Early Lease Termination Clause for Landlord Sample: Free & Effective

Crafting an early lease termination clause requires foresight, legal knowledge, and a touch of empathy. Today, I’ll share my step-by-step guide to writing an effective early lease termination clause, complete with a template and tips from my personal experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Early Lease Termination: An early lease termination clause provides a legal basis for ending a lease agreement before its scheduled conclusion, under agreed-upon conditions.
  • Balance and Fairness: The clause must balance the landlord’s need to protect their investment with the tenant’s legitimate reasons for early departure.
  • Legal Compliance: Ensure the clause complies with local laws and regulations to avoid legal pitfalls.
  • Clarity and Specificity: A well-written clause is clear, specific, and leaves no room for interpretation, detailing the process, notice requirements, and any financial obligations.
  • Template Availability: A customizable template can serve as a starting point, tailored to fit specific needs and legal requirements.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Early Lease Termination Clause

1. Start with Legal Research

Before drafting your clause, familiarize yourself with local landlord-tenant laws. Regulations can vary significantly, and what’s permissible in one jurisdiction might be illegal in another. This step ensures your clause is legally sound and enforceable.

2. Define Acceptable Reasons for Early Termination

Be specific about what circumstances qualify for early termination. Common reasons include military deployment, job relocation, or significant life events like divorce or severe illness. Listing these reasons adds clarity and fairness to the clause.

3. Outline the Notice Requirements

Specify how much advance notice the tenant must provide before terminating the lease early. A typical period is 30 to 60 days. This gives landlords adequate time to find a new tenant and reduces vacancy losses.

4. Detail Financial Obligations

Clearly state any financial responsibilities the tenant has upon early termination. This might include paying a termination fee, covering the cost of re-renting the unit, or being responsible for rent until a new tenant is found. The terms should be reasonable and proportional to the landlord’s potential losses.

5. Incorporate a Subletting Option

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Consider including provisions for subletting as an alternative to outright termination. This can be a win-win situation; the original tenant finds someone to cover the lease, and the landlord avoids vacancy losses.

6. Review and Revise

After drafting the clause, review it carefully. Ensure it’s clear, concise, and free of legal jargon that could confuse tenants. It’s wise to have a legal professional review the clause to ensure compliance and enforceability.

Early Lease Termination Clause Template

Early Lease Termination Clause

This Lease Agreement may be terminated early by the Tenant under the following conditions:

1. **Reasons for Early Termination:** The Tenant may terminate the lease early for any of the following reasons: [List acceptable reasons here, e.g., military deployment, job relocation more than 50 miles away, etc.].

2. **Notice Requirement:** The Tenant agrees to provide [X] days’ written notice of their intent to terminate the lease early. Notice must be provided in writing and delivered according to the notice provisions outlined in this Agreement.

3. **Financial Obligations:** Upon early termination, the Tenant is responsible for [detail financial obligations, e.g., a termination fee equal to two months’ rent, all rent due until a new tenant is found, etc.].

4. **Subletting Option:** [If applicable, include details about the tenant’s option to sublet as an alternative to termination, including any required landlord approval process.]

This clause is subject to the laws and regulations of [Jurisdiction/State]. Both parties agree to the terms outlined herein.

Tips from Personal Experience

  • Flexibility Can Be Key: While it’s important to protect your interests, offering a degree of flexibility can help maintain positive landlord-tenant relationships. Consider each early termination request on a case-by-case basis.
  • Communication is Crucial: Clear communication about the clause and its implications can prevent misunderstandings and disputes down the line. Make sure tenants understand their rights and obligations when they sign the lease.
  • Enforceability Matters: Always ensure your early termination clause is enforceable. A clause that doesn’t comply with local laws can create more problems than it solves.


Writing an early lease termination clause is a nuanced process that balances legal requirements with fairness to tenants. By following the steps outlined above and utilizing the template provided, landlords can create a clause that protects their property while accommodating the unpredictable nature of life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I include an early lease termination clause for a landlord when I’m also planning to send a letter for selling my motorcycle?

Answer: When drafting an early lease termination clause, I ensure it’s flexible enough to accommodate personal asset management, like selling a motorcycle. 

In my experience, I’ve found it helpful to specify in the lease or in a separate document how personal sales, such as a motorcycle, won’t affect the lease terms, ensuring clear separation of assets and lease agreements.

Q: Can an early lease termination clause protect me as a landlord if I need to sell my property, including a motorcycle stored on it?

Answer: Absolutely, I’ve always made sure that my early lease termination clauses clearly state the conditions under which I can terminate the lease early, including if I need to sell the property. 

This clarity helped me navigate a smoother process when I decided to sell my property and included the sale of a motorcycle that was stored on the premises, ensuring all parties were aware and in agreement with the terms.

Q: What are the best practices for notifying tenants about an early lease termination due to selling items like a motorcycle?

Answer: In my experience, the best practice is to provide clear, written communication with ample notice, as outlined in the early lease termination clause. 

When I sold my motorcycle, which was stored at a property I rented out, I ensured the notification detailed the reasons for the sale and how it impacts the lease, maintaining transparency and fairness in the landlord-tenant relationship.

Q: How can I make sure my early lease termination clause is fair, especially if I might need to terminate the lease to sell personal items, such as a motorcycle?

Answer: Ensuring fairness in an early lease termination clause involves clearly defining termination reasons, including personal asset sales like a motorcycle, and setting reasonable notice periods. 

My approach has been to balance my rights as a landlord with the tenant’s security, making sure both parties understand the potential reasons for early termination, which has led to amicable agreements even when personal sales are involved.

Q: What should I do if a tenant disagrees with the early lease termination due to my decision to sell my motorcycle?

Answer: In situations where a tenant disagrees with an early lease termination related to selling my motorcycle, I’ve found that open dialogue and negotiation are key. 

I explain the reasons behind my decision, offering solutions such as assisting in finding a new place or providing a favorable reference, which often helps in reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution

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