Breaking a Lease — The Bump
Atlanta Babies

Breaking a Lease

So my sister is purchasing her first home and trying to take advantage of the first time homebuyer tax credit. This will require her breaking her lease and will cost her approximately $5K. Is there anyway for her to reduce the cost of breaking her lease?

Re: Breaking a Lease

  • Depends on the lease terms, but maybe she can find a new renter for the place to help mitigate the cost? I broke a lease several years ago when I lived in NYC, found a new renter and since it was such a unique property with a waiting list, had the renter pay the lease break fee.  Special circumstances, but just a thought...
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  • She should proactively work with the landlord to help find a renter.  It is up to the landlord because she is legally bound by the lease agreement.

    DH and I and I have several properties that we lease and we have on occasion worked with renters who break leases.  We take into account their history with us (paying rent on time) and how much notice they give us.

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  • Is her lease an apt complex with a corporate policy or a private home renter?  I think that may help to make a difference (corporate property tends to be more strict about lease agreements), but on the other hand rental property is taking a hit as well.  We've had a property on the market since SEPTEMBER with ALL NEW FLOORS.  Its a mess.  The landlord may not be willing to give up the guaranteed money.

    If I were her, unless this is just the dreamhouse of a lifetime, I would calculate how much the tax credit is vs the cost of breaking the lease.  If breaking the lease is more expensive and this is NOT the house of her dreams and/or the deal of the century, she should just wait and skip the tax credit.

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