During the end of last dotbomb (mid 2000s) I was offered a nice relocation package by a company that made video gaming machines (gambling oriented) to relocate. This package included moving costs, some cash for new apartment costs, and costs for lease breakage. However, the remaining length of my lease was only 2 or 3 months I don't recall exactly, but it wasn't 6 months.
After taking the offer and moving to South Florida, the company restructured itself after only 2 months. They were cutting people from the division that I had just joined, and moving everyone to Rhode Island. This was a red flag for me.
I had been in the middle of my BS degree in Math, so I asked (nicely but firmly) that they also foot the bills for me to quit and move back so that I could continue with my BS in Math, and they agreed to do so.
This was back when software engineers were in very high demand, so you may be able to pull it off if you are in high demand in your field, and there are no local candidates similar to you (Thanks Joe Strazzere).
The answer is yes, some companies are definitely willing to pay moving costs, including lease breakage costs, but
- Depending on your field, your demand, and your skill set; YMMV.
- You will probably have to ask for it.
- Companies are more willing to pay for things like lease breakage if your salary is not above market (my salary for the above offer was at/to slightly below market).
Another option is to negotiate breaking the lease. Some states (in the USA) have laws that govern lease breakage under a changing job context. You can also tell the landlord that you are willing to negotiate something amicable to both parties. Finding a new tenant and suing you to get a judgement on the lease breakage is expensive, and may leave the landlord with lost income overall.
If you are up front and negotiate in good faith with the landlord, you can attempt to find another tenant, or negotiate some kind of agreeable payment (like 2 months instead of 6 months). Many landlords are willing to do this. Google landlord’s duty to mitigate damages and lease job relocation.
If you do negotiate something with the landlord, please make sure that everything you agree to is in writing.