How to write an intent to vacate letter

Written by kelly kaczmarek
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How to write an intent to vacate letter
Get everything in writing to lessen possible problems in the future. (signing a contract image by William Berry from

Moving out of your apartment can sometimes be a hassle, especially if you find that you must move before the term of your lease is complete. Fortunately, there are steps that exist that will allow you to peaceably vacate you apartment with ease. The most important step of the moving process is to take time to communicate with your landlord about your intent to leave and, more specifically, to write a statement to the landlord indicating that you intend to vacate the premises, especially if the date of departure falls before the expiry date of the lease.

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    Write the letter of intent to vacate. Once you have decided that you must vacate the premises prematurely, write a letter to your landlord stating your intention to leave. Depending upon your type of tenancy, you must give reasonable notice to your landlord. For example, if you rent a space for which you pay monthly, you must give your landlord a minimum of 10 days notice that you are vacating the space. You must also inform the landlord of your intended move date, and in some cases, you may have to state your reason for leaving.

    How to write an intent to vacate letter
    Explaining your intent to leave may make the move easier for you. (Hand and document at the meeting image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from
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    Acquire the signatures of all tenants who are leaving the property. Signatures of the vacating tenants are required on the letter stating the intent to leave. If you or another party does not sign the notice of vacancy, you may be liable for damages that occur after your absence, especially if other roommates remain in the rented space and cause damage to the rental unit.

    How to write an intent to vacate letter
    Your signature legally acknowledges your choice to vacate. (signature image by kuhar from
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    Set an inspection appointment. You may include this section in the letter if you wish, but it is important to set up a date and time (before you vacate) in which your landlord can inspect your property for damages and provide you an estimate of what may be withheld from the security deposit to cover damages discovered. If you absolutely do not, or cannot, make the appointment, you may wave your right to the inspection. This option, however, does not give you the opportunity to correct any damages that may be discovered, thus lessening your chances of receiving the full amount of your initial rental deposit.

    How to write an intent to vacate letter
    There may be hidden damages of which you are unaware. (My apartment image by roxi1st from

Tips and warnings

  • Keep copies of all documents created and signed for use at a later date. This is especially important of both your lease and your intent to vacate letter.
  • Some leases contain clauses that prohibit vacating the premises early. If this is the case, talk to your landlord about your specific situation, and it is possible that you can compromise to make both parties happy. Always remember though: get it in writing!

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