Terminating rental agreement in advance

My employer has signed a rental agreement for my apartment for the duration of 12 months.
However as I was rushed (or rather pushed) to make a decision after staying at an expensive hotel for too long I had to compromise and choose a unit which I didn’t really want though it was of course better than the other dozen or so I had seen before.
Though the location and condition of the unit is pretty good I want to move out ASAP, looking for a more spacious place (currently 1 room Jap. style).

Therefore my questions:

  1. Can the contract be terminated in advance?
  2. Will there be any penalty fee(s)?
  3. What are the affects on the agent (if any)?

I don’t want to tell my employer (yet) that I am not really happy there and as the contract is in Chinese I can’t read it.

Any advise appreciated.

Hi Rascal,
The standard rental contacts we used to sign (I’ve been gone since 2000, though) usually had a space for the landlord to fill in the “penalty” for an early move-out. Our last negotiation had the landlord asking for 2 months’ rent as penalty. We got this down to 1 month. But since it is a fill-in value, it could be anything, really.

Do you know the landlord personally, or is it strictly through your employer? Is he/she a friend of your employer, or is it strictly a business arrangement? Those factors will probably influence your “wiggle room” in these things.

I have to admit I’ve broken more rental contacts in Taiwan than I care to remember, and never got into trouble on any of them (never even had to pay a penalty except the last time), but then there was no employer involved, and he holds your continued residence in Taiwan in the palm of his hand, so by all means don’t offend him.

I guess there are two issues involved here: the legal issue and the “interpersonal relationships” issue. Relationships can get around many a legal question, but if there is no relationship they are likely to hold you to the letter of the contract.

I’m in the States now – if you want to fax me the contract I’d be glad to read it for you, but I’m sure you could probably find somebody in Taiwan to read it (which would be cheaper for you).

Good luck!

Rascal are you looking for a place, fully furnished, every appliance imaginable, great views, 20 on the MRT from Taipei Main station?

send me an email if you’re intersted. even let you sign a six month lease.

We are going to let our place, 35 pings. Three bedrooms, one fully ensconsed Taiwanese guy 28 (he has his own bathroom), techie, good to practice your Chinese with. Although, he is almost never home.

Thanks for the advise, Ironlady. It’s strictly a business deal between my employer and the landlord’s represantative (the landlord owns a few units here and there).
Based on that and assuming my employer doesn’t mind (as long as there is no cost involved he shouldn’t have to mind) I think we only have to look at it from a legal point of view.

Don’t have access to the contract but I may ask him sooner or later to let me have a look, can get it translated here, too. No problem.
If any penalty applies and it’s not too high I might pay by myself.

wsmith, thanks for the offer but it’s still to early and I want to take some more time to look around, preferring a brand new apartment and no sharing. Might take some time but I am in no rush.

Once I find something suitable I will sign up and terminate the current one if the legal stuff can be sorted out …