How to Cancel a Lease Agreement

Written by ana jackson
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How to Cancel a Lease Agreement
Review your lease agreement. (close up image by from

A lease agreement is a legal contract between two parties: the property owner and the lessee, or tenant. The agreement states the names of the parties involved, the term of the lease, the monthly or yearly rate or rent, and the effective date. A lease agreement helps protect both parties from misunderstandings and possible legal conflict.

Although a lease agreement is generally associated with rental property, the term can also apply to intangible property such as computer software, cable and Internet service. The cancellation of a lease agreement involves multiple steps, which are important to cancel a lease agreement effectively.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Review the contract. Lease agreements generally contain an early termination clause. The lessee or user often needs to pay a release fee to cancel the agreement before its expiration date.

  2. 2

    Contact the property owner. If your lease agreement involves rental property, you need to write a letter to inform the landlord of your intentions. Landlords often require 30 days' notice. If your lease agreement involves intangible services, a phone call may be sufficient. Refer to your lease contract for specific instructions on submitting an early termination notice.

  3. 3

    Include your name, address, phone number and the date your cancellation is to go into effect. Other items to include in your notice are your landlord's name and address, and your reason for cancelling the lease. State your intention to pay any applicable reletting fees. Date the notice, sign it and make a personal copy for your records.

  4. 4

    Submit your notice. If you cannot deliver it personally, use a courier service or send it via certified mail through the postal system. Save your receipt for proof that you sent the cancellation notice.

Tips and warnings

  • Submit your lease agreement cancellation notice within the allotted period. Failure to do so could cost you your security deposit.
  • Failure to pay any applicable early cancellation fees could have a negative effect on your credit rating.

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