For Lease signs on display outside buildings

What to do About your Lease When Buying a Home

It’s happened to plenty of people. They find an apartment or condo they love, sign a lease and then a few months later, have the opportunity to buy their own home.

While these people are thrilled that they have the chance to own their own home, they’re also left wondering and worrying about how to get out of their lease. Nobody wants to have to pay their landlord a ton of money because they’re breaking their lease, but you also don’t want to let your lease expire before you close on your new home.

A lot of renters who want to purchase a home feel like they either have to renew the lease for another year, or don’t renew it and let it expire. However, there may be other options.

First of all, be upfront with your landlord. Ask if there may be other leasing options that will give you more flexibility until you’re ready to move while allowing you to move out with little or no penalty.

Your landlord may allow you to switch to a month-to-month rental agreement. Instead of renewing your lease, ask if it would be possible for you to pay by the month until you move. If the landlord allows it, you’ll have peace of mind, while saving money. When you decide to move, your landlord will likely forego any penalty as long as you give at least 30 days’ notice.

One thing to keep in mind though is your landlord could also end the agreement with only 30 days’ notice. In this scenario, when you decide you’re moving and you give notice, you must be out within that time frame, but you must also be ready to go within that time frame should your landlord want to end the agreement.

Your landlord may also allow you to renew the lease for a shorter amount of time. Ask your landlord if he or she would consider letting your lease for three or six months. If that is allowable and you renew for six months but still haven’t found your dream home, you could then renew for another six months – as long as the landlord is OK with it.

There is also the chance that your landlord won’t agree to a shorter lease time or to allowing you to rent on a monthly basis. Also, if you still have several months left on your current lease, then it’s likely you’ll be ready to move into your new house before the lease expires, which means neither option will work for you. If that’s the case, the only thing you can do is to try to break your lease and pay the minimal amount of penalty.

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