How to write a rental termination letter

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Lighthouse

Updated

June 23, 2022

How to write a rental termination letter

How to write a rental termination letter

Writing a rental termination letter can be a daunting task for many renters, especially the first-timers out there. Once you decide to move out of your rental apartment, one of the first steps you should take is to write a clear and concise Intent to Vacate Letter.

So, the easy part is deciding when to move out. The harder part comes with timing the delivery of your notice and writing the right information in your letter.

Rental termination letters are particularly important because they have to be done right. Many landlords or management companies are nit-picky over these things. Some will go as far as to claim you didn't hand in a proper move-out notice because there was something wrong with what was written.

So, to avoid any confusion, we're going over how to write a Rental Termination Letter.

We've divided this article into different sections. Check them out below!

1. What is a rental termination letter?

2. When should you give your rental termination letter?

3. What to include in your rental termination letter

4. Rental Termination Letter Template (for when your lease is ending)

5. Terminating your lease agreement early

6. Early Lease Termination Letter Template (if you're terminating mid-lease)

Let's get started! 😊

1. What is a rental termination letter? 

To put it into simple terms, a rental termination letter is a move-out letter that is handed to your landlord or building management company.

They are also known as vacate letters. The importance of a rental termination letter lies in the fact that it's an official written statement terminating your lease

Your lease agreement will give you the proper details of how you should terminate your lease. So, if you're wondering how far in advance you should give your notice or what to say, it's usually found in your lease! 

2. When should you give your rental termination letter? 

As we mentioned above, you should always consult your lease or landlord to get a firm date. 

However, most apartment buildings require at least a 30-day notice when terminating your lease. You'll find that some buildings require a 60-day notice, which is why we recommend checking your lease!

3. What to include in your rental termination letter 

First, let's go over all the basic components you should include in your rental termination letter. Make sure to add the following: 

▪️ Your full name 

▪️ The date the letter is being written

▪️ The date you intend to vacate your rental unit

▪️ The date you wish to have your landlord inspect your apartment

▪️ Your contact information

▪️ Forwarding address

▪️ A friendly and polite message and sign off

▪️ Your landlord's information

▪️ Security deposit information

4. Rental termination letter template (for when your lease is ending)

(Current date)

(Landlord's Name or Property Management Company) 

(Address printed on your lease agreement) 

(City, State, Zip Code) 

RE: Termination of Lease Agreement

Dear (landlord's name), 

I, (Tenant's Name), am writing to inform you that I intend to terminate my lease agreement. I am delivering this notice (number of days before your lease ends) days before my lease for (rental unit address) comes to an end. 

The last day of my tenancy will be on (day, month, year). I intend to move out on (date you're planning on moving out).

I have decided to move out of this unit for the following reason (list your reason such as job, rent price increase, relocating). I would like to thank you for your time and service these past (amount of time you spent at your apartment). 

*Key Note*: The paragraph above is not required in a rental termination letter. However, it's always nice to be transparent with your landlord as to why you're moving out. Additionally, extending a sentiment of gratitude will show them a common form of courtesy. If you think you might need a future reference from your landlord, you may want to include some note of gratitude in your letter! 

Please let me know when I can receive my security deposit of (the amount you paid for your security deposit) back. Also, please advise me when you are available to come in for a final inspection of the unit. Should there be any incurred expenses for damages, please let me know the total amount in writing. 

You can reach me at (contact information) should you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. 

Sincerely, 

(Tenant's name & Signature)

(Your address and apartment unit number) 

(City, State, Zip Code) 

Check out the letter down below to see what it would look like with all the information filled out. The parts in green are the ones that were replaced. 

5. Terminating your lease agreement early 

There's never a guarantee that you'll live at your rental unit for the entire length of your lease. We can think of an entire list of issues that can come up that may push you to end your lease early. 

Given the situation, let's go over three potential scenarios that could happen. 

Ending your lease early because of personal issues

There are a few accepted reasons that allow you to break your lease early without penalty. These include: 

▪️ You have to move out for health-related reasons

▪️ Your safety is being threatened (you may still be subject to paying penalties) 

▪️ You are being harassed by someone in your building

▪️ You're suffering from domestic violence 

▪️ You're being called to serve the military 

▪️ Job loss (it's not always accepted, but some landlords may be compassionate to your situation and let you off the hook)

 Generally, in these cases, you won't incur any consequences from ending your lease early. You would just have to clearly communicate what's going on with your landlord and send in your official rental termination letter. 

On the other hand, you may be subject to early termination fees if you end your lease agreement because of personal conflict such as: 

▪️ Divorce, separation, or a breakup

▪️ Conflict with your roommate

This type of scenario doesn't excuse you from breaking your lease without penalty. It's safe to say that your lease will give you specific details involving breaking your lease early without a justified reason. 

Look for an early termination clause in your lease. It's usually paired with details about providing a proper termination notice, paying any outstanding rent, and additional fees. These fees are usually worth about 1 to 3 months' worth of rent. 

If you don't want to pay all these extra expenses, you could always consider subletting. Of course, you would need to confirm that this is a possibility in the first place, so check your lease!

Ending your lease early because of issues with your apartment or building

Landlords have to comply with tenant laws and regulations just like renters have rules of their own to follow. 

Every state in the US except Arkansas requires, by law, that landlords provide habitable homes for their tenants. 

So, if you're battling with any apartment or building issues that affect your livelihood, chances are you have grounds to move out. 

In this case, you will probably be allowed to end your lease agreement without any penalties. However, this path may require some negotiation with your landlord if they're pushing back.

In extreme cases, you may be taken to court. Chances are you will win your case, but you'll have to spend that extra time and money getting through a court case. Be sure to always have visual or written evidence to back up your claims.

If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to get legal help and know your rights. 

Ending your lease early because your landlord violated your lease agreement 

Similar to what was mentioned above, your landlord cannot enter your apartment without appropriate notice or authorization. This is a direct violation of Landlord-Tenant Law and your privacy. The same goes if your landlord is discriminating you or breaking any laws under the Fair Housing Act.

As such, you would legally be allowed to end your lease early if you found yourself in this situation. As long as you cover your bases and write an appropriate rental termination letter, you should be good to go! 

Always remember- take photos, videos, voice recordings. Be sure to record anything that would count as proof in the court of law, even if you don't end up going to one! 

6. Early Lease Termination Letter Template (if you're terminating mid-lease)

(Current date)

(Landlord's Name or Property Management Company) 

(Address printed on your lease agreement) 

(City, State, Zip Code) 

RE: Early Termination of Lease Agreement

Dear (landlord's name), 

I, (Tenant's Name), am writing to inform you that I intend to terminate my lease agreement early for (address and unit number)- effective (date you wish to end your lease). 

I am requesting to terminate my lease because (list your reasons for terminating your lease). As such, I intend to vacate this rental unit by (the date you would like to move out). 

As per my lease contract, I am delivering this notice (number of days in advance) days before my proposed lease end date. I will also be paying the termination fees amounting to (value amount you're supposed to pay in fees). 

Please advise when you are available to come in for a final inspection of the rental unit.

I'll wait for the return of my security deposit of (amount paid for security deposit). Should there be any incurred expenses for damages, please let me know the total amount in writing. 

You can reach me at (contact information) should you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you. 

Sincerely, 

(Tenant's name & Signature)

(Your address and apartment unit number) 

(City, State, Zip Code)

Down below is an example of what this type of rental termination would look like. 

Conclusion

If done right, rental termination letters should be a breeze. Always make sure to include all your information and the details involving your rent termination. You shouldn't encounter any issues if you get those right! 

We hope you found this article useful for your rent terminating journey! 

For anyone that's in the market for a new apartment, you should check out Lighthouse! Our cash back and apartment search services will make your next apartment fun instead of stressful! Check us out here. 😍

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