In an age when moving around is almost a necessity in order to take a higher paying job, accommodate a company transfer, or to attend school, tenants may be faced with a tough decision of whether to break a lease. Each state has its own regulations, and it’s important to know what your liabilities may be if you decide to leave your San Antonio rental.
Entering the military
If you enter or receive orders for active duty in the military services you may break a lease under the federal War and National Defense Service members Civil Relief Act. You must provide your landlord with written notice that you are terminating the tenancy due to military obligations, as soon as you receive orders. Be prepared to remain obligated to pay rent for 30 days following the date the next rent is due, after you have given notice.
Buying a home
Good communication is always key between a tenant and landlord. Don’t sign a lease for a rental knowing you are soon going to buy a home. Let your landlord know and try to first get a provision in the lease. Without it, expect to be fully obligated to pay any remaining rent even if you have taken on mortgage payments. If you do break the lease you may be charged a fee to cover the expenses involved in your landlord re-renting the apartment, and you will also be legally responsible to pay rent until a new tenant is found.
Being safe in your rental
You should expect your living environment to be safe. Any repairs such as roof leaks or problems with hot and cold running water need to be addressed by the landlord within a reasonable length of time. Your personal safety is also covered in Texas state law. If you’ve been granted a restraining order because of abuse or domestic violence from someone in your home, you have a right to break your lease and move to a safer location once the order is issued by the court.
If you cannot legally break your lease, under Texas law your landlord is obligated to make an effort to find a new tenant. You would then be required to only pay additional rent until your home is re-rented. If a new tenant is found right away, you may be able to have your deposit returned, minus any damages to the property.