Published on September 18, 2012

Relocation assistance often focuses on helping new or transferred employees sell their homes. Often overlooked is the help needed for those key employees who are renting or leasing homes. When relocating at their employer's wishes, renters often need help in making graceful and financially reasonable exits from their current homes.

Legal Lease/Rental Termination Conditions

You'll not be surprised to learn that state laws can vary widely regarding permission for tenants to terminate lease/rental agreements. For example, if you enlist in the military, some states permit a legal, early termination of a lease, while other states do not.

In some jurisdictions, a tenant who must relocate to an elderly care facility may legally terminate a lease early. Some states even allow people to move without penalty if their current employer mandates a relocation.

Check your state laws to learn what, if any, legal provisions exist to help simplify your relocation if you have a valid lease. Most states define rentals as month-to-month implied contracts, meaning that only a 30-day notice of termination is necessary.

But, as always, take nothing for granted. Before asking your relocation company or employer for assistance, learn precisely what help you need. The terms of your lease and prevailing state law will dictate the level of assistance you need.

Lease Cancellation Issues

Leases can pose more complex problems for lessees, employers and relocation companies than typical shorter-term rental dwellers. Leases are usually for much longer terms, typically one-year periods or longer. Most states offer strong protection for landlords with tenants having valid leases.

Having your employer or relo professional negotiate a buyout or finding a sub-tenant, if permitted, is more important when you have a signed lease. Fairly negotiated leases benefit both lessees and landlords. Both parties enjoy protection. Unless specifically waived in the lease or if early termination is permitted by state law, penalties will apply as lessees are responsible for the payment of the entire lease contract.
Renting Versus Selling Your Home

Circumstances may present the option of renting, instead of selling your home. Top relocation professionals usually offer high quality property management services. This assistance typically includes collecting and recording rental payments, paying expenses, such as utilities and mortgages. and delivering monthly reporting to the homeowner, with all transaction details included.

Should you prefer the longer-term protection of offering a lease, relocation professionals can negotiate this agreement for you with a tenant. Depending on your needs and wishes, some relocation organizations offer total property management services, including advertising, screening potential tenants and helping you set appropriate market prices.

Rental Issues

Local housing laws influence the ease or difficulty for transferred employees needing to move prior to their rental term expiration. Because of the usually shorter landlord notification requirements, the focus often becomes a potential forfeiture of security deposits, normally equal to at least one month's rental fee.

At times, renters can escape financial loss by finding a sub-tenant. However, their rental agreement must permit renters to sub-let their home or apartment. Vacancy notification requirements remain less financially daunting if you're renting on a month-to-month term.

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Individual states, sometimes even cities and counties, have separate regulations and protections for landlords and tenants. Whether you're interested in early lease cancellation or wishing to rent your home after you move, relocation professionals can negotiate a favorable buyout for you or effectively manage your rental property.