Before a tenant moves into a new building, he or she signs a lease agreement with the landlord. As time goes on, situations may arise that demand relocation. At that point, the tenant needs to send an early lease termination notice to the caretakers. It contains requisite details to corroborate your decision.
Although the landlord reserves the right to object, this document will placate his mind. It will appease his emotions to understand the circumstance. Besides, if you are convincing enough, you can get his buy-in and evacuate the building quickly.
Moreover, this article contains everything you need to know about an early lease termination letter.
Early Lease Termination Letter refers to a document that a tenant sends to his or her landlord, explaining the decision to suspend the ongoing lease agreement.
This document is important when the suspension happens before the duration elapses. For instance, the tenant could lose his job or contract a life-threatening sickness. Whatever happens, the tenant can no longer fulfill his rent duties as at when due.
If your rent agreement has a provision for premature evacuation, it makes the process easier. However, consider the details of the clause. For example, duration of notice and termination fee.
Common Reasons for Early Lease Termination
You remain bound to the lease agreement until the duration elapses. However, certain situations permit you to leave untimely.
These situations are going to be highlighted in this section to enable us to understand them well:
Accidents may occur that require intensive treatment for extended periods. Moreover, if you need to move into a nursing home or place for the aged, you can compose an early lease termination letter.
Hired in the military
Whether your military exams became successful or the government coopted you, you have a valid justification to suspend your lease. Besides, you may have to move into the barracks. Other times, you may have to change stations for over three months.
Violation of privacy
If the homeowner violates your privacy by entering your premises without your consent, you have enough reason to evacuate.
Living in a different location may open you up to frustrating neighbors. Sometimes, they may threaten to harm you. If this goes on repeatedly after reporting to local authorities, you can call it quits.
If you have enough evidence to support inhumane treatment from your partner, the law justifies your evacuation request.
Unrepairable damages to your apartment
It might be due to natural or man-made disasters. When it happens, the homeowner needs to fix the faults. Failure to repair damages after some time may trigger an early lease termination letter.
The homeowner retains the right to make the environment safe for the occupants. For example, the building may violate health standards such as proximity to emissions or radiation. Moreover, if the premises does not conform to local housing codes, you may have to leave early.
If you later discover that the building is neither leasable nor fit for your intended purpose, you may decide to terminate early. In some situations, the landlord may refund some of your leases.
Components of an Early Lease Termination Letter
As mentioned earlier, an early lease termination letter is a formal document. Thus, it has a format containing specific sections. Ensure you adhere to this guideline for a convincing early lease termination letter.
These components include:
Include your title, first and last names. It should be the same as the one in your lease agreement. Write your contact information – phone number, email address, etc.
The location of the premises you intend to leave. It includes street name, block number, and flat number, depending on the apartment.
Requested termination date
The specific day and month you want to leave. Ideally, it should be at least one month away.
Reason for termination
It is not enough to just decide to leave. You need a cogent reason to get the landlord’s approval. Otherwise, he might not grant your early lease termination letter.
Penalties & fees
Whatever the circumstances, premature evacuation incurs certain penalties. For instance, you may have to pay termination fees. Besides, some state laws have provisions that dictate how much you pay. Include the mode and time of payment.
Keys & Property
In this section, you tell the landlord how you will pass the keys and other items over to him.
Your forwarding address
As the tenant, include details of your post-tenancy location. It is important to claim your security deposit. Moreover, it tells your landlord where to find you or send a mail. It could be a friend’s, family’s, or your new apartment.
Dates & signatures
Enter the date you wrote the early lease termination letter. Also, append your signature to authenticate the document.
Furthermore, inform your landlord of the need for an inspection before you leave. That way, you will absolve yourself of damages not due to you. Include the period you will be available. Remind your landlord of your security deposit upon leaving.
Duplicate the early lease termination letter before sending it to the recipient. Also, ensure he or she acknowledges the receipt of your early lease termination letter. Failure to follow due process may lead to a lawsuit.
Terminating Your Lease Earlier
There are a few steps involved in the process of terminating your lease earlier that ensure that all the important elements of the procedure have been undergone properly.
These steps are:
Step 1: Forward the early lease termination letter to your leaser
Spend some time composing a convincing early lease termination letter. Ensure it contains the reasons you want to leave. It could be losing your job, going through a divorce, or a transfer. After editing to satisfaction, send it to your homeowner. Meanwhile, make sure it gets to them by using a professional courier service or an official mail.
The landlord needs sufficient time to think through your request. Moreover, he may have to find another occupant before releasing you. This buffer time increases the possibility of getting a positive response.
Check the lease document that you signed upon entry. It may contain clauses and provisions to guide you. Details to look for include duration to notify the leaser and penalties.
Step 2: Negotiate more favorable terms for leaving prematurely
If the leaser is accommodating, you may find it easier. Otherwise, it may lead to serious arguments. Regardless, keep in mind the financial implications of terminating your lease early. Point these terms out during the discussion:
- The effective date of termination: It means the day and month you will leave the house finally. Once the date elapses, it becomes an offense remaining in the apartment.
- Your security deposit: Ideally, your landlord should give you the money once you evacuate. However, some unethical people may want to withhold it. Ensure you leave the building in good condition. Afterward, demand your security deposit.
- Cancellation Fee: Sometimes, your decision to suspend your lease agreement prematurely may attract financial penalties. This cancellation fine should be the security deposit. However, some leasers may demand extra fees.
Step 3: Request to sublease the apartment
This approach becomes necessary when your landlord refuses to approve your request. Rather than continue in an endless argument, find out the possibility of a sublease. With this arrangement, you shoulder the responsibility of getting another occupant.
Further, the new occupant pays to you and you remit to the leaser. It ensures that your landlord loses no money due to your evacuation. Also, it guarantees your security deposit.
Meanwhile, if your lease agreement has no provision for subletting, request an adjustment. That way, you can move ahead with your decision.
Step 4: Seek legal advice
Every state has laws and bylaws that guide leasing an apartment. It contains provisions that protect the rights of a tenant and his or her landlord. For instance, an occupant facing domestic assaults can suspend a lease agreement early. However, you need sound legal advice to exploit the loopholes within those provisions.
Step 5: Keep all documentation
Make sure you keep proper records of your activities. Duplicate your early lease termination letter for future purposes. Also, confirm that your landlord received the document. It serves as a piece of credible evidence in a lawsuit.
What to Expect Breaking a Lease
When you suspend your lease agreement prematurely, it often attracts certain consequences. If your landlord is unaccommodating, you may face higher degrees of penalties. Besides, it helps you assess the risks and stand behind your decision.
Incur financial penalties
Landlords are out to make maximum returns on their buildings. By signing the lease agreement, you bind yourself to its details. Thus, terminating your lease before time may impinge on your leaser’s income.
Cancellation fines may range from one to two months’ payment. The landlord may task you with paying for the remaining months, even if you will not stay there. Meanwhile, you might sacrifice your security deposit unless you bring a replacement.
Check your lease document for fines due to untimely evacuation. Also, include it in your early lease termination letter after consulting with the landlord.
Get court summons
If you have a pugnacious landlord, you should tread with caution. Otherwise, you may end in court. Your track record will speak for you in such a situation. If you are a responsible tenant hitherto, the leaser may consider your request.
Whatever your landlord asks, consider it. Negotiate if need be, but maintain professional conduct.
Early Lease Termination Letter Template
(Title and Name of Tenant)
(Home and contact address of Tenant) Include city and zip code.
(Date of writing the letter)
(Name of Landlord, Facility Manager, or Agent)
(Address of the recipient)
(City, State, and zip code)
Dear (Title and Name of recipient),
As an occupant of (apartment number and address), I am writing to inform you of my decision to terminate my tenancy untimely.
Although my lease expires on the (date of expiry on the ongoing lease agreement), it is imperative to leave sooner due to (reason for termination). My effective date of evacuation is (date you want to leave finally). Here is my forwarding address (post-tenancy location and contact details).
We can schedule an inspection for (date). If necessary, I am willing to address detected faults. Kindly pay my security deposit to my forwarding address.
I look forward to receiving your call concerning the inspection. Afterward, I will transfer all utilities from my name and return the keys.
(Signature of the tenant)
(Name of the tenant)
Our website contains hundreds of early lease termination letters. They cover different reasons from medical issues to illegality. Moreover, these early lease termination letter templates are easily downloadable and customizable. Download template here.
As a situation demands, an early lease termination letter may become necessary. It explains your decision and justification to your landlord. Also, it spells out your responsibilities before and upon leaving the apartment. Ensure you adhere to tenancy rules and agreements to make the process easier. Some reasons to leave include domestic abuse, dangerous neighbors, and illegality. Meanwhile, be prepared to negotiate for a better evacuation deal. For instance, explore subleasing option if your landlord is adamant. It guarantees that both parties lose no additional money.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much notice is required to terminate a lease?
Most state laws demand a minimum of thirty days written notice before an untimely termination. Confirm that your landlord received the document during this period.
Under what situations can you break a lease and escape penalties?
Some state laws highlight situations when a lease suspension attracts no penalty. One, moving due to health conditions. Two, service terms of military personnel. Three, unwarranted visits to your apartments by the leaser. Four, unsafe environment.