My house lease ends on January 7, 2009, but we are trying to find a way to end the lease now. I signed a 3 year lease through the advise of a Viet Kieu ‘contact’ that I knew. He recommended that I sign a 3 year lease so I could keep the rent at a similar price ($500/month first year, $550/month last two years). He assured me everything was okay.
Well, it turned out that I signed a really bad contract. In the clause that I signed, it specificically said that I would have to pay double the deposit ($1500) if I decided to break the lease. Yes, it said that. I just saw it today. How I missed it nearly three years ago, I do not know.
My friend asked me who the broker was. I said I did not have one at which point she asked who helped finding the house and negotiating the contract. I mentioned the Viet Kieu’s name. She told me that he was the broker. My friend did not understand why he would make me sign a contract like that.
Right now I will have to negotiate with my landlord about the last three months. He has three month’s deposit but I need to move out in a month into the new office I found in District 4. There is a chance I will lose it all if I move out.
We may try to get in to agree and not let me pay the last 3 months rent which is quite common in Vietnam. In that case, my current roommate can continue to stay here and pay 1/2 of the rent. I will leave and move into the new house since I really need an office to get some work done.
In the meantime, be wary of any house broker. Let your trusted friends find you a good house.