Working Around a Lease When You are Buying Your First Home

Looking to buy a home when you are renting can add to the stress that comes with the home buying process. Learn how to work around your lease while buying your first home in this article by Dana Bull. These tips can help ease the home buying process and lead you to a peaceful agreement with your landlord. 

Trying to buy a home when you are up against the clock is stressful. If you are renting and on a lease, it can feel like a ticking time bomb: Are you going to be able to find a house and get an accepted offer or should you re-up your lease for another year? For first-time home buyers, the pressure is on and you don’t want to end up on the streets. Sometimes a lease break is inevitable if you land your new home earlier than anticipated. But, how can you get yourself off the hook without losing your shirt?

First off, you should never take a lease-break lightly. Leases are binding documents and in many states they are very strictly enforced, meaning your landlord could take you to small claims court to collect missing payments. There are no guarantees that your landlord will let you off scot-free, but it’s worth a shot!

How to Break a Lease When You’re Ready to Buy

As a landlord myself, I have seen seen hundreds of tenants come and go. My advice to any renter is to first try and take the high road and be honest about your situation. Many tenants fret about breaking the lease and put off the dialogue. This wastes valuable time. It’s best to get the conversation started and focus on being solutions oriented with your landlord. You’ll want to gauge his or her reaction and stance on the situation so that you can come up with a plan. If you are able to give your landlord 60 to 90 days notice, you have a much better chance at figuring out a solution that works for both of you. The idea is to be cooperative not combative.

Think about the situation from your landlord’s perspective. Whether you have a good relationship with that person or not, your landlord’s livelihood depends on rental income. You must be willing to help minimize the impact of lost cash flow. Here’s how:

  • Discuss the options of a subletter and assist in finding a suitable tenant to fill your place.
  • Keep your rental in tip-top condition and accommodate showings for potential tenants.
  • With your landlord’s permission, market through your own network to drum up attention for the listing (promote on social media, share the ad with coworkers, etc.).

Many landlords are reasonable people, who would rather cut their losses and stay out of court. But, at the end of the day, it really comes down to money. Be prepared to compromise and negotiate about missed rent. You may need to forfeit your deposit money to cover costs or come up with a payment plan to cover costs over time.


Continue reading the full article HERE.


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