A tenant may need to leave before the end of the lease. It may happen that he/she is not comfortable in the dwelling, but it may also be due to force majeure, such as a change of job or an illness, either his/her own or that of a family member.
In any case, the fact of leaving the rental early can be detrimental to the owner of the property, who had the income corresponding to the rental fee. For this reason, most rental contracts include a clause regulating how to act in the event of the tenant’s early termination of the tenancy.
Can the tenant leave the lease early?
The answer is yes, but in that case the owner of the property will be entitled to apply the clause that corresponds to this situation in the signed rental contract. It is very common that this clause states that the landlord has the right to be compensated financially and, therefore, may keep the rental deposit, unless a specific amount or additional months of rent is specified.
That is why, before making any decision, it is necessary to review the rental contract and check that this clause does indeed appear. If it does not appear, the tenant could leave the lease early without having to compensate the landlord. However, it is not the most usual that this issue is not specified in the contract.
What if I leave the rental due to force majeure?
Leaving a rental property early is not a decision that is usually taken lightly. However, it may sometimes be a capricious initiative. That is why a clause in this sense is usually included. But what happens if you have to leave your rented property because you have to change your job and your city of residence? What if you have to take care of a seriously ill relative?
Well, it is necessary to know that the lessor is in his perfect right to apply the clause that is indicated by contract and to obtain the fixed compensation. In these cases, the most coherent thing to do is for the landlord and tenant to sit down to talk about the issue and reach an agreement so that a part of the deposit is paid instead of one hundred percent or, if the apartment is easy to rent and not excessively expensive, no amount can be claimed at all.
In any case, it will be the owner of the property who will have the last word. And this circumstance is one of the reasons why a rental contract should always, always be signed.
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