Tips to Handling a Lease After a Breakup

Author: Lauren Ross


Leasing an apartment with a boyfriend or girlfriend is typically the next step in a relationship. During the time together with your partner, you never would have anticipated the relationship to go south and end in a breakup…but it did. Couples sometimes just can’t work things out and break it off; when this happens, both people usually go their separate ways and move forward. If you share an apartment with that person though, it can become a messy living arrangement and situation. So how does one handle a lease agreement after a split with a significant other? Here are some suggestions to help.

Ending a Relationship, Ending a Lease

Breaking up is going to be a rough transition for a while, especially when you’re recovering from a broken heart. Whether the split was amicable or messy, you may feel like you need some time to heal before speaking to your ex. There is no doubt that you need time to mend, but you shouldn’t break off communication so quickly. Talk with each other about the options that are available to both of you regarding the apartment and the living situation. Are you both going to find new places? Who is moving out, and when? Will you continue living together until the lease expires? These are the types of questions you and the ex may need to sort out to determine the best living arrangement given the circumstances.

Evaluate the Legal and Financial Commitments

Before you pack up and leave, talk to your property manager first about your legal and financial obligations. Go over the rental agreement with a leasing agent and your ex, and be on the lookout for fees associated with breaking a lease, rules on subtenants or subletting, and when to give notice on vacating. After brushing up on what is to be expected, create a timeline to follow leading up to move-out day and share it with the community staff as well as your ex. The security deposit is a big chunk of change that you’re going to want back. If you both put forth money, let the office know that they need to issue two checks and mail your portion to your new address.

Dividing the Home Goods

The question that many former couples squabble over: Who gets what in the apartment? Furnishing a home together means you may end up dividing the assets if the relationship doesn’t work out. Items that were brought into the relationship should obviously go back with the owner. However, buying furniture pieces together tends to be trickier to negotiate. Keep things cordial by divvying up the stuff evenly among both of you. If you can’t come to an agreement, a great solution would be to sell the furniture and décor and split the profits 50/50. Things of sentimental value should be discussed reasonably and not taken out of spite.

Start Fresh in a New Place

Your own bachelor or bachelorette pad may be just the change of scenery you need during this rough transition. Even if you love your current apartment, staying there may remind you of your ex – this can make moving on a challenge. Use Apartment Finder to locate a new apartment that fits your taste, personality, and budget!