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Can you escape your lease without penalty?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Property Law

When you sign a residential lease, you agree to stay there for a specific amount of time. What happens if you need to move out early?

A lease agreement binds you to the place for a set period at an agreed price. The landlord cannot throw you out during that time except in specific circumstances. Nor can they raise the rent or do other things which go against your deal. The contract also protects them. For example, if you move out without a valid reason, you still need to pay rent for the entire contract term. However, there are exceptions when you can escape the lease without the need to continue paying rent.

Here are 3 times you may be able to end your lease early

Here are three possible reasons that could allow you to move out before your contract is up without penalty:

  1. The rental unit does not meet required living standards: Rental properties need to meet specific criteria set down under state law. If you find issues, ask your landlord to sort them. If they refuse or take too long, you may be able to move out.
  2. You are in the military and get deployed or moved: Under Texas law, you have a right to break a lease if you need to deploy on military duty for over 90 days or change station permanently. You still need to follow the correct procedures.
  3. Your landlord invades your right to privacy: You expect a certain amount of privacy when you rent a place. If you find your landlord using a spare key to enter whenever they feel like or spying on you in the shower, you may be able to end your contract.

If you think you have reason to break your residential lease, it is best to find out more before you do it. Your landlord might challenge you, and if a court finds you did not have sufficient grounds, you could face further legal problems.