Letter To Landlord To Terminate Lease Early: How To Draft It Right!

Key Takeaways

  • Understand your lease agreement and any early termination clauses before writing the letter.
  • Provide a clear and concise reason for the early lease termination.
  • Offer a potential walk-through date and express willingness to cooperate for a smooth transition.
  • Send the letter within the time frame specified by your lease, if applicable.
  • Keep a copy of all correspondence for your records.
  • Consider the tone of your letter; be polite and professional.
  • State any terms that you are willing to adhere to, such as finding a replacement tenant.
  • Confirm your moving out date and request the return of your security deposit, if applicable.

Terminating a lease early can be a delicate process that requires a well-crafted letter to your landlord. Whether you’re moving for a new job, experiencing financial difficulties, or dealing with personal issues, clear communication is vital. 

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to write an effective letter to your landlord to end your lease agreement prematurely, along with a template to get you started.

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Step 1: Review Your Lease Agreement

Before you begin writing your letter, it’s crucial to review your lease agreement. Look for any clauses that pertain to early termination and understand the potential penalties or procedures outlined.

Watercolor painting woman typing on a sleek black laptop

List of Things to Look For in Your Lease:

  • Early termination clause
  • Notice period required
  • Penalties or fees for early termination
  • Required condition of the apartment upon leaving

Step 2: State Your Intention Clearly

Start your letter by stating your intention to terminate your lease early. Be direct and to the point.

Example Start:

  • “I am writing to notify you of my intent to terminate my lease early…”

Step 3: Provide a Reason

Give a brief and honest reason why you need to terminate the lease early. You don’t need to go into excessive detail, but providing context can help your landlord understand your situation.

Common Reasons for Early Lease Termination:

  • Job relocation
  • Financial hardship
  • Family emergency
  • Health issues

Step 4: Propose an End Date and Walk-Through

Specify the date you propose to end the lease and move out. Also, propose a date for a final walk-through inspection.

Key Information to Include:

  • Proposed lease termination date
  • Proposed date for walk-through inspection

Step 5: Maintain Professionalism

The tone of your letter should be professional and courteous. Express your appreciation for the time you have spent living in the property and your hope for an amicable solution.

Tone Tips:

  • Be polite and respectful.
  • Avoid emotional language.
  • Stay professional.

Step 6: Offer Solutions

If possible, offer solutions that could make the early termination easier for your landlord, like finding a replacement tenant or forfeiting your security deposit.

Solutions to Offer:

  • Finding a replacement tenant
  • Forfeiting a security deposit
  • Paying remaining rent in a lump sum

Step 7: Request for Security Deposit

If applicable, request the return of your security deposit within the timeframe set by your state laws, assuming the property is left in good condition.

Step 8: Close the Letter Formally

End the letter by thanking your landlord for considering your request, and provide your contact information for further discussion.

Closing Example:

  • “Thank you for understanding and for your prompt attention to this matter. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email].”

Step 9: Proofread and Send

Proofread your letter for any errors. Send the letter via certified mail or email, depending on your landlord’s preferred method of communication.

Template for Early Lease Termination Letter

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[Email Address]

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

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I am writing to formally request the early termination of my lease at [Your Apartment Address], which is currently scheduled to end on [Original Lease End Date]. Due to [Your Reason for Leaving], I am unable to fulfill the terms of the lease and am requesting to terminate the lease early, with the proposed final date being [Your Proposed End Date].

I am prepared to conduct a final walk-through inspection on or before my move-out date, which I propose to be [Proposed Walk-Through Date]. I hope to leave the apartment in excellent condition to ensure a full return of my security deposit.

I understand that my lease agreement specifies [Any Relevant Terms from Lease About Early Termination], and I am prepared to comply with these terms. I am willing to assist in finding a new tenant to assume the lease or discuss other potential arrangements to mitigate any inconvenience caused by my early departure.

I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to have lived in your property and hope we can come to a mutually agreeable solution. I am available for any further discussion and can be reached at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email].

Thank you for your attention to this matter and your understanding.


[Your Name]

Tips for Writing the Letter

  • Review your lease thoroughly.
  • Provide a well-defined reason for leaving.
  • Be clear about dates and intentions.
  • Be courteous and professional in tone.
  • Offer solutions and be cooperative.
  • Keep records of all communications.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is an early lease termination?

Answer: An early lease termination is when a tenant ends their lease before the agreed-upon end date.

2. What are some reasons for wanting to terminate a lease early?

Answer: Reasons for wanting to terminate a lease early can include a change in job location, a desire to move to a larger or smaller property, or financial difficulties.

3. Is it possible to terminate a lease early without penalty?

Answer: It is possible to terminate a lease early without penalty if the lease includes a provision for early termination or if the landlord agrees to it voluntarily.

4. Can a landlord refuse to allow a tenant to terminate a lease early?

Answer: A landlord can refuse to allow a tenant to terminate a lease early if the lease does not include a provision for early termination or if the landlord does not agree to it voluntarily.

5. What are some ways to mitigate the financial impact of an early lease termination?

Answer: Ways to mitigate the financial impact of an early lease termination can include finding a replacement tenant to take over the lease, paying any penalties outlined in the lease, or negotiating a payment plan with the landlord.