Saying Goodbye to Your Landlord: How To Check Out Of Your Apartment In South Korea

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How do we say our goodbyes to the landlord when checking out after you rent a studio in seoul? Renting a house in Korea is not a simple matter. Aside from finding a new apartment to check-in, you can’t care about it when you check out. Also, many rental disputes may arise when you check out. Today, Ziptoss is here to talk about how the landlord reconciles and says goodbye to their tenants and how you could end on good terms when leaving.

  1. Checking out halfway 

For Seoul apartments for rent long term, halfway check-out refers to the situation where the tenant cancels the rental contract in advance when the contract period (such as 1 year or 2 years) is not yet expired. This is a breach of contract by the tenant that needs to handle responsibilities. After telling the landlord to check out halfway, the tenant needs to do three things:

  • Find the next tenant to occupy your apartment. Existing tenants need to continue to pay the monthly rent until a new tenant is found. If a new tenant moves in and the landlord can continue to collect rent, the landlord will agree to terminate your contract and return the security deposit.
  • Pay the agency fee. For a normal lease contract, the landlord has to pay the processing fee for finding a tenant. However, in the case of a midway check-out, the tenant needs to actively pay this part of the fee in order to cancel the contract.
  • Good and active negotiation. If the tenant wants to check out early, it is a breach of contract, therefore making it also a “lost” party. So it’s better to negotiate with the landlord carefully and show a good and positive attitude. Appropriate compensations can also help you in the process of ending the contract.
  1. Checking out after contract expiry 

Is it possible to leave after the contract expires and pack up? According to the Korean Housing Lease Protection Act, the tenant needs to inform the landlord not to renew the contract 6 months to 1 month before the end of the rental contract, this is applicable even to luxury apartments in Seoul. Ziptoss recommends that the tenant should inform the landlord that they will no longer continue renting at least one month in advance for the landlord to prepare and look for another tenant.

It’s better to use text messages or written forms when making notifications, and leave evidence to avoid the landlord’s refusal to stop the contract because of denial.

Will there be any consequences if the landlord is not notified at least one month in advance? In South Korea’s “Korean Housing Lease Protection Act,” there is “묵시적갱신” (Implied Renewal), which means that if the landlord or tenant has not issued a rejection within six months to one month before the end of the lease contract Renewal or notice of change in contract terms, then the lease contract will be renewed by default under the same conditions (same deposit and monthly rent).

The change of contract terms refers to the change of certain lease terms after the expiration of the contract. If the other party does not respond, the lease relationship will no longer be maintained. The default contract period for renewal will become two years. If the tenant wants to cancel the renewal contract, the termination will take effect 3 months after the notice is issued, which means that the tenant may have to pay another 3 months of rent.


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