Breaking a Lease in the Best Way Possible

Tamara Novak has the kind of job that often gives her very little warning before she has to relocate -- and breaking a lease pretty much comes with the territory. "This does not bode well for good tenant-landlord relationships," she says. "I've had to break a lot of leases over the years, but finding month-to-month deals is practically impossible, especially on short notice."

Sometimes breaking your lease is inevitable. The reasons run the gamut from sickness to job-relocation. You can hope that human kindness will keep your landlord from keeping your security deposit-or worse-especially if you are the victim of circumstance.

But renting is a business and your landlord is also a victim. However, if you do find you have to break your lease, here's how to do it and what you can expect if you do: