Can Security Deposit be Forfeited if You Break Your Lease?

If you break your lease, you might lose your security depositYour rental lease is for a year but halfway through it, you found your dream home or you need to move out because of a new job in a new city; will you be able to still claim your rental deposit? Or will your landlord forfeit this amount?

A rental contract is legal and binding and therefore, breaking your lease or moving out before the lease is over could subject you to fines and penalties. One of these is forfeiture of your rental deposit. Unless stated in your rental contract, you may not be able to get back your rental deposit and may even be liable for the remainder of your rent payments in your lease.

You could work it out by negotiating with your landlord or by following some of these tips:

  1. As said, you should try to negotiate with your landlord. Be polite and understanding and you will certainly be able to win over your landlord. Explain why you need to move and that you may need to get your rental deposit back.
  2. You may also find loopholes in your contract which could help you break your lease and claim a portion or all your rental deposit back. Loopholes could be found in different sections of your contract; you may consult an attorney that specializes in rental laws to help you out.
  • If your lease says that the owner is responsible for all repairs for any kind of structure in the premises then look for repairs that may have been overlooked. You can use these overlooked repairs as one of your reasons for letting go of your lease early. Make sure that you had given proper notification.
  • Check your neighborhood. Surely you have assessed the safety of your neighborhood before you rented the property but a lot may have changed from that time. You and your family’s safety in and around the premises is a very important factor in maintaining a rental property and if you feel that you are not safe, considering conditions outside your home then you may have no choice but to look for another place to rent. This may be one of the reasons you give, but don’t count on it as being sufficient reason to get out of your lease.
  • Your rental home may not be that fit to live in. Possibly the structure had deteriorated, or pest infestation is rampant, and your landlord cannot control it. . You may highlight this as one of your reasons from moving in to a more modern, safe and updated home.
  1. If you have to vacate the property and break your lease because of circumstances that you simply cannot control then you should explain this to your landlord. Some reasons that are beyond your control are work assignments to another location, an unforeseen circumstance such as a death in the family, a break-up in your marriage, the need to move into a senior’s home for old folks or for medical care then this should be negotiated with your landlord. Often a military re-assignment is considered a valid reason to break your lease before the end.

If your landlord is considerate, he/she will possibly allow you to break your lease and return all or a portion of your rental deposit. Or possibly your landlord will waive the remainder of the rent, but keep your security deposit if your reason is not all that compelling. In all cases, be patient and considerate as well, and you won’t have to deal with this the hard way.

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