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Dealing with Landlords

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 6 years, 8 months ago

What are the responsibilities a renter has to a landlord, and when and how is it okay to break a lease?


If you rent a place to live or to work, you will have a landlord. This relationship, where you are using space someone else owns, requires both the tenant and the landlord to be reasonable and respectful. This entry deals with the responsibilities of the tenant.



There are many things that you have to be responsible for when working with a landlord. It is up to the tenant to be able to pay the landlord or you may lose money (Barry Clancy). If you do not pay the rent on time, the landlord may charge interest. It is also important to follow the requirements of your leaseEach person who is paying rent should be listed on the lease, and everyone in a home should understand any special provisions in the lease. Tammy Lewis says, "Both a person and a landlord should have communication together." This is both a requirement and a responsibility. Tammy Lewis also says, "It is best to follow a lease, and while sometimes it may be all right to break it, a person should try to follow it. Since a lease is like rules, they are what a person should follow as requirements."


Care of Property:

A tenant should try to not damage the property (Irene Lowry). The problem is not only the cost of the damage but the time it might take to get the damage repaired. While there are some damages that may occur due to normal wear and tear, such as old floors, you must be careful living in each place. Treating a place roughly will create a situation where you may have to pay the landlord in order to repair the place, or you may find yourself evicted and end up with a bad reference, hurting your chances to find another place to live.


Breaking a Lease:

There are many reasons you might want to break a lease. You might get a job that makes it impossible to stay where you are currently living, you might have problems paying rent, your family might outgrow your space, or there may be safety issues. If such a situation arises and you cannot finish your lease, your first step should be to let your landlord know (Marco Cain). Sometimes they might ask you to find a subletter. Sometimes they will charge you a fee to break the lease. Sometimes you will still have to pay rent every month even though you are not living in the space.


This page was developed from interviews with:

Barry Clancy, Tammy Lewis, Irene Lowry, Marco Cain


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