Renting with a Broken Lease – 7 Dreadful Years or Another Option?

Few renters consider the lasting impacts of breaking an apartment lease. With a broken lease on your record it can haunt your rental applications for years. Just how long do broken leases show in your tenant screening reports? Generally, 7 years from the move-out date.

Landlords Review Full History with Application

When submitting applications at a local apartment leasing office, prospective property managers almost always purchase background checks and tenant screening reports from consumer reporting agencies. This provides a comprehensive 7-year view of your rental history, including any broken leases with prior landlords, any criminal records and your credit history. Even if the broken lease occurred years ago, it remains visible to all properties screening your application which may create a cause for concern and result in a denial.

Prove that You Learned Your Lesson

The broken lease on your record indicates a potential risk to the apartment community and that you may fail to honor your lease agreement. To offset this, work with an apartment locator that knows which communities will consider approving an applicant with a broken lease on their record. Additionally, you should also provide references that can vouche for positive rental history since your broken lease appeared. Provide contact info for newer landlords who can vouch for your reliability along with friends, family or co-workers that may consider writing a personal letter detailing what type of person you are. Openly addressing the broken lease that’s visibile on your record once the application screening is complete shows accountability for the prior mistake you made and that you sincerely desire to rectify any oustanding issues. Explaining unique circumstances causing the termination helps too – especially if it was during the Covid pandemic.

Wait Out Impact or Use an Apartment Locator

If more recent landlord references are unavailable, you can always wait out the 7 years for the broken lease to fade from reports before applying but that’s not going to do you any good in the here and now. As apartment locators, we have access to communities that approve broken lease applicants all the time!

Over time, its negative influence on applications will decrease as the incident falls deeper into your past and you’ll have more housing choices available. The most prudent strategy is avoiding lease terminations altogether, keeping your credit clean and staying out of debt. However, allowing the 7-year reporting window to expire remains an option if you must break a lease and you’d rather shack up with a friend or family memeber. Just anticipate rental barriers in the nearer term if you go out on your own. Carefully weigh the impacts before deciding to break your lease since the effects can follow you for years and limit your housing options until the broken lease works itself out of screening reports.

We have communities that WILL rent to you if the eviction is 2 years old.

Ross Quade, Apartment Expert

No matter where you are in the process of locating a place to live – it’s important to deal with any credit or broken lease issues as soon as possible to minimize the impact on your future housing choices. Future employers may require background checks or credit checks in the future as well which just creates another reason to address your issues head on. Texas is one of the most landlord friendly states in the country, but if your lease is broken and/or you’re evicted, it can have a negative impact on your credit score and background for up to 7 seven years.

Hypothetical Broken Lease Situation:

Let’s look at a case study with examples to show how the length of time a broken lease has on your record can impact your future rental income:

You signed a lease for an apartment in early 2019 but had to break the lease in later that year 2019 due to unforeseen circumstances. The broken lease resulted in negative information on your rental history.


  • February 2019: Signed a lease for an apartment.
  • June 2019: Broke the lease due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • August 2019: The broken lease is reported to the credit bureaus and rental history agencies.
  • August 2019 – August 2021: The broken lease remains on your record, impacting your ability to secure a new rental with the debt at $2900.
  • August 2020: You address outstanding issues with the previous landlord, pay any owed amounts, and continue renting at your friends place. The broken lease is still on your record but with no property debt owed by the time January 2021 rolls around OR you decide you’re not gonna pay and you do nothing. Read below to see how it might impact you.
  • 2026: The broken lease is now seven years old, and its impact on your rental history may start to diminish.

How it might impact you:

  • August 2019- August 2021: Some landlords may be hesitant to rent to you, especially if they heavily rely on recent rental history so you’re trying to find one of those individual landlords that will grant you some leniency or you’ll just stay with a friend or family member.
  • August 2021: By addressing outstanding issues, paying your property debt and maintaining a positive rental history, you demonstrate responsible tenancy, making it easier to find new housing with a lot of different housing options to choose from including those new luxury buildings they just finished down the street. The broken lease remains on your record but you’ve worked hard to minimize it’s influence.
  • If you decided not to do anything and kept the property debt active with $2900 still owed we still have some good choices for broken lease apartments albeit only a few choices. The broken lease remains on your record and you’re gonna have to fork over an additional deposit when you sign the lease but atleast you’ll get it back when you move out.
  • 2026: The broken lease is now seven years old. While it may still be visible on your rental history, its impact may be less significant. Some landlords might be more willing to overlook a negative entry that is several years old, especially if your recent rental history is positive so keep that in mind when searching for your next place or if you’re considering breaking your lease.

While a broken lease can hamper your rental prospects for years if you aren’t using an apartment locator to your advantage, its impact diminishes over time. The key is using that window to rebuild your tenant profile positively with one time payments and a clean credit file.

Focus first on resolving any outstanding balances with property debt owed to previous landlords. This shows good faith efforts to make amends and may be a requirement of the apartment community we apply to. You’ll also prioritize maintaining consistent employment and paying all bills on time to show that you’re a responsible individual. Doing so helps improve your credit standing which in turn will help you get approved for your new apartment!

The seven years may seem daunting initially. But consistent responsible behavior in the interim period goes a long way. If you apply this diligent effort, you can overcome that prior mistake you made. Just remain patient and persistent to get your rental credentials back on track and keep your head up. Should you need affordable options for apartments even though you have a broken lease on your record – don’t hesitate to reach out!

Review Options for Broken Lease Apartments in Austin, TX – Call Ross, the Locator Boss to Discuss Availability at 512-320-4599 Today!

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