Sometimes called a notice to vacate, a lease termination letter is a document that informs your landlord or property manager of your intent to terminate your lease. This type of letter is often required for rentals that don’t have a set termination date.
For the sake of courtesy, you want to make sure you give your landlord plenty of time to prepare to relist their rental. Some landlords will require a 30-day notice, while others might ask for 45 or even 60 days. It’s best to refer to your lease to determine exactly how much notice you need to give.
You need to lay your letter out as your would any other standard letter. You should include your name, address, date, and also the landlord’s name and their address. You should then include a subject line, which should say something along the lines of “notice of intent to vacate.”
In the body of the letter, you need to include the number of days notice you are giving along with the date you intend to end your lease and move out. If you wish, you can also include why you intend to vacate, such as moving for a new job. If there were issues with the rental, it’s also okay to include them in this section, but be polite and professional. You will also want to indicate that you wish to know when your security deposit will be returned to you. It’s a good idea to end the letter with contact information, such as your phone number, in case there are any issues.
1. Gather all the Necessary Info
The first step is to gather all the necessary information to fill out the form. This will include your landlord or property manager’s name and address, the date you wish to terminate the lease, the reason for terminating the lease, and any other information you may feel is relevant.
2. Find a Template and Fill it Out
Next, you should find a lease termination template and fill it out. This template should be structured like a letter with blank spaces where you can fill in the relevant info. Make sure to date and sign it at the bottom so that it’s official. You can use the template below if you need one.
3. Make Sure You Give Proper Notice
It’s also important that you give the landlord proper notice. You must provide the landlord with at least 30 days’ notice before vacating in most states. Others recommend at least 60 to give them ample time to find a new tenant. You should review the local landlord-tenant laws to determine how much notice is appropriate.
4. Send it To Your Landlord
Once you’ve filled out the letter, you should deliver it to your landlord as soon as possible. You can send it by mail or email or deliver it to them in person. If you send it by mail, make sure your account for delivery time so that it arrives at least 30 days before you plan on vacating.
5. Collect Your Security Deposit
Finally, make sure that you collect your security deposit (if you haven’t damaged the apartment). You should include information in the letter about where to send the deposit once you vacate the unit. If you terminate the lease early without the landlord’s consent, they may keep the deposit as compensation for missed rent. But otherwise, you are entitled to get it back.
Dear [landlord’s name]
This letter is intended to notify you that [I am / we are] terminating the lease agreement for [unit number] at [property address]. [I/we] intend to vacate the premises [before the end of the lease term or at the end of the lease term] on [date you plan on leaving].
The reason [I am/ we are] leaving is [state the reason, if applicable].
Please forward the security deposit and any other notices to [your forwarding address].
Please feel free to contact [me/us] at [email address] or [phone number] if you have any additional questions or concerns.
[tenant signature] [tenant’s name]
- Make sure that you read your lease before you start planning on vacating your rental. Typically, you can find answers to a lot of questions in the fine print of a lease, including a lease termination date, if one was arranged.
- Send a lease termination letter even if you don’t think one is required. It’s courteous, for one, but it’s also a good way to protect you from any legal consequences.
- Type your letter out and don’t handwrite it to make sure it looks professional and is readable, and then keep a copy. You can sign the letter manually, but avoid handwriting the whole thing.
- Include the current date as well as the date you intend to vacate. This will show that you have prepared and sent the letter within the correct time frame.
- Ensure the notice is polite and professional, and try to keep it simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece that’s pages long. Straight to the point is better, and never be rude, even if you don’t get along with your landlord. It can be easy to air out your frustrations or complaints, but if you need to write about problems, do so in a polite manner.
- There will still need to be some steps taken before you actually move out. You will need to do a final walkthrough with the landlord. Just another reason to keep your lease termination letter polite, you will have to interact with your landlord one more time!
- If you intend to terminate your lease before a specified date, then be prepared for any associated repercussions. Sending a lease termination letter doesn’t exempt you from consequences if you break your lease.
Overall, writing a lease termination letter is a fairly standard procedure for renters and won’t cause you too much trouble. Follow these basic steps and your lease termination letter should be more than sufficient to get the job done.