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Breaking a Lease

Tenants call our office weekly asking how to get out of their lease. They usually have some issue that is affecting their stay in the rental property. Most common reasons for moving is they lost their job, broke up with their partner, can't pay the rent due, moving out of town/state, poor health or more. They cannot or will not stay for the duration of their lease. They want out of their lease....for the least amount due.

There are circumstances where early termination is allowed without penalty. If the property is uninhabitable, e.g. flooded, destroyed by fire or tornado, loss of house systems (electrical, water, sewer, ac/heating, etc.) the tenant may vacate the premises without a loss of deposits ore credit.

A tenant may terminate the lease due to domestic violence, mental disability or death of one of the co-tenants.

All tenants may break their lease at any time, however, there are consequences to their actions. Tenants normally signed a lease contract and as a result they will have real financial obligations if they renege on their contract. So what are the options?

If the tenant moves out early they will generally forfeit their security deposits to the landlord.

However it is not a guaranteed forfeiture. NRS 118A.242 states that regardless of the cause of the lease termination, the landlord only has the right to withhold from deposits 1.) remedy any default in the rent payment, 2.) reasonable costs of cleaning the property, and a 3.) deduction for any damages to the property. That's it.

If you move early and the move is not allowable by law or the lease you could be charged for the loss of rents, costs to re-rent the property (advertising and commissions), property damages, cleaning and painting charges.

Additionally, the landlord could sue you for the loss of rents while the property is vacant during your lease term.

Generally it is best to call RESYS Real Estate and discuss the options available for an early termination of the lease. Perhaps we can work out a solution agreeable to both landlord and tenants. It's best to be aware of your responsibilities by reading the lease and landlord/tenant laws.

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