BREAKING YOUR LEASE
On occasion plans or circumstances change and we understand that simple fact. Consequently, we provide residents alternatives regarding their options when they must break their lease obligation. Please remember your rent must be paid in full as required by your lease agreement until the lease has been legally terminated or amended. This requires the cooperation and agreement of the owner. You may not unilaterally terminate your lease agreement, stop paying your rent or move.
Some Important Things to Remember -
• If when you rented your apartment unit, a real estate commission was paid to a real estate agent or company, the policy set forth below does NOT apply to you. If a real estate agent was involved in your lease transaction, contact the main office for details regarding your lease breaking options, which are different than those detailed herein.
• If you are a member of our armed forces, you are not subject to this policy. Your status is governed by the Service Members Civil Relief Act. The Act gives service members, during the term of their active military service, certain rights with respect to real estate and specifically their residential lease. Generally, you will be able to terminate your lease without penalty. If you are called to duty for more than 30 consecutive days and you need to cancel your rental agreement, contact Merrie Turner Lightner at (415) 267-2900 extension 110 to determine exactly what benefits you will receive as an active mbmer of our armed forces and how to break your lease without penalty or additional cost or fees.
• If you are interested in moving to a unit within your apartment community, or to another apartment community managed by Lightner Property Group, please visit our Apartment Transfer information page.
Once you are aware of the fact that you will need to break your lease, you must provide us written notice of your intent to vacate. You may send your notice to us electronically by e-mail (JTS@LightnerGroup.com be sure to put NTV (nothing else) in the subject line of your e-mail), facsimile or snail mail. The more advance notice you can provide us the better, but you must provide us the minimum amount of time as required by your lease agreement which generally will be either thirty (30) or sixty (60) days notice.
With regard to your financial responsibilities, you may be given two options.
First, so long as you give the ownership the full advance notice of your intent to vacate required by your lease agreement as if your lease had already expired AND you pay your rent through the time that you vacate, you may pay a one-time fee to break your lease. The fee is equivalent to 10% of the remaining balance due for the term of your lease agreement (including any fees for pets or a garage space) or the equivalent of one-half months’ rent, whichever sum is GREATER. (To determine the fee multiply your total monthly rental amount by the number of months, including partial months, remaining on your lease term; then multiply the total by 10% and compare that result with 50% of one months rent. The higher number is the amount owed as a lease-breaking fee. This means that you pay LESS as a fee, the further your are into your lease term; but you will never pay less than one-half of one months rent.)
In addition, there is an administrative charge of $400 which is payable to the management company for the additional work of marketing your unit, processing applications, and preparing rental documents. These fees and charges must be paid in full prior to the time you vacate your apartment.
If you select this option, you will have no further financial responsibilities for the lease term, although you will be responsible for leaving the apartment in accordance with the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. Under this first option, the risk of renting your apartment falls on the ownership of the building and your financial exposure is a predetermined fixed cost.
Second, you can remain financially responsible for your apartment unit until an acceptable replacement resident is found. In addition, there is an administrative charge of $400 which is payable to the management company for the additional work of marketing your unit, processing applications, and preparing rental documents. Under this option, the risk of renting the apartment falls entirely upon you. The benefit is that if a new resident is found and moves in quickly, you MAY end up paying less than under the first alternative. However, if the apartment goes unrented for six to eight weeks (or even longer) your expenses will be much higher. In the event you choose to remain financially responsible for your apartment unit until it is re-rented, we recommend that you immediately notify friends and family that your apartment is available for rental.
We will take the primary responsibility for finding a suitable replacement person to rent your apartment. We strongly recommend that you not advertise the apartment or show the apartment unit without the assistance of a Lightner Property Group leasing agent, or your onsite manager. Federal and State fair housing laws are complicated and can be easy to violate for an untrained individual. Given the potential for personal liability, and that you are not an authorized agent or employee of the owner (or management company) and therefore uninsured, we ask that you leave the leasing details to us.
Lightner Property Group and the building ownership are not responsible for any errors you may make in the information you provide to a prospective occupant or violation of any local, state or federal fair housing laws or other statutes or ordinances.
For your information, the new resident will be required to meet the current nondiscriminatory qualification standards in place by the building ownership. In addition, the apartment will be advertised at its current fair market value. If the current value of the apartment is LESS than what you are paying, you will not be responsible for the loss of future rents, although you will be required to pay your lease rate for the apartment, not the advertised rate. If the value of the apartment has increased, you will be given a credit equal to the difference in one months rent against any rent you owe, including past rent. In this way the increase is a direct economic benefit to you and can lessen your rental charges. The credit cannot be applied to other fees or charges.
If the ownership of the building is currently advertising another apartment that is similar to yours, you will not incur any advertising costs. However, if the ownership is not advertising, and we feel that advertising your apartment is warranted, you will be charged for the advertising expenses attributable to the renting of your apartment unit.
Please remember that under the second alternative you will be financially responsible for the entire monthly rental amount (including parking) until the apartment has been rented, even if you do not reside in the apartment. Your rental payments will continue to be due in accordance with the terms of your rental agreement, and are subject to late fees if not received by their due dates. You may NOT use your security deposit for the payment of the monthly rental.
Within three weeks of the time that we have a signed lease and the full security deposit has been paid in full by the new (replacement) resident, we will process your security deposit refund (if any) and the final accounting of your security deposit.
This policy can be changed, modified or withdrawn without advance notice to residents or prospective residents and may not be in effect at all of the properties managed by Lightner Property Group. This policy is not legally binding on Lightner Property Group, its affiliates, clients or the property ownership and is not intended to supersede or modify any lease agreement, contract or other binding agreement. Residents or interested parties should check with the main office or the onsite manager, if the building has one, to confirm what policy is currently in place at the property in question.
WARNING: Lease breaking policies may differ from building to building and owner to owner. We recommend you contact the main office to confirm the current policy in effect for your building. No lease breaking alternative set forth here for general informational purposes only is binding upon the owner or management until it is agreed to in writing and signed by all parties.