Whether you're buying your first new home or moving uptown to be closer to your new career, you'll need to write a letter stating your intentions to end your current lease. There are certain issues that an individual is liable for when it comes to terminating the lease concerning their current residence. First, the most important thing to address is to let the landlord know as soon as possible that you plan to vacate the premises via an official lease termination letter. The idea is to allow enough time for them to find a new tenant to take your place.
The Thirty Day Notice
In most cases, a lease will specify the length of time the landlord wants to be notified ahead of time before you move out. Usually, a thirty day notice will suffice. However, you need to write a lease termination letter in order to protect yourself in the event a dispute should arise between you and your landlord. The letter itself will serve as evidence in case you wind up in a court of law. Ideally, the letter should be well-written and notarized. It's best to follow a few key guidelines when writing your letter to properly end the residency regarding your rented property.
First, it's vital that your letter of termination shows the date. In fact, the date is actually the most important aspect of the entire letter. It clearly shows that you intend to provide a 30 day notice and the date of when the landlord was notified. Also, the post office stamp serves as another piece of evidence of when the letter was literally mailed. In the event you need to go to court over this issue, the date will likely be the first thing the judge looks at along with other legal factors as well.
Get to the Point
Your letter needs to get straight to the point and be as clear as possible. Don't attempt to impress anyone with big fancy words, just say what you need to say and that's all. In other words, if it's your intent to evacuate your apartment on May 24th, then that's what needs to be clearly indicated. By plainly stating your intentions upfront, it won't leave any room for misinterpretation. Be precise and clear so the landlord has no questions about your plans for vacating the premises.
It's in your best interest to be fully aware of a few details that the landlord will undoubtedly look for:
• The date on the letter
• Is the lease being broken or has it ended?
• The date you intend to move
• Any special circumstances involving the move
• The address you're actually moving out of
• Your forwarding address
Include a Forwarding Address
Be sure that your letter includes all these items. The landlord will need your forwarding address as well to send your security deposit if the lease is ending. In most cases, the landlord has a full 30 days to return your security deposit along with providing the details of any subsequent damages that may potentially subtract money off your original security deposit. They'll want to know when the apartment will be empty so they can start showing potential renters the space as soon as possible. If an individual needs to leave and in fact breaks the lease, there may be certain circumstances that warrant them for doing so. For example, a person enlisted in the military can't be held responsible for breaking a lease if they're called into active duty.
It's important to request a final walk-through of your apartment with the landlord. Any damages that may be charged will be much easier to escalate if the tenant isn't present. At least take pictures or shoot a video of your apartment when leaving and if possible get witnesses.
Here is a good example of a well-written rental lease termination letter to help you.
Sample Rental Lease Termination Letter
Dear Landlord or Apartment Manager,
I am writing you to let you know that I will be vacating the premises that I'm currently occupying at 123 Park Place, Shelbyville, Texas 123321. My lease expires on March 31, 2015 and I intend to vacate my apartment by April 28, 2015. My new forwarding address is 443 Springhill Road, Shelbyville, Texas 123321.
Please forward my security deposit to my new address within the agreed amount of time. I am formally requesting a walk-through with you or a staff member to go over my apartment and address any details or issues if necessary. When I move out, I will make sure that all the utilities are paid in full and transferred out of my name.
If you need to speak with me you can reach me at any time on my cell phone at 123-123-1234 or by email at email@example.com. I look forward to your call in order to schedule the walk-through and to turn in my apartment keys.
Jane Doe (print and sign your name)
By Andre Bradley