred me, but was then unexpectedly transferred again before my second lease period had ended. However, with letter from my company I was allowed to break the lease and even get back my deposit. I suspect it may not have been quite as easy had I not been located on the bay and in a unit where there just happened to be a waiting list.

levinmmm


quality posts: 0 Private Messages levinmmm

"honor commitments" like it's virtuous - that's perverse thinking. A lease is a business arrangement. You don't "honor" it, you decide whether it's in your interest to fulfill the contract and the lessor does the same; just like you both decide it's in your interest to agree to the terms of the lease.

Thinking there's something virtuous about honoring the terms of lease, paying back loans to financial institutions - that's just being a willing victim. Do it if it's in your interest, just like the counterparty keeps their part of the agreement if its in their interest.

gwal01


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gwal01

My first choice is a nice aged angus medium-rare ribeye steak with an ice cold craft beer. Taste even better when I cook it myself. Just saying!

dann


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dann
levinmmm wrote:"honor commitments" like it's virtuous - that's perverse thinking. A lease is a business arrangement. You don't "honor" it, you decide whether it's in your interest to fulfill the contract and the lessor does the same; just like you both decide it's in your interest to agree to the terms of the lease.

Thinking there's something virtuous about honoring the terms of lease, paying back loans to financial institutions - that's just being a willing victim. Do it if it's in your interest, just like the counterparty keeps their part of the agreement if its in their interest.



You had me until, "Thinking there's something virtuous about honoring... paying back loans to financial institutions..." because a loan is different. You took their money, not paying it back is theft. Period!

McGuffy


quality posts: 8 Private Messages McGuffy

As a rental property owner, we put time and money into preparing a unit for rental, and when you sign a contract you are expected to honor it. What good is a lease if you're going to break it? When someone breaks a lease, we go after them with every means at our disposal.

"There are 2 types of people in the world: Those can extrapolate from incomplete data."

zekecatz


quality posts: 202 Private Messages zekecatz
scizzie wrote:I had to break an apartment lease. I would have had to pay the rest of the rent on the lease, so I had to find a person to take over my lease and do a ton of paperwork. It was pretty much a nightmare!



Once tried to break an apartment lease one month early. They said OK if you pay that month's rent, forfeit your deposit and pay two months penalty. Four months rent just to get out 30 days early! We paid the rent and moved out; didn't turn in the keys until about 10:30PM the last day. Got almost all the deposit back.

Years later I wanted to break another lease to buy a house. They said OK, just give us a copy of your agreement of sale. That's all I had to do and I got all my security deposit back too.

christinue


quality posts: 2 Private Messages christinue

I broke lease, but I put in a notice and paid my percentage... because I'd purchased a house. So, was it really breaking the lease?

225todd


quality posts: 0 Private Messages 225todd

We had to break a apartment lease 4 months early because we bought a house. The landlord was really cool about it and encouraged us to by the house. He said the only bad part was that we had to forfeit our deposit which was no big deal. We also let him know about what we were trying to do about 3 months before we had to break the lease. Right after we signed that lease for a small townhouse we found out my wife was pregnant and there wasn't enough room in that place for a family of 3!

trixierix


quality posts: 1 Private Messages trixierix

Had to break a lease bc of a bad break up and needed to move home. Apt was super nice about it and even let me get my deposit back. You don't find many companies that are understanding of personal issues. I was shocked.

RKett


quality posts: 2 Private Messages RKett

I agree with the folks who question it being virtous to honor a lease. I had to (wanted to) break an apartment lease and went tot the apartment office told them why , they said no problem, got my deposit back, no penalty, whats the big deal, they just rent it to somebody else.

McGuffy


quality posts: 8 Private Messages McGuffy

You signed a legal contract agreeing to pay a set amount for a set period. It's like financing a car. They can't force you to pay, but they can send it to collections and seek a judgement (all of which I have done, and would do again).

RKett wrote:I agree with the folks who question it being virtous to honor a lease. I had to (wanted to) break an apartment lease and went tot the apartment office told them why , they said no problem, got my deposit back, no penalty, whats the big deal, they just rent it to somebody else.



"There are 2 types of people in the world: Those can extrapolate from incomplete data."

baboval


quality posts: 3 Private Messages baboval

I have three lease breaking stories:

I lived in a shady area of Worcester, MA in a house owned by a slumlord. About a week after one of his houses across the street burned down due to a gas issue, we had a gas leak at our house. We called him to complain, and he said to open the window and he would look at it after the weekend. The guy from the gas company told us to get out, so we took all our stuff and left him a note telling him we were never coming back. We got one angry phone call and told him to feel free to sue us (students with no cash). Never heard from him again.

Two apartments later, my roommate met a girl he HAD to move in with, so he ditched me and I couldn't afford the rent anymore. Had to buy out of the lease, which cost two months rent.

But the WORST lease breaking story involved a photo copy machine. I was cleaning up the remnants of a defunct software startup, and one of the loose ends was an office-sized copy machine. Those guys were awful. Harassing phone calls for weeks. You'd tell them the company was out of money, and that they should come get their machine, and they would say the meanest nastiest things. They claimed to want to force the corporation into bankruptcy court to prove we were really out of cash, even though I had all the leverage (I had their machine, and the company had practically no cash left that they could sue for). The refused to settle for what I thought was a reasonable amount of money; they insisted the only out was to pay the rest of the lease in full. Eventually I put the machine in the bathroom of a publicly accessible lobby, installed a padlock on the door, and mailed them the key and directions. Then I called and told them if they ever wanted their machine back, how to get it, and to go ahead and sue the dead company if they wanted. The guy on the phone made some unsavory comments about my mother, but the machine was gone the next day. No idea if they took it or if somebody else did.

baboval


quality posts: 3 Private Messages baboval
McGuffy wrote:As a rental property owner, we put time and money into preparing a unit for rental, and when you sign a contract you are expected to honor it. What good is a lease if you're going to break it? When someone breaks a lease, we go after them with every means at our disposal.



Everything is negotiable.

You're right that people should honor their leases, but if you're not willing to negotiate a reasonable out (for example covering your costs to prep the place and find a new tenant, which is actually the LAW in a lot of states), and instead insist on maintaining the full term of a lease that somebody needs to get out of, then you're basically just a jerk.

tomprodehl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tomprodehl

Had a crummy place with a scummy landlord, after putting up with spradic heat, bug infestations, and break-ins down the hall due to broken security, I moved out to a less convenient but safer place. Scummy, the landlord, sued me in small claims, I countered claimed on the basis of uninhabitabilty. Met in court and the judge ruled I lose my deposit and owed no further rent which was about 6 months worth. Never expected to get the security back anyway so I count it a win.

tomprodehl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tomprodehl
baboval wrote:Everything is negotiable.

You're right that people should honor their leases, but if you're not willing to negotiate a reasonable out (for example covering your costs to prep the place and find a new tenant, which is actually the LAW in a lot of states), and instead insist on maintaining the full term of a lease that somebody needs to get out of, then you're basically just a jerk.



No one is required to sign a lease that does not spell out early termination options. You might pay extra to get the option, but you makes your choices.

hippie1981


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hippie1981

I broke a lease once and it wasn't a big deal at all. I was buying a house and that was the one reason you were allowed to break a lease and still get your security deposit back with that apartment complex.

hwalsh10284


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hwalsh10284

As a landlord I never do leases. Month to month works best for me and my renters. I have some landlords in my area who use leases to take advantage of students. My rental agreement is air tight so there are no room mates I don't know about and it forbids sub lease/rents. I do allow pets with a heafty pet deposit. When one of my places goes on the market I normally have 15 to 20 good choices of renters to pick from.

hwalsh10284


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hwalsh10284
levinmmm wrote:"honor commitments" like it's virtuous - that's perverse thinking. A lease is a business arrangement. You don't "honor" it, you decide whether it's in your interest to fulfill the contract and the lessor does the same; just like you both decide it's in your interest to agree to the terms of the lease.

Thinking there's something virtuous about honoring the terms of lease, paying back loans to financial institutions - that's just being a willing victim. Do it if it's in your interest, just like the counterparty keeps their part of the agreement if its in their interest.



If your lease has a process for early termination and you follow it you are not breaking the lease. If you don't you are breaking it. If you break the lease you are legally you can be forced to honor the terms and you will be liable for court costs. If you have a judgement against you you will also be liable for the cost of collection including but not limited to paying for sherrifs deputies to find you and come after you with a bench warrent for refusing to pay the judgement. You can have you personal property confiscated and your wages garnished all the while piling up the costs of collection and interest.

dontwantaname


quality posts: 13 Private Messages dontwantaname

Volunteer Moderator

We wouldn't sign the lease when we were house hunting. Landlord asked us why we were avoiding the lease after 5 years. We told them we were house hunting. They said sign the lease, but we won't hold you to it.
We did. They gave us no trouble. Got our deposit back.

This was a long, long time ago!

WE LURV YOU TOO! Dork!!!
No greater love is lost than that not shared.

dacajun


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dacajun
tomprodehl wrote:Had a crummy place with a scummy landlord, after putting up with spradic heat, bug infestations, and break-ins down the hall due to broken security, I moved out to a less convenient but safer place. Scummy, the landlord, sued me in small claims, I countered claimed on the basis of uninhabitabilty. Met in court and the judge ruled I lose my deposit and owed no further rent which was about 6 months worth. Never expected to get the security back anyway so I count it a win.




I had the same situation with my first lease, judge ruled that the land lord failed to provide "safe living conditions" and they kept my deposit.

cleothemuse


quality posts: 4 Private Messages cleothemuse
dacajun wrote:I had the same situation with my first lease, judge ruled that the land lord failed to provide "safe living conditions" and they kept my deposit.



Me three, but without the court involvement. I let them know up front they could keep my deposit but I would NOT be paying any further rent, and if they wanted to take me to court over it, I'd happily counter-sue for the loss of wages due to illness on account of their failure to control the bug problems. Haven't had to break a lease since.

McGuffy


quality posts: 8 Private Messages McGuffy

We're not talking about a mutually agreeable negotiation. We're talking about breaking the lease. If you negotiate an out acceptable to both parties, then it isn't breaking the lease now is it? Deadbeat.

baboval wrote:Everything is negotiable.

You're right that people should honor their leases, but if you're not willing to negotiate a reasonable out (for example covering your costs to prep the place and find a new tenant, which is actually the LAW in a lot of states), and instead insist on maintaining the full term of a lease that somebody needs to get out of, then you're basically just a jerk.



"There are 2 types of people in the world: Those can extrapolate from incomplete data."

gwal01


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gwal01

Who besides me thinks some people take these Woot questions just a bit too seriously? I mean come on life is too short for all these in depth Woot comments although this site has become my sole source for researching questions that have an extreme complexity in their answers.

xtrishaxlynnx


quality posts: 0 Private Messages xtrishaxlynnx

I got out of a lease and it was actually pretty simple, since the reason was the fault of the lessor. I did my homework (learned and gathered documents regarding laws,)took samples of the mold which was the reason for breaking the lease, and took pictures. They freed me from the agreement almost immediately upon being presented with the information.