Early termination of a Texas lease is fairly simple, but certain rules must be followed. Terminating a lease early can prove expensive if you do not follow every step laid out in your lease. When terminating your lease early remember that your rental history will follow you and avoiding an early termination if possible will make you a more desired tenant in the future. Texas apartment complex's have their own rental history database; if you have a negative entry, they can bar you from rentals at many apartment complexes.
In order to terminate your lease without penalization, you must provide written notice in accordance with your lease. Most leases require 30 to 60 days notice. If your 30- or 60-day notice lands on a day when the leasing office is closed, turn your notice in on the business day prior. Consider sending your notice by certified mail with a return receipt if you have had issues with the management of your rental in the past. Your notice must include your expected move out date. Including a forwarding address allows mail such as deposit returns to get to you quickly without going through the postal service's forwarding process.
Leases have a re-let fee written into their termination clause. In Texas the re-let fee cannot exceed 85 percent of your monthly rent. The re-let fee is turned in at the same time as your keys once you have officially moved out. This fee is meant to compensate the rental owners for the costs of releasing the unit. The re-let fee does not include any cleaning or repair fees you are charged. Paying your re-let fee should be enough to secure a positive recommendation as long as you do not leave a very messy or damaged unit.
Move Out Review
The unit you are leaving must be walked through to determine any damages for which you are responsible. In Texas you are allowed to walk through the unit with an owner's representative, and this is recommended for renters who are not leaving on good terms with the owner. The reviewer will look at carpets, walls and cabinets along with any included appliances and window treatments. It is best to replace any broken window treatments and ensure everything has been cleaned to the best of your ability. Texas does not require landlords to supply a cost list for cleaning or repairs ahead of time so doing your best to return the unit to the condition in which you received it will help you keep from receiving a large and unexpected bill at the end of your move out review.
Miscellaneous Lease Addenda
If your Texas lease includes any additional addenda, they should be read and understood before deciding to terminate your lease early. Lease addenda can include things such as the required repayment of any discounts given on your lease or extra charges for professional carpet cleaning without proof that you had them cleaned. Addenda can make early lease termination very expensive especially when you are paying back discounts for the life of your lease. Speak with an owner's representative about canceling fees from the addenda if you have mitigating circumstances that are requiring your lease termination. Any agreements concerning addenda must be in writing as Texas courts do not honor verbal contracts.