How to remove a name from a rental lease letter

Updated March 23, 2017

Writing a letter to remove a name from a rental lease is easy. Getting the leasing agent to agree is much more difficult and often impossible without negotiating. People seeking to remove their names from rental leases may want out of a living situation that no longer interests them. Communicating concerns to the landlord in writing is a smart move but requires careful analysis and thought.

Review the terms and conditions of your lease agreement to determine if the landlord has violated the agreement in some way. Examples include failing to make repairs related to safety and comfort, such as a hole in the roof or a broken furnace in the dead of winter. Follow the same strategy if you are trying to remove your name from some other type of lease agreement.

Consider other terms in the agreement including early termination clauses, if applicable. Early termination allows termination of the entire lease with notice and a penalty fee. That allows you out of the lease but forces roommates to move or sign a new lease. Roommates must agree to any change in the lease affecting them, including financial responsibility for the remaining terms on the lease.

Contact a real estate attorney to review legal grounds for removing your name. Free legal assistance is sometimes available from a local legal aid office or similar non-profit organisation. Find contact information in your area by calling the public library.

Write a letter based on your review of the lease and consultation with the attorney. If no legal options are available, tell the landlord in the first paragraph that you wish to remove your name from the apartment lease agreement within the next five business days. State emphatically and clearly in the next paragraph that because of personal reasons you cannot and will not remain in the apartment.

State in the third paragraph that you wish to negotiate an agreement that is fair and allows removal of your name from the lease. Also state that you have consulted with an attorney but wish to settle this amicably.

End the letter by asking the landlord to contact you to discuss a reasonable solution.


The tough tone in the letter is necessary to let the landlord know you mean business. There are some possible resolutions, including buying your way out of the lease or paying an early termination fee and convincing roommates to move into a smaller apartment in the complex. Consider your letter simply the opening position in a negotiation that may take some time. Tactful but professional negotiation is necessary because it is unlikely the landlord will simply allow you to walk away from the lease.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.