The Legal Consequences of Breaching a Rental Contract 1

Overview of Rental Contracts

People rent apartments, homes, offices, and various other properties all the time. Rental agreements are legal documents that create a relationship between the landlord and the tenant. Landlords provide a place to live or work, and the tenant agrees to pay rent and follow the rules listed in the contract. A rental contract is a legally binding agreement.

What Happens if a Tenant Breaches a Rental Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party doesn’t fulfill their obligations under the rental agreement. If a tenant breaches a rental contract by not paying rent, violating the lease’s terms, or causing damage to the property, the landlord has the right to take legal action against them. Depending on the severity of the breach, the landlord may either give a tenant a warning or an eviction notice.

Warn or Evict?

Whether a landlord decides to give a warning or evict a tenant for breach of contract depends on the severity of the situation. If the breach is minor (such as being a few days late with rent), the landlord may choose to give the tenant a warning. A warning informs the tenant that they have violated terms of the lease and that they need to rectify the problem immediately. If the tenant fails to follow through with the warning, the landlord may then move forward with an eviction process.

If the breach is major (such as causing severe damage to the property), the landlord may move forward with an eviction without warning. An eviction notice typically provides the tenant with a specific number of days to move out of the rental unit before the landlord takes legal action. Specific laws surrounding eviction notices vary by state, so landlords must know and comply with local regulations.

Consequences of a Breach of Rental Agreement

If a tenant breaches a rental agreement, they may not only face eviction but also financial consequences. For example, a tenant may have to pay additional fees to cover damages to the rental property or unpaid rent, including costs that the landlord incurred (e.g., filing an eviction process with the court, property repairs). Sometime landlords may withhold the deposit as well.

It’s important to note that a breach of contract can have long-term consequences. For example, if a tenant is evicted, this eviction notice will become a part of that person’s rental history that future potential landlords will see when they apply to rent properties elsewhere, making it difficult for the tenant to secure another rental agreement in the future.


A rental agreement is a legally binding document. A breach of this contract by a tenant can come with numerous legal consequences. As a tenant, it’s important that you understand the terms of your rental agreement and follow through with all of your obligations. As a landlord, it’s important that you understand your rights and that you follow proper legal action when a breach of the rental agreement arises. Lastly, both parties need to ensure that they are communicating effectively so that any issues and problems that arise can be addressed as soon as possible. Find extra information on the subject in this external resource we suggest. Learn more with this online resource, keep learning!

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