How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease

Written by diane steinbach Google
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How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
Terminating an apartment lease requires some organisation and planning. (apartment lease sign image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com)

Terminating an apartment lease can mean both a pleasant change and a bit of paperwork. Even if you are buddies with your landlord, treat the end of your lease like the business matter that it is. Provide notice of your intent to vacate the premises in a timely manner as determined in your lease, and include all the details you want to document in case there are any future disputes. Be professional by sending a professional letter to your landlord or leasing agent that clearly states your plans to leave.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Rental agreement or lease
  • Address of leaseholder
  • Local landlord/tenant laws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Locate your apartment lease and review the agreed-upon terms, such as length of notice and early-termination fees.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Review your lease carefully at least 60 days prior to terminating it. (lease image by Renato Francia from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Determine whom the letter should be addressed to. For example, it could be a homeowner/landlord, leasing company or real estate agent.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Contact your landlord through the address included on your lease. (model I image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Address the letter to the correct person with a complete name and address, and add the date when the letter was written before your greeting.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Ensure the letter's delivery by addressing it properly. (address image by Aleksander from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Begin your letter with a formal "To Whom It May Concern" greeting, or use the person's name.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Write a professional letter when terminating your lease. (writing image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Start with a clear opening that will state your intention to move out. For example: "This letter is to inform you of our intent to end our lease of the property on 1111 Elm St."

  6. 6

    Include the date that you will leave the property. The date will match the end date on your lease. Or if you are breaking the lease, choose a date at least 30 days from your letter date to give ample time to re-rent the property.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Plan for your move to occur prior to the actual lease termination date. (moving image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)
  7. 7

    Reference your lease whenever possible. For example, if utilities are addressed in your lease, state the date you will disconnect your utility services. For example, "Per our agreement in Section 4 of our lease, I will disconnect the utilities and place them back in the leasing company's name as of Oct. 31, 2010."

  8. 8

    Set a date for a walk-through. Include a time when you think you'll have completed your move and a cleanup (prior to the day the lease ends), and ask the landlord to perform a walk-through with you.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Clean your apartment well and get your security deposit returned. (apartment building image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)
  9. 9

    Assure the landlord that you will return the apartment keys, mailbox keys and garage remote controls, if necessary, on the date of termination.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Return all your apartment keys at the end of your lease. (Keys with key chain image by Sujit Mahapatra from Fotolia.com)
  10. 10

    Set a date to receive your security deposit. Check your state laws to determine how long a landlord may hold your security deposit, what kind of documentation the landlord needs to provide to keep portions of your deposit and whether your deposit should have been held in an interest-bearing account. State all those facts in your letter.

    How to write a letter to terminate your apartment lease
    Many states require that security deposits be held in an interest-bearing account. (Dollars security isolated on white background image by Veniamin Kraskov from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Know the law. Review your lease and check out the regional renter laws so you follow any necessary steps to give proper notice.
  • If you have a dispute or question, contact your local landlord/tenant mediation firm, which will often provide assistance at a low cost or for free.
  • Don't assume your letter will be received. Send it by certified mail and also send an e-mail copy of the letter to your landlord if possible. Send a copy to yourself as well, so you have some record of your e-mail being sent.

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