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    Breaking a lease

    Jurisdiction / State: Massachusetts

    I signed a joint-lease in March and it expires in August 2012 (About 9-10 months left) I just got married and I want to break the lease to move in with my husband. I already spoke to the landlord and she mentioned I cant break the lease, how it's a binding contract ETC which I know of. I did my share of research and I know she cannot force me to stay nor my roomate. What do I need to do EXACTLY to break this lease. Tomorrow is Nov 1st and I am trying to vacate the apartment by Dec 1st. My husband is coming back from Afghan around that time, his service is up. What do I need to do in regards to the 30 day notice? How will this effect me and my roomate? (credit and rental history). I am not trying to get sued either. Please help, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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    Read your lease. The answers you seek are contained within your lease.

    Generally, leases can be broken. You're right, the landlord can't make you stay there. You and your roomie are free to leave anytime you wish.

    BUT, when you leave, there will be heck to pay. If you abandon the premises, you'll probably eventually be sued.

    You will end up owing the remaining months left on the lease. The landlord has a duty to try and find a new tenant. However, in this economy, that could take five, maybe six months or more!!!

    Say your rent is $600 a month. If the unit isn't rented for seven months, you're responsible for $4,200 (in my example). You do your math for yours.



    You will also leave your roomie on the hook for some of that unpaid rent. Your credit and your roomie's credit will take a very big hit. Your FICO score will drop, a judgment could show up on your report, and the landlord could hound you to collect the judgment. You might be unable to get certain jobs!!!!

    Yes, you want out. No, he can't make you stay. As with most things, if you're smart buy your way out.

    This is the time to negotiate, not demand. Beg, don't be unwilling to give to get.

    Once you negotiate a way out, make sure you get it in writing and signed. All in all, an apartment costing $600 a month with 10 months remaining might cost you at least $1,000 each to walk away with no repercussions.

    In this life, you gotta pay to play!!!!

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