How to write an early lease termination letter

Written by maggie worth
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How to write an early lease termination letter
Renters should write a formal letter of termination at the end of the lease. (writing image by Petro Feketa from

Writing a lease termination letter is an important step in planning a move from any rental property. Most commercial and residential leases require you to deliver a formal letter of termination at least 30 days prior to the renewal date. Even if your lease does not require you to do so, you should write a lease termination that addresses relevant aspects of your move.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Read your lease to find out when and how you are required to provide notice of termination. Most leases require a 30-day notice, but some require more or less. Some leases require the tenant to send the notification, in writing, to a specific address.

  2. 2

    Format your letter like any other business letter. Write your name and address at the top, date the letter and write the name and address of the landlord below the date. Begin your letter with a standard greeting, such as “Dear Mr. (name of your landlord).” End it with a standard closing, such as “Sincerely,” followed by your signature and then your printed name.

  3. 3

    State that you are terminating your lease and provide the date on which the termination is effective. Reference the lease agreement. For example, “As per our lease agreement, I am giving you 30 days’ notice of my intent to terminate. The last day of my lease will be (enter date here).”

  4. 4

    Indicate whether you are terminating the end of the lease or using an early termination clause. If you are terminating early, specify the reasons and list any associated fees you intend to pay.

  5. 5

    Request a scheduled walk-through of the house or apartment. Be present when the landlord assesses the property for damages and makes a determination on the portion of your deposit to be returned to you. List dates and times when you are available for this meeting.

  6. 6

    List the date(s) on which you have arranged for the utilities to be removed from your name. If you have more than one option when choosing utility companies, provide the name of the company you are using so that the landlord can have the service transferred rather than disconnected, if she chooses. State when and how you will return the keys.

  7. 7

    If you have agreed to show the property to prospective tenants, outline the dates and times during which you will be available to do so.

  8. 8

    Provide a forwarding address and ask that all further communications, including your deposit return, be sent to that address.

Tips and warnings

  • Send your termination letter by certified mail even if it is easier to hand-deliver it. This gives you proof that the termination was received within the required time frame.

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