Consider This Before Breaking A Housing Contract

To secure an apartment for rent, you'll probably need to sign a housing contract. While it's difficult to generalize about these contracts — they differ based on the landlord — most include some consequence(s) for breaking the terms. This is something to think about if you’re planning to move out before the rental term concludes. Prior to leaving early, you should first consider the costs, and whether there are other options. This guide from Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP will help you make an informed decision.  

Get The Facts About Rental Housing Contracts

Whether you’re looking at student apartments or townhomes for rent, you’ll at some point have to sign a housing contract. Even before getting into the ramifications of breaking a contract, it’s worth it to first know the basic facts about these agreements.

What's The Purpose Of The Agreement?

A housing contract is a written rental agreement between a property manager and a tenant. The document lists every stipulations to be followed by the renter, including the rental term, the monthly installment payment, and community rules such as guest policies and parking guidelines. Generally speaking, each rental community has a unique contract format. For this reason, no matter how experienced of renters they are, tenants should always review their leases meticulously before signing them.

Which Types Of Contracts Are Common In Gainesville?

Depending on the style of housing you choose to rent in Gainesville, you may encounter one of two types of leases.

Individual Contracts

Student housing is typically associated with individual contracts, where the tenant rents by-the-bed by signing an agreement for a bedroom in a one- or multi-room apartment. The advantage of this arrangement is roommates share no financial responsibility — if one fails to pay, the others are off the hook.

Standard Agreements

Under standard housing contracts, tenants who live together sign the same document. The advantage of this agreement is roommates can more easily share the costs. Although, if one roommate misses a payment or moves out and breaks the agreement, the others have to pick up the financial slack.

Breaking A Rental Agreement May Involve Consequences

In most cases, the consequences of breaking a housing contract by moving out early outweigh the benefits. Every situation is different, but at least two repercussions could apply to renters who bail on their rental agreements.

Financial Penalties

The financial penalty for vacating an apartment before the rental term ends is usually outlined in the housing contract. On average, the renter could expect to pay a fee equivalent to two months’ installments. The costs could rise even more if the person neglects to issue a vacate notice to the leasing office, in which case he or she could be liable to pay an extra penalty proportionate to however many months remain on the rental term.

Tarnished Rental History

Landlords consider an applicant’s rental history as part of his or her application for an apartment. A solid credit score and a reliable rental history are two of the most important criteria in this process of determining a renter’s eligibility. Breaking a housing contract can lower both your credit score and credibility and, thus, diminish your prospects for renting.

When Breaking An Agreement Is Unavoidable, What Are The Options?

You may have a justifiable reasons to break a contract: maybe you had to move for an unexpected job offer, attend to an urgent family matter, or transfer schools, which actually happens quite often with students in off campus apartments near UF. If breaking a rental contract is unavoidable, your best course of action is to keep an open line of communication with the property manager. Inform the landlord of your situation, and ask whether any alternatives, such as subletting to a new tenant, are possible. Just remember, it’s the prerogative of the property manager to permit (or decline) a special arrangement.

Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP is an experienced and respected property manager in North Central Florida. We offer reasonable contracts with fair terms for tenants. If renters have questions about their contracts, our leasing staff can provide answers and guidance. To find your perfect rental property in Gainesville, please contact us today!