Most rental agreements in the Commonwealth of Virginia have a section regarding the renter breaking the lease agreement. While there is also likely a section or several sections regarding when the leasing agent can evict the renter, the section on breaking the lease should be of particular interest to those who might be in a position to have to break the lease some day. Renters should understand these contract terms so they can make an informed decision. Additionally the renter should consider all costs associated with breaking the lease. This includes both financial costs as well as emotional costs.
Understand the Contract Terms
Renters should review their rental agreement carefully before signing the lease. Your lease is a legally binding contract which should be given proper consideration before entering into the agreement. This is important because understanding these terms will be essential if the need to break the lease becomes a reality.
Rental agreements typically do allow the renter to break the lease but not without some form of penalty. This penalty usually comes in the form of requiring the renter to give a specified amount of notice before the contract is up and also requires the renter to pay a sum of money to break the rental agreement. A notice of 30 days and a lease break amount equal to one month’s rent are common penalties associated with breaking a lease, however, individual leasing agents may impose penalties which are either harsher or less severe.
Consider the Costs of Breaking the Lease
As previously mentioned there is typically a fee associated with breaking a lease. This fee is often set equal to one month’s rent. While paying this fee may seem excessive there are some instances in which it is an economically good decision to break the contract even though there is a financial penalty imposed.
Consider the example of a homeowner who is the process or relocating due to a job change. The homeowner may opt to rent an apartment in the new state while the house is put up for sale in the previous state. If the renter enters into a 12 month contract under the supposition that it will take this long to sell the old house and purchase a new house, he may be surprised if his other house sells quickly and he finds a home in his new state rather quickly. This may all occur within a matter of 2-3 months.
The renter has the option to stay in the apartment until the rental agreement nears expiration and then start looking for a home. However, this option runs the risk that the home he previously found will not likely be available. The renters other option is to place a bid on the new house and plan on breaking the lease if he is able to close on the new house. In this case, the renter would be saddled with both a rent and a mortgage for 9-10 months. This will likely be significantly more expensive than the price the renter would pay to break the lease.
Breaking the Lease is Not Always a Financial Decision
The decision to break a lease is not always completely a financial decision. There are sometimes emotional components which factor into the equation. For example a renter may have only 1-2 months remaining on his rental agreement when he is offered a dream job which will require him to relocate immediately. Although breaking the lease that late in the agreement is usually not financially wise, the renter may make this decision to avoid missing out on a dream job.
5270 Maris Ave
2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths, 1,080 sq.ft. living area
Great Location & Move-In Ready! 2 Large bedrooms w/ lots of closet space & open kitchen w/ pantry. Half bath & laundry on main lvl. Fenced private patio is great for grilling, entertaining & pets. Plenty of unassigned parking out front door. Amenities - Metro & Dash bus stop outside community. **Amenities: large pool, on-site gym, tot lot, pet friendly** Convenient to Aldi, Foxchase, Pentagon, DC.
6313 Golf Course Sq
3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 1,628 sq.ft. living area
Sunny townhouse in a stellar location is a commuters dream! This 3 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home offers so much. It offers an updated kitchen & baths along with 2 master suites upstairs. There is a 3rd bedroom on the lower level along with an inviting family room. You will also find warm hardwood floors , 2 wood burning fireplaces,a delightful patio & so much more. Easy access to Metro, Old Town & DC.
5048 Grimm Dr
3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 2,116 sq.ft. living area
Spacious 3 bedroom, 2.5 BA brick end unit townhouse backing to trees/bike path. Open floor plan including eat-in kitchen/family room with gas fireplace, master bedroom suite, hardwood flooring, sunny deck and rec room opening to private patio. Newer kitchen appliances. Amenities include metro shuttle, pool, fitness center, shops and eateries. Pets on case-by-case with deposit.
2701 Mount Vernon Ave #6
2 beds, 1 full baths, n/a living area
Bright, sunny and sparkling top floor condo is ready for move in! Gleaming wood floors throughout, washer/dryer you don't have to share, even a separate dining room, as if location wasn't enough of a selling point. Breezy open brick patio may be your favorite place to grab morning coffee or unwind in the evening. Walk to all the popular shops, dining and festivals that make Del Ray so popular!
2030 Adams St #1201
1 beds, 1 full baths, 702 sq.ft. living area
Stunning recently remodeled 1 bedroom condo on 12th floor with views of trees, Arlington, and DC from balcony. New vinyl plank wood flooring, new closet doors, new bath vanity, stainless steel/granite kitchen. Located near Courthouse Metro on quiet street. Building has a great outdoor pool and rooftop deck and one assigned parking space. Ready to move-in at affordable rent.
8606 Pilgrim Ct
4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths, 3,708 sq.ft. living area
Newly refinished hardwoods, new kitchen appliances! Stunning, spacious colonial in Ft Hunt & Waynewood neighborhood! Sep dining. Sunroom with gorgeous views of huge and very private back yard, cul-de-sac location, large 1 car garage. Finished bsmt w workshop, bonus room, bar and fireplace. Study/library with built-in bkcases. Tons of Storage! LAWN SERVICE INCL
1111 19th St N #1702
2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, 1,250 sq.ft. living area
Spectacular like-new 2 bedroom corner unit above the Meridian Hotel with magnificent views of river and Georgetown. Luxury finishes inc. Viking + Subzero appliances, marble bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows. Enjoy hotel services inc. room service + 24/7 concierge. Rent incs.gas, heating, water and fitness center. 2 parking spaces (tandem) and storage unit included. 1 block to Rosslyn metro.
6600j Thackwell Way #J
2 beds, 2 full baths, 1,222 sq.ft. living area
LOVELY & SPACIOUS TOP FLOOR CONDO WITH CATHEDRAL CEILINGS, 2 BR & 2 BA W/ A SUN ROOM WHICH IS PERFECT FOR A GUEST ROOM ,OFFICE OR EXERCISE AREA**MANY UPDATES INCLUDE KITCHEN & BATHROOMS**ALL ROOM HAVE CEILING FANS**FIRST TIME RENTAL & IT SHOWS BEAUTIFULLY**ISLAND CREEK OFFERS POOL, TENNIS COURTS, WALKING TRAILS AND A LAKE**NO PETS & NO SMOKING -MUST SEE!
2 Canterbury Sq #302
2 beds, 1 full baths, 927 sq.ft. living area
ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED! Freshly painted in attractive neutral colors. Nice Hardwood floors. Newer windows. Very spacious unit with lots of windows and a large balcony. Plenty of parking. Secure entry into building. Super location, walk to shops, restaurants, transportation.
501 Slaters Ln #913
1 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths, 605 sq.ft. living area
Fully furnished unit, move in ready. Has northern views of Potomac River & DC. Available June 1, all utilities included in rent. Many nice amenities, including outdoor pool, convenience store, exercise room, sauna, party room, parking. Conveniently located to OT, DC, National airport, Braddock Rd. Metro, bike & walking trails, shopping & dining.