Breaking a lease can be a difficult process. But if you are living in poor circumstances, Patty Gilligan, the Human Relations director for Emporia, has advice.
“Know your options for breaking your lease, and come talk to me, or use the legal services offered by ESU, you won’t find a cheaper way to talk to lawyers,” Gilligan said.
There are many options to break a lease but most are under bad circumstances. If you are simply having a problem with your roommate or just need more space, the best option is to ask for allowance to sublease. Subleasing is a transfer of your current lease to another individual.
The most common reason people need to break lease is a lack of maintenance by landlords. Gilligan said that if repairs don’t get completed to inform the landlord they have 14 days to repair them. If the repairs are not completed you can give 30 day notice and legally void the lease.
Another option if you are not having issues is to buy out your lease. This method involves paying out what you still owe to the landlord. It is the most expensive option but can allow for recouping the money because if the property is rented by someone else the landlord cannot take your rent as well as the new tenants.
“If you got an apartment that was in good repair when you got it you’re probably looking at a good landlord, if you’re looking at a property that needs repairs and they say they’ll get it done don’t sign that lease,” said Gilligan.
Gilligan said it was important for renters to know their rights so they can defend themselves from inefficient landlords. Carlos Pringle, graduate student in history, has lived under multiple landlords here in Emporia and has generally had good experiences.
“I did have a slum lord but a change in management kept me from needing to break my lease,” Pringle said.
The dorms are not covered by the city but rather Residential Life on campus. Cass Coughlin, director of Residential Life, provided some options for breaking the dorm leases. There are six methods to leave the dorms without incurring penalties. In order to break the housing agreement you must submit your reason to Residential Life.
The options include marriage, leaving the college by method of transfer, graduation or withdrawal, or with written approval by the director of Residential Life. Being called into military service as well as sponsored learning activities off campus and significant medical problems are also options.
If the housing agreement is broken for any other reason multiple penalties are incurred. They include the forfeiture of the $145 payment and you must pay 40 percent of your remaining total for the semester.
All of this information is available on ESU’s website under Residential Life.