In all of the excitement about being offered this fantastic opportunity, the reality is starting to set in and now it occurs to you that not only do you have to move, you (gulp!) have to break your lease. What to do? Unfortunately, accepting a position in another state is generally not considered a valid reason to break a lease.
On the bright side, you are a fully grown adult with great problem-solving skills. You just got offered your dream job, right? You’ve got this. It’s just going to take some time to think it all the way through. That’s what I’m here for…to talk you off the ledge and help you consider your options. Ready? Let’s go!
How many months remain on your lease?
If your lease is up in a month or two, it will probably be worth it to bite the bullet and buy out the remainder of your lease. You may be able to negotiate with your new employer to push back the start date of your new position to coincide with the end of your lease. Most employers understand you had a life before you accepted the position and that you may have some details that need to be attended to prior to beginning your new tenure.
If several months remain on your lease, begin by talking to your landlord. Hopefully, for you, you have a great relationship with your landlord. Be honest and tell them about your situation. Be upfront and tell them that this is not something you expected, but the opportunity fell in your lap. (The goal here is to get the landlord to empathize with you and to understand that you are concerned about the impact your moving may have on the landlord.)
The lease is a contract.
While you are legally bound to the terms of the lease, the property manager may be willing to revise the terms of your lease to assist you in your move. The possibility that this could happen depends on a few factors: have you been a good renter (always pay your rent on time with no complaints from other residents)? Is your unit going to be easy to rent? If you live in a great unit in a high demand area, you will have much more luck working with the property manager. Are you moving during peak leasing months or are you moving in December when no one else moves? This will impact the relative ease of finding another tenant.