Early Lease Termination

Breaking a Lease Early

In Philadelphia there are many ways for a tenant to break a residential lease before the end of the lease term.  The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code requires landlords to provide tenants with a Certificate of Rental Suitability and Partners for Good Housing Handbook at the inception of the leasehold.  If you were not provided these documents the lease may be legally unenforceable.  Additionally, the landlord must have an active Philadelphia Housing Inspection License to collect rent.  If Landlord is noncompliant with the Philadelphia Code you may have a legal basis to break your lease.

You may break a lease where the property has substantial habitability issues that have gone unaddressed by landlord.  For example, if there are significant issues with the property that render it uninhabitable you may have a legal basis to break the lease.  Take photographs of the problems and consult with a Philadelphia landlord tenant lawyer about whether you can safely break the lease without legal consequences.

Your lawyer may recommend writing a letter to the landlord providing notice of your intent to vacate.  The letter usually includes the specific bases for why you are breaking the lease.  This letter may be used in court if landlord sues you for breaking the lease and abandoning the property.  It is important to note that landlord may sue you if you break the lease early.  Therefore it is important to consult with an experienced landlord tenant lawyer about your options and the likelihood of litigation in the event you decide to leave before the end of lease term.