Breaking a lease agreement can be a difficult and costly process, but sometimes circumstances arise that make it necessary. In Alberta, tenants do have options for breaking a lease, but it’s important to understand the legal and financial implications before taking action.
First, it’s important to review the terms of the lease agreement. Many landlords in Alberta include a clause that allows tenants to break the lease early if they provide sufficient notice and pay a fee. This fee is typically one month’s rent, but it may be more or less depending on the terms of the agreement. If the lease does not include a break clause, tenants may still be able to negotiate a mutually agreeable arrangement with their landlord.
If the landlord does not agree to an early lease termination, tenants in Alberta have two main options for breaking the agreement: subletting or assigning the lease.
Subletting involves finding someone to take over the remainder of the lease. The original tenant remains responsible for the lease and rent payments, but the subtenant takes over occupancy and pays rent directly to the original tenant. It’s important to note that the landlord must approve any subletting arrangement, and the original tenant may be held responsible if the subtenant does not meet the terms of the lease.
Assigning the lease involves finding someone to take over the entire lease agreement. The original tenant is released from any further obligations under the lease, and the new tenant assumes all responsibilities and pays rent directly to the landlord. Again, the landlord must approve any assignment agreement, and both parties must sign a new lease agreement.
Regardless of which option is chosen, it’s important to document the process and keep all communications with the landlord in writing. In addition, tenants should be aware that breaking a lease may result in financial penalties, including forfeiture of security deposits or legal action by the landlord to recover lost rent.
In conclusion, breaking a lease agreement in Alberta is possible but should be approached with caution and careful consideration of all legal and financial implications. Tenants should review their lease agreement, explore all options for early termination, and seek legal advice if necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.