Hardship Letter for Breaking Lease [Free Sample]

Breaking a lease is a decision that should not be taken lightly. However, sometimes unforeseen circumstances can arise, such as financial hardships, health issues, or job relocation, that make it necessary to terminate a lease agreement early. 

In such situations, writing a well-crafted hardship letter can help explain your situation to your landlord or property management company. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of writing a compelling hardship letter for breaking a lease.

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Step 1: Understand Your Rights and Obligations 

Before writing your hardship letter, it’s essential to review your lease agreement thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions related to lease termination, early termination fees, and any clauses addressing mitigating circumstances. Understanding your rights and obligations will help you frame your hardship letter effectively.

Step 2: Format and Structure 

Begin your hardship letter with a professional and formal tone. Use a business letter format, including your contact information, the date, the landlord’s or property manager’s name, and their contact information. Use a clear and concise structure, including an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Step 3: Introduction 

In the introduction, state your purpose clearly and concisely. Begin by addressing the landlord or property manager by name and briefly mention your lease agreement details, such as the property address and lease start and end dates.

Step 4: Explain the Hardship 

In the body of the letter, provide a detailed explanation of the hardship that necessitates breaking the lease. Be honest, specific, and concise while explaining the circumstances that have made it difficult for you to continue living in the property. 

Common hardships may include financial difficulties, job loss, health issues, family emergencies, or relocation for work or education. Provide any supporting documentation, such as medical records, termination letters, or financial statements, if applicable.

Step 5: Express Responsibility and Cooperation 

Demonstrate your willingness to fulfill your responsibilities despite the hardship. Assure the landlord that you understand the inconvenience caused by breaking the lease and express your commitment to fulfilling any financial obligations, such as paying any early termination fees, finding a replacement tenant, or assisting with the property’s advertising and showing.

Step 6: Request Lease Termination 

Clearly state your request for lease termination and the desired termination date. Specify whether you are requesting a full release from the lease or proposing alternative solutions, such as subletting or finding a replacement tenant.

Step 7: Express Gratitude and Sincerity 

In the conclusion of your hardship letter, express your gratitude for the opportunity to have lived in the property and your sincere regret for having to break the lease. Reiterate your willingness to cooperate throughout the process and provide your contact information for any further discussion or clarification.

Step 8: Proofread and Edit 

After writing the letter, carefully proofread it to correct any grammatical or spelling errors. Ensure that the content is coherent, concise, and conveys your message effectively. Consider having someone else review the letter for feedback and suggestions before finalizing it.

Step 9: Send the Letter 

Print the letter on professional letterhead or high-quality paper, if possible. Sign the letter by hand and make a copy for your records. Send the original letter via certified mail with return receipt requested or through a reliable delivery service. This will provide proof of delivery and ensure that the letter reaches the intended recipient.


Writing a hardship letter for breaking a lease requires thoughtfulness, clarity, and sincerity. By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can create a compelling letter that explains your situation and demonstrates your willingness to cooperate. 

Remember to remain respectful, honest, and concise throughout the letter, and provide any supporting documentation necessary to strengthen your case. While there is no guarantee that your landlord will grant your request for lease termination, a well-written hardship letter increases your chances of reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

Sample Hardship Letter for Breaking Lease

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[Landlord’s Name]
[Landlord’s Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]

Subject: Request for Lease Termination Due to Hardship

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to discuss an unforeseen hardship that has arisen, making it necessary for me to request an early termination of my lease agreement for the property located at [Property Address]. I have always valued our landlord-tenant relationship and want to handle this matter with utmost professionalism and respect.

Firstly, I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to live in the property and for the support you have provided during my tenancy. Unfortunately, due to [explain the hardship], I find myself in a situation where continuing to fulfill the terms of the lease has become extremely challenging.

[Explain the Hardship] Provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances leading to your need for lease termination. For example:

I have recently experienced a significant financial setback due to unexpected medical expenses. As a result, I am struggling to meet my monthly obligations, including rent and other necessary expenses. Despite my best efforts to manage the situation, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the financial stability required to honor the lease agreement.

[Provide Supporting Documentation] Attach relevant supporting documentation, such as medical bills, termination letters, or financial statements, to validate your hardship claims and provide a comprehensive understanding of your situation.

I want to assure you that I am fully aware of the implications of breaking the lease and the inconvenience it may cause. However, I am committed to fulfilling my responsibilities and cooperating with you to minimize any negative impact. To that end, I would like to propose the following solutions:

  1. Option 1: Early Termination and Assistance with Finding a Replacement Tenant I kindly request your consent for early termination of the lease effective [desired termination date]. I am willing to assist with finding a suitable replacement tenant by actively participating in the advertising and showing of the property. I understand that any associated costs or fees incurred in the process will be my responsibility.
  2. Option 2: Subletting the Property Alternatively, if subletting is permissible under the terms of the lease agreement, I would be willing to find a responsible subtenant to assume the remaining lease term and associated responsibilities. I would, of course, ensure that the subtenant meets all the necessary criteria and provide you with their information for approval.

I genuinely regret having to make this request, as I have truly enjoyed my time at the property and appreciate the excellent management and maintenance provided. I am open to discussing alternative solutions or any conditions you may require for lease termination.

I kindly request your understanding and consideration of my situation. I believe that by working together, we can find a solution that is fair for both parties involved. I am available for further discussion or to provide any additional information you may need. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience via phone or email.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to resolving this situation in a manner that maintains the positive relationship we have developed throughout my tenancy.


[Your Name]