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The Cost of Breaking Your Lease

A retired couple moves boxes.

Rental penalty costs may be reimbursable when you must break a lease agreement in connection with a PCS move. Reimbursement is limited to payments that you made which were unavoidable expenses directly attributable to the termination of a lease prior to the expiration date.


These charges are reimbursable provided that:

  • The laws or terms of the lease provide for payment of settlement expenses.
  • The expenses can’t be avoided by subleasing or other arrangement.
  • You haven’t contributed to the expenses by failing to give appropriate lease termination notice promptly after having PCS orders.
  • Fees or advertising charges that aren’t more than the customary charges for comparable services for the locale.
  • Procedures for Filing for Lease Breaking Expenses.
  • DD Form 1351-2 Travel Voucher or Subvoucher (PDF) .
  • Sign and date.
  • Do not write below the signature block.
  • Three copies of Travel Orders including amendments. 
  • Three copies of lease explaining penalties or other costs payable if occupancy is terminated prior to the lease expiration date.
  • Documentation showing the extent of bona fide attempts made if the lease includes a saving provision for subleasing or making other arrangements to avoid penalty costs.
  • Itemization and explanation necessary for clarification of penalty costs claimed for reimbursement and paid receipts for each expense item.
  • Copy of the employee's notification of the intent to vacate (provided to the Landlord/Rental Agency).


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