Top 6 Hints For Breaking Your Lease

You’ve stopped by because you’re thinking about getting out of your lease. We’ve compiled the following six tips to help you get it done - without losing your mind.

  1. Read your lease. What does it say about subletting? About lease assignments? About breaking your lease completely? If you are not sure what these terms mean, the beginning of this recent blog post will help you. Most leases will contain those details. Be aware that very few allow it without the landlord’s permission at a minimum, and many do not allow it at all. This should be your first step!

  2. Check out your neighbors. Others may have broken leases in your building, with the landlord’s permission. Aside from asking directly, how can you find out? Easy: you can look on and see if there are any currently posted. If you’d like to take a look at your building’s past listings, feel free to email us at We would be more than happy to help you with this type of historical information that, quite frankly, is not available anywhere else.

  3. Reach out to the landlord. We can’t emphasize this enough. Do not try to advertise your apartment without first reaching out to the landlord. Here’s why:

    • You almost certainly need to get your landlord’s permission, and a landlord has a right to know who is living in their apartment. Don’t start out on the wrong foot by trying to go behind their back.

    • The landlord may be able to get higher rent and they may be ecstatic that you want to break your lease. (Is ‘ecstatic’ too strong a word? Okay, how about “mildly pleased”?)

    • The landlord may only allow you to break your lease if you follow certain steps. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by trying to guess what the requirements are and upsetting your landlord in the process.

  4. Get the details. If the landlord allows you to break your lease, usually the burden is on you to find a replacement. Find out all of the necessary fees, tenant qualification paperwork, and the type of situation the landlord would approve, whether it be a leasebreak, lease assignment, or sublet, or a combination of these three types of situations. If you are going to be looking for a “sublet”, be prepared to qualify your tenants, as we recently discussed here on Leasebreak.

  5. Market your apartment. You’ll want to have maximum exposure, to have a number of prospective tenants from which to choose. Posting your apartment on would be the logical choice. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on the listing process. And, we’ve gathered some great ideas for how to write a listing that will attract tenants.

  6. Consider having us refer you to a real estate agent. A real estate agent can add to the type of exposure you are getting, not to mention the help with showings and expertise in marketing the apartment. You don’t have to choose between marketing it on your own or using an agent: think of it as “both/and” and not “either/or”. There are many such misconceptions about using an agent that we addressed in an earlier post. We can refer you an agent to help you if you choose to go this route.

Navigating the leasebreak and short-term rental market in NYC doesn’t have to be scary! Here at Leasebreak, we’re ready to help. Let us know how we can make your listing process easier!


Breaking My Lease New York City OUR WEBSITE: The Leasebreak List