Discussion » Ask a Foreigner » Premature termination of a rental agreement

  • Adrian
    Adrian wrote:

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if I can move out of my apartment already months before my contract terminates. I'm living with two other people and signed a contract for a single room within the apartment until mid of January 2011. I did pay one month bond.

    I have already prepaid for three months and next month (end of October) I'd need to repay but I wish to move out. Nothing is been said about premature termination in the contract.

    Can the landlord keep my bond or can even persist on me continuing to pay the rent until January?

    Hope you guys can help. Thanks in advance!

    Best regards, Adrian

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Q: did you sign this "contract" directly with the landlord, or one of the tenants?

    I am not familiar with one-room rental agreement, but if there is a formal and legal contract, then my advice is refer to the contract ...

    However, if the contract is just a private agreement (i.e. not recognised by law) between you and the landlord or one of the tenants, then it is really not much of a contract to start with, and then it comes down to you Vs him/her ...

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    If the contract says it's for one year and doesn't say the termination penalty, expect to lose your deposit and whatever rent you've prepaid when you give notice.

    There is a chance that your landlord is nice and will give back your deposit with 30 days notice, but I wouldn't bet on it. You could try finding someone to take over your lease, if the landlord will allow it.

    Whether or not there are laws to govern this is irrelevant; it's all based on who's holding physical bargaining power. I.e, landlord has deposit and you have occupancy of apartment and posession of key. If you give those things up, say by "checking out" before getting your deposit back, then you have no bargaining power and rely on the kindness of your landlord.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahaha ... I am sure I have told this story before ...

    When we moved out in 08 because the landlord (who happened to be the new owner only a few months prior) raised the rent by 1000rmb, he did "try" to keep the deposit, giving us some crap excuses ... he even got the agent to call us, who told us that they were not given sufficient notice to find new tenants (which sounded funny when I heard that, but I tried not to laugh), my "counter" was that I do not know the law in China, so we just did everything according to the contract, and it stated clearly that only 30 days' notice was required ... as such, he had to cough up the deposit and he was not happy :)

    I dont disagree with the idea of bargaining power, and you must assume the "worst": your landlord probably has good experience as a cheating SOB, so he will try to scam you assuming you dont know your rights or the law, worse, that you dont know Chinese well enough to understand the contract (even if it is legal) ...

    Previously, someone here said that he can get you a crew of North East Chinese gang who specialises in "negotiation", but I cannot remember who said it ...


  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:
    situation 1:even according to the contract, and if u you signed this "contract" directly with the landlord, the landlord still can not persist on you continuing to pay the rent until January, but you eat your words,breach of contract ahead of time,the landlord may keep your bond (not give ur money back to you whick u already paid for the rent&deposit). situation 2:IF you signed this "contract" with the tenants,that would be a problem, that is the tenants may already signed this "contract" directly with the landlord if u leave and they still need to stay there ,they need to find a new one to fill in to continute the contract, and the same thing is your money already paid to the landlord ,maybe you can not get it back ,but u can leave.

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