Typically in New York City, signing a lease can be a real cause for celebration: You found a place! You can’t get kicked out! But it also legally binds you to pay rent for its term, which means if you need to leave your apartment early, you can’t just walk away without taking a financial hit. Lease breaks have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic and if you’re thinking of trying to get out of your lease, it might not be as easy as you expect.
“Basically, your lease is a contract to pay rent for the full 12- or 24-month period, and you have to start from the position that you’re obligated,” says Steven Wagner, partner in the Manhattan law firm Wagner Berkow & Brandt (a Brick Underground sponsor).