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end year to year lease early?

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We live in NY state and are in our third year of a year to year lease renewed in june 2001. We are looking to buy a home probably sometime this year and want to know how to break the lease and still get our 3000 security deposit back. We have kept the property well maintained and made improvements and have paid the rent on time every month.


Senior Member
The year lease that you signed last month (June 2001) is a contract between you and the lessor. As such, there is really no way to break (breach) the lease/contract without suffering some repercussions unless allowed either by the lease or by the other contract party (landlord).

I would suggest that you either read the lease to see if there are any provisions allowing for early release (unlikely) or contact the landlord and see if he/she would consider your changing to a shorter term or month-to-month.

Additionally, most states do not allow the landlord to unilaterally keep security deposits as a result of breach. The security deposit is intended to protect against damages and unpaid rent, fees or penalties. As such, if your landlord re-leases the property shortly after your termination, he should not be able to keep the remaining portion of the deposit (depending on your state laws).

Here is an example: Rent is $750 per month and you breach the lease on September 1, 2001, and have $250 worth of damages. If you pay your rent for September, you're paid through Sept 31, allowing the owner several weeks to try to re-lease. Lets say he has a new tenant who starts paying rent on October 1. The landlord should only be able to deduct the $250 in damages from your deposit, and return $2750. However, if the new tenant rent doesn't start until November 1, then the landlord can deduct another $750 (rent for October) from your deposit and should return $2,000 to you.

Depending on your rent obligation and possible damages, it could be pretty hard for the landlord to keep the full amount of deposit.



In other words......

You must consider that losing part or most of your deposit is a cost of buying a new home.

Ignore that its there, base your home purchase on that fact.

If you get some of it back.......then pay an extra month or two or three on your mortgage .....and you will save many times what you lost of the secuirty, just on the interest charges alone!

[Edited by dj1 on 06-07-2001 at 01:12 PM]

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