Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user AWard Tour

“Dear PoP,

Wondering if I could pick your brain (or your readers’ brains if you decide to post this) on lease-breaking in the city? I moved into my apartment just south of Dupont Circle on January 15. I am legally obligated for rent until January 31, 2011.

I’ve recently had a ‘come to Jesus moment,’ and decided that I’m quitting my six figure government job to pursue a writing internship out West. I intend to leave work in September and move on October 1. This would leave 4 months of an unexpired lease for which I am legally obligated. Since I harbor no fantasy of just splitting, what is the likelihood that this can end up a win-win for the landlord and I (for the record, the landlord is corporate, Keener Management, but is managed by a very nice property manager on-site)?

My initial instinct is to simply tell the landlord on July 1, and ask what the win-win solution he recommends is. In this city, is it simply that a) I would need to find someone to fill the remaining 4 months, and then the lease is legally turned over b) that we would need to find someone to sign a full year lease starting in October or c) I need to sub-let and manage it myself?”

I’m guessing if you or the company found someone to take over your lease they wouldn’t have a problem with it. Anyone ever face a situation like this?


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