If My Apartment Complex Changes Property Management, Can I Break My Lease?

by Michael Wolfe ; Updated July 27, 2017

Often, the company that owns an apartment complex will not be the same company that manages it. Management entails making sure the property is kept up and the tenants pay their rent on time. Management companies often are hired by complexes. When a property owner changes management companies, it does not allow a tenant to break his lease, except in special cases.

Leases

When a person moves into an apartment building, she is usually required to sign a lease, in which she agrees to pay a set amount over a set period of time to live in the building. The lease represents a legal obligation for both parties. If the tenant wishes to alter or break the lease, he must receive permission from the landlord to do so -- unless a law allows him to avoid this permission.

Breaking A Lease

Most laws related to leases are set at the state and city level. These laws might allow a tenant to break a lease under certain conditions. For example, if a landlord is not fulfilling his end of the contract -- if, say, the property is unlivable -- then the tenant might be legally allowed to break his lease. However, under other circumstances, the tenant may not break his lease without risking being sued for breach of contract.

Change In Management

When a building undergoes a change in management, this does not usually qualify as a situation in which a tenant would be allowed to forgo his lease. The contract between the tenant and landlord is not altered, as the money is still paid to the same landlord. The landlord hiring a new management company is legally akin to hiring a new janitor -- it has no bearing on existing lease contracts.

Consideration

The only way the hiring of a new management company could allow a tenant to break a lease would be if the conditions of the property were altered for worse, or if doing so violated the lease contract. For example, if the lease contract specifies the landlord would provide a specific management company or the new management company somehow made the property unlivable, the tenant might have legal grounds to break the contract.

About the Author

Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.