An app that aims to take the headache out of breaking a lease has recently exploded in popularity, with the app’s creator seeing lifestyle changes as a contributing factor.
“Usually, leaving your home before the end of your lease attracts a large termination fee,” Break Your Lease’s creator Richard Saville said. The app he created to get around this problem has benefited from a surge of interest since the onset of the pandemic, with renters across the country reassessing what they want in a home.
Break Your Lease connects movers with potential renters who are able to take over the existing contract. Downloading the app is free, with current leaseholders paying a fee of less than $50 per property to advertise their space.
Mr Saville said that globally, the pervasive feeling of “languishing” in one’s home, job, or routine – which came into the spotlight during the pandemic – has translated into a movement of people around the world deciding to change their situations. The great resignation has been one flow-on of trend; popularity in Mr Saville’s app has been another.
As Australians across the country are increasingly being lured by the idea of a sea or tree change, much has been made of the challenges facing home owners looking to make a big move. But renters, too, are finding it’s not so easy to up and leave, namely because of the high costs associated with breaking their lease.
He reports the platform has now been downloaded more than a million times and has made it to the top spot in the lifestyle division of Australia’s app stores on a number of occasions.
“The recent lockdown that lasted months in Sydney and Melbourne further exacerbated the problem. It is understandable that [renters] started to feel incredibly sick and tired of their own four walls and are anxious to just see something new,” Mr Saville said.
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Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.