When ending the lease early, a written lease termination letter can formalize your request. Once sent, this written notice can be acknowledged by either the landlord or tenant, and can then use it as proof of the termination. To assist you, FormsPal offers a free and fully-editable early lease termination letter template below.
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Though both parties may be living amicably, there are many reasons why early lease termination letters will be needed. For the tenant, it may be one of the following:
Whether the choice to end the lease is reasonable or not, the tenant still has the last say whether to write that letter or not. The landlord may only withhold the tenant’s deposit depending on the conditions stated in the lease agreement.
|STATES||MIN TERMINATION||STATE LAW|
|Alabama||Thirty (30) Days||Alabama Code, Section 35-9A-441|
|Alaska||Thirty (30) Days||Alaska Statutes, Section 34.03.290|
|Arizona||Thirty (30) Days||Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 33-1375|
|Arkansas||Thirty (30) Days||Arkansas Annotated Code, Section 18-17-704|
|California||Thirty (30) or Sixty (60) Days||California Civil Code, Section 1946.1|
|Colorado||Depends on the lease duration*||Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 13-40-107|
|Connecticut||Three (3) Days||Connecticut Revised Statutes, Chapter 832, Section 47a-23|
|Delaware||Sixty (60) Days||Delaware Code, Title 25, Section 5106|
|Florida||Fifteen (15) Days||Florida Statutes, Section 83.57|
|Georgia||Sixty (60) Days (for Landlord), or Thirty (30) Days (for Tenant)||Georgia Code, Section 44-7-7|
|Hawaii||Forty-five (45) Days (for Landlord), or Twenty-eight (28) Days (for Tenant)||Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 521-71|
|Idaho||One (1) Month||Idaho Statutes, Section 55-208|
|Illinois||Thirty (30) Days||Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 735, Section 5/9-207|
|Indiana||One (1) Month||Indiana Code, Section 32-31-1-1|
|Iowa||Thirty (30) Days||Iowa Code, Section 562A.34|
|Kansas||Thirty (30) Days||Kansas Statute, Section 58-2570|
|Kentucky||Thirty (30) Days||Kentucky Revised Statutes, Section 383.695|
|Louisiana||Ten (10) Days||Louisiana Civil Code, Article 2728|
|Maine||Thirty (30) Days||Maine Revised Statutes, Title 14, Section 6002|
|Maryland||One (1) Month||Maryland Annotated Code, Section 8-402|
|Massachusetts||Thirty (30) Days, or interval between payment periods, whichever is longer||Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 186, Section 15B|
|Michigan||Thirty (30) Days||Michigan Compiled Laws, Section 554.134|
|Minnesota||Three (3) Months, or interval between payment periods, whichever is less||Minnesota Statutes, Section 504B.135|
|Mississippi||Thirty (30) Days||Mississippi Annotated Code, Section 89-8-19|
|Missouri||One (1) Month||Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 441.060|
|Montana||Thirty (30) Days||Montana Annotated Code, Section 70-24-441|
|Nebraska||Thirty (30) Days||Nebraska Revised Statutes, Section 76-1437|
|Nevada||Thirty (30) Days||Nevada Revised Statutes,Section 40.251|
|New Hampshire||Thirty (30) Days||New Hampshire Revised Statutes, Section 540:3|
|New Jersey||One (1) Month||New Jersey Statutes, Section 2A:18-56|
|New Mexico||Thirty (30) Days||New Mexico Annotated Statutes, Section 47-8-37|
|New York||One (1) Month||New York Consolidated Laws, RPP Section 232-B|
|North Carolina||Seven (7) Days||North Carolina General Statutes, Section 42-14|
|North Dakota||One (1) Month||North Dakota Century Code, Section 47-16-07.2|
|Ohio||Thirty (30) Days||Ohio Revised Code, Section 5321.17|
|Oklahoma||Thirty (30) Days||Oklahoma Statutes, Section 41-111|
|Oregon||Thirty (30) Days, or Sixty (60) Days (if tenant has been renting for more than a year)||Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 91.070|
|Pennsylvania||Fifteen (15) Days||Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 250.501|
|Rhode Island||Thirty (30) Days, or Sixty (60) Days (if tenant’s age over 62 years)||Rhode Island General Laws, Section 34-18-37|
|South Carolina||Thirty (30) Days||South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 27-40-770|
|South Dakota||Thirty (30) Days||South Dakota Codified Laws, Section 43-32-13|
|Tennessee||Thirty (30) Days||Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 66-28-512|
|Texas||One (1) Month||Texas Statutes, Property Code, Section 91.001|
|Utah||Fifteen (15) Days||Utah Code, Section 78B-6-802|
|Vermont||Sixty (60) Days, or Ninety (90) Days (if tenant has been renting for more than a year)||Vermont Statutes, Title 9, Section 4467|
|Virginia||Thirty (30) Days||Virginia Code, Section 55-248.37|
|Washington||Twenty (20) Days||Washington Revised Code, Section 59.18.200|
|West Virginia||One (1) Month||West Virginia Code, Section 37-6-5|
|Wisconsin||Twenty-eight (28) Days||Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations, Section 704.19|
|Wyoming||No Statute||Wyoming Statutes, Section 35-22-403|
* If less than 1 week – 1 Day;
If 1 week or longer (but less than 1 month), or a tenancy at will – 3 Days;
If 1 month or longer (but less than 6 months) – 10 Days;
If 6 months or longer (but less than 1 year) – 1 Month;
If 1 year or longer – 3 Months.
Step 1— Refer back to the original lease agreement.
It is always important to check old lease agreements for any guidelines regarding breaking a lease. Oftentimes, an early lease termination has its consequences wherein the landlord may forfeit your security deposit. To avoid any unwanted complications, review your contract’s early termination clause.
Step 2— Negotiate the terms before you break the lease.
You’d want to talk with your landlord before you send your termination letter. During the meeting, calmly discuss the reasons with utmost sincerity. Hopefully, your landlord will go easy on the contract’s early termination clause and be lenient regarding the following:
Remember that tenants must use the original lease as the basis of their negotiation points. When finalized, the negotiated terms must then be indicated on the letter to properly end the lease.
Step 3— Formalize the termination letter.
Use the template below to formalize your request for early lease termination. You may also add some of the results of your negotiation, which you may detail in writing. Once you have fully edited the template, print a copy. Make sure that you ask the landlord or his or her representative to sign a receiving copy as proof that you have submitted the notice. Another option is sending it through certified mail, a service that uses a form that the landlord must acknowledge and sign. You may also consult state laws regarding provisions for their guidelines on sending a proper notice.
Step 1— Download the lease termination letter template.
Choose the file that is compatible with your computer:
Step 2— Fill out the heading.
For the first part of the letter, type the following:
For blanks 3 to 4, you may add the necessary details to make the address more accurate.
Step 3— Indicate the subject of the letter.
Below the date and the addressee, fill out the first sentence, which starts with “Re:” ( a clipped version of the word “Regarding”). Write the following details in order:
Step 4— Write the body of the letter.
Step 5— Write instructions for the security deposit and sign the letter.
If you need to break the lease early, remember that you must properly inform the landlord and abide by the contract’s early lease termination clause. There are, however, many disadvantages to the early termination of lease, most of which were detailed in this article. Should you feel that the decision to leave early weighs more than finishing the lease, you may formalize your request through an early lease termination letter. Using such will allow your landlord to better understand your reasons and may be more lenient when imposing the early termination clause.