Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you have to move, but you still have a few months left on your lease. What do you do? Below are 5 potential ways to get out of your lease without too much penalty.

Family Emergency: Coming to the call of family needs is respectable, but it may seem a bit unethical to use as an excuse if it isn’t at least partly true. Still, the bottom line here is getting out of your lease without being committed to paying the months remaining on your lease. This is a fairly easy one to use as you are not expected to give too much detail. Do be prepared to give enough to convince your landlord, however, as you will be relying on his sense of empathy to let you out with minimal penalty. Note: you may have to sweeten the deal for the manager by offering up a portion of your security deposit that you would normally be entitled to receive back. You may even search for the best property websites Singapore to get some help on the matter. 

Blame the complex: Has your complex begun a major reconstructive facelift? Is the sound unbearable? Are you a person who needs peace and quiet for studying, religious/spiritual purposes, or for stress reduction? There are numerous ways to blame construction noise on hindering your ability to meet your personal needs. Even if this isn’t the reason you need out of your lease, you can use this as bargaining ground for getting out of your contract. Another good, yet somewhat unethical excuse to make is you’re having surgery and need to live in a floor-level complex or one without stairs. Be prepared, however, to have a backup excuse if s/he offers you a lower unit vacancy.

Exploit the complex’s flaws: Have you had something break on you? Did it take too long for maintenance to come out and fix it? Many midsize complexes contract maintenance professionals out from companies, which means they aren’t on site every day. If you have to go more than a few days without an oven, if they refuse to fix something that they arguably should, or if there is any water/mold damage that they attempt to downplay, you can use these as reasons you want to move out. Again, be prepared to lose some of your security deposit, but this generally works in getting out of the complex without having to pay your remaining months.

Find someone to tentatively fill your spot: Many complexes forbid subletting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t legally post a craigslist ad asking someone to take over your lease. The catch is that, once you find someone, you have to run it by your apartment manager. Chances are, however, he will be grateful that you have done the hard work for him. Not only are you saving him time and marketing money, you are helping him avoid having a unit that isn’t generating revenue. Just make sure you keep him in the loop with what you’re doing.

Be honest with your landlord: Life does throw you a curveball. While your manager has heard lots of excuses, you shouldn’t be discouraged from pitching your own case. Chances are, you can strike a deal with him that involves a small cash payout or forfeiture of your deposit in exchange for freedom from the lease’s financial obligation. While you may not want to use him as a future reference, you can terminate the relationship with the manager and the complex relatively smoothly. Honestly is always the best policy.

Breaking a lease is never a great idea, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Although you will have to check the “Yes, I have broken a lease” box on your next apartment application, the economic recession can and does work in your favor right now. They may charge you a higher deposit based on your previous lease termination, but your chances are still good that they will take you, a paying tenant, to fill their vacancy. In their eyes, a somewhat unreliable source of income for their complex is better than nobody living there.