Many tenants sign a lease for their apartment for a full-time period. However, due to some reasons, they leave before the lease is up. Let’s begin with an example. You’re a student living in Oklahoma signing your lease for a rental unit and staying till the college session ends. Sometimes, you need to move to other places for your new job or many other reasons. This is when you need to terminate the lease early in spite of good intentions. 

There are many reasons why tenants require Early Termination of Lease Agreement. In some cases, property owners break the lease and vice versa. Whatever the reason is the whole procedure is directed by the state Landlord-Tenant laws.

Leaving a lease early before the term expires without paying the rent or shattering the law is known as breaking the lease. Here’s a review of tenant rights in Oklahoma to break a lease without further obligation to pay rent. 

Note: Read the fine print of the Property Management Agreement

Why Does the Tenant Want to Terminate Lease Early?

Every landlord has their own terms and conditions and makes the proper decision. Both tenants and landlords have the lease agreements as a safety net. However, that doesn’t mean landlords cannot show kindness and find a mutual solution. Things can be a workout if both parties get along. Here are a few reasons why tenants ask for early termination of the lease agreement;

cancellation of lease agreement

Violates Your Privacy Rights

Landlords need to do their best to work with the tenant, so they can find a safe home. Your state Landlord-Tenant laws may allow survivors of domestic violence, stalking, assault, or unlawful harassment to break a lease early. Every state has a different way of handling such situations. 

Examine your state laws. They decide if landlords can ask for verification and also if the offender can be financially responsible. Get to know more about what causes landlord-tenant disputes.

Loss of Job

The other reason a tenant sends out an early lease termination letter is the loss of a job. Due to widespread job loss and the health risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, many renters have faced difficulty making their rent payments. There is no federal protection for tenants who lost their jobs.

We recommend working with the tenant on breaking a lease in Oklahoma, so they can find more affordable housing. This is included in renters rights Oklahoma.

Condition 1: If loss of work is a short time issue then both parties can come up with a creative payment plan. Plans like signing a new lease extend their stay. This will also protect landlords from vacancies. 

Also Read: Rental Property Vacancy Rate

Condition 2: When tenants lose their job permanently, they no longer, it is best to work with them to resolve to break the lease. This process is better than going to court or hiring a debt collector. Avoid adding stress for all parties involved. 

Homeowners can negotiate a termination of the tenant’s leave of the rental unit in outstanding condition. This permits you to find a tenant quicker.

Job Transfer

In military cases, the tenant’s job might transfer them out. In such a case, as written in the early termination clause, allow these tenants to break a lease early in some states in Oklahoma. If it is a corporate move, the company pays rent for ⅔ months. They pay for moving companies and know the employee might be in a lease. This permits a tenant to break their lease.

Usually, the most suitable solution is for their company to pay for 2 or 3 months of rent. If it is a corporate move, companies typically pay for moving companies and know the employee might be leasing. This allows the tenant to leave at the same time provides you with a chance to find new tenants.

In fact, landlords can have more benefits from this type of early lease termination! 2 months of paid rent add more income to your pocket while finding a new tenant! Seems like a good opportunity. Find more in Tenant Resource Center.

Violates Oklahoma Health or Safety Codes

If your landlord does not provide a habitable home under the state housing codes, a court would probably come to an end that you have been “constructively evicted”. This means that if the landlord is supplying unlivable housing, and evicting a tenant for all unreasonable purposes has no further responsibility for the rent. 

Oklahoma law sets preconditions for the procedures you must follow before moving out because of major safety causes. The health issues can be serious. You can move out once they report everything is safe and sound.

Illness or Death

Sadly, getting sick can ruin an individual financially. The renters may be going through a tough time; illness or have passed away thereby. 

This often leaves a burden of the rent payments on the living tenant. With death, the survivor tenant already will be on hard times. While we always recommend sympathy in such a case. And the most appreciated. Figure out something to work out. 

Note: Get the best tenants by screening properly – How to screen tenants?

Reasons Landlords Cause Lease Cancellation in Oklahoma

reasons landlords causes early lease termination

Can a landlord terminate a lease? The answer is Yes. A landlord can lawfully terminate a lease if a tenant notably violates any lease terms and conditions. There can be various reasons that explain breaking a lease in Oklahoma;

  • If a tenant pays rent Lately or doesn’t pay rent
  • If a tenant keeps any pet in violation of a no-pets clause in the lease 
  • If a tenant damages the rental unit
  • If a tenant participates in any criminal activities inside or near the premises, such as selling drugs.

In such cases, owners have the full right to terminate a lease early. Oklahoma state law needs at least 30 days’ notice for early cancellation of lease agreement. Here is a full guide to Oklahoma Lease Termination Notice.

The termination notice states if the tenancy is over or not, depending on what the renters have done wrong. If the tenant has broken a law that can’t be replaceable, the state law warns the tenant to vacate the rental property. They will get certain days to clear unpaid rent and clean up the stuff. If the tenant pays the rent and fixes the damages, then no one needs to go to court. However, if the tenant doesn’t agree, a property owner can file an eviction in Oklahoma and find a new tenant.

Early Termination of Lease Agreement: Clauses and Fees

There should be a mutual agreement between landlords and tenants when it comes to preparing a legal document. Consider preparing lease agreements in a paper if you are looking for a new tenant. This can protect both landlord and a new tenant. If a property owner can provide allowances with linked fees, it can protect them as well as give the renters an easy way out. 

It releases the renters from being responsible for the remaining balance of the lease moreover, gives you some cash to cover an empty unit while you search for future renters for a few months. An early termination fee is two months’ worth of rent. Any more would be considered unreasonable by courts. 

Often, early cancellation of lease agreement clauses contains an early apartment lease termination fee. However, you may simply ask a tenant to pay monthly rent until you find replacement/ new tenants. 

In addition, If you don’t include the early lease termination clause in the agreement, the law obliges the tenant to cover your damages until you find new renters for your rental property. It is crucial to know about Oklahoma rental laws for breaking leases.

Recommended: Here is a Landlord’s Guide to Termination of Property Management Agreement

What to Include in an Early Lease Termination Clause?

early lease termination clause

Get a lease agreement landlord guide from your lawyer and develop reasonable lease agreement documents. Include these clauses with the proper legal language in your lease when signing on new tenants. Make sure, both landlord and tenants fully understood and agree with the rental agreement. Here are a few clauses you need to address;

  • In the Early Lease Termination Clause, a tenant should provide at least 30 days’ notice to the landlord and should vacate before the 30 days are over. Some states require 60 days’ notice so that the landlord gets time to find another tenant. The tenant must send an early termination lease letter to the landlord beforehand.
  • The notice must be written and signed by all tenants who are involved in the lease cancellation.
  • The cost of the early termination fee can be estimated usually 1-2 months of rent.
  • The landlord will consider the lease terminated once they get a receipt of the tenant paying the early termination fee.
  • If the renters do not obey the process like vacating before the agreed date or paying the apartment lease termination fee, more will be taken into charge as per the lease clause.

What if there’s a “No Early Termination” Clause in the Lease?

If there’s a No Early Termination Clause in the lease agreement, then it will be more difficult for a tenant to terminate the lease. However, there are some special circumstances that allow them to break the lease and also not be responsible for additional fees. Here are some circumstances:

  • Military Deployment
  • Domestic Violence
  • Inhabitable Property
  • Going to Retirement Home

In each case, the tenant has to notify the landlord with a written early termination of lease letter. They might get sued and be liable to pay all remaining rent according to the lease agreement plus the court costs if they didn’t notify the landlord.

Mutual Lease Termination Agreement

If there’s no clause in the lease agreement for early termination then the tenant can negotiate with the landlord. If the tenant is able to provide a valid reason, then they might agree to a mutual lease termination agreement.

With mutual lease termination, the tenant might need to accept some conditions:

  • Pay a few month’s rent
  • Pay the agreed-on fee
  • Forfeit your security deposit

However, if the tenant is able to find a new replacement tenant or sublease then they won’t need to pay anything.

Before signing the mutual termination agreement, you might want an attorney to review it. You can put the required terms you want. Also, it will help you avoid legal issues later.

Going through the early lease termination alone is a complex procedure. Let Oklahoma Property Management Company guide you through the process. Fill up the form below or you can call us today for property management services.

FAQs on Breaking a Lease In Oklahoma

Why is Early Termination of Lease Agreement required?

Landlords go through lease termination in case the tenant breaks any laws. For tenants, early lease termination of the original agreement is required for various reasons;
1. If a tenant has to transfer a job.
2. If a tenant loses a Job.
3. If a landlord violates health or safety codes.
4. If a landlord violates your privacy rights.

Can the landlord keep a security deposit for breaking the lease?

Some states in Oklahoma allow landlords to keep the tenant’s security deposit if the tenant breaks the lease. It is equal to one month’s rent. Get to when can the Landlord Keep the Security Deposit.

Will a landlord let you break the lease?

In the case of military services, landlord-tenant laws allow you to break a lease. You can also get out of your lease without penalty if you are facing domestic violence or an unsafe environment.

Should the Landlord let Tenants find a Sublet?

You should not let tenants find a sublet for various reasons;
1. If the original tenant is liable for the subtenant, tracking down the original tenant for late rent payments may be difficult.
2. Inconsistent Tenant screening procedures.
3. A subtenant may cause rental damage because they may be unaware of the rules.

How to get out of a lease in Oklahoma?

You must give proper notice of lease termination to the landlord with written notice of breaking a lease with reasons. Once the written notice is delivered, your tenancy will terminate 30 days after the date that rent is next due, even if that date is several months before your lease expires.

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