3) GIVE NOTICE

All lease agreements list the required amount of notice in order to be in compliance, depending on the issue. For example, if you want to break your lease because your landlord fails to provide heat (if required by statute or the lease agreement) or if the premises have been destroyed due to the negligence of the landlord, then according to the lease, give your landlord appropriate written notification because most times they have a time to “cure the default”. Your written notice to your landlord of any issues will assist should the landlord ever decide to take you to court for the remainder of money left on the lease agreement.

4) UNDERSTAND YOU MAY FORFEIT YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT

Most times if you break your lease without notice and/ or approval of your landlord, they will retain your security deposit and there is nothing you can do about it. Landlords make their money based upon occupancy. If they believe that they have a tenant residing in their property for a year, and are relying on that income, your failure to adhere to the lease and payment of said rent may affect them negatively. As the housing market took a nosedive, many landlords are such just because they could not sell their property because it is now underwater (i.e. – worth less than what they paid for it). Sometimes it’s easier to just take the hit of the security deposit and walk away if you truly need to move out.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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