How Many Days Notice Does a Tenant Need to Give the Landlord Before Leaving? (2022)

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By Danielle Smyth Updated January 30, 2021

Rental agreements between tenants and landlords do not last forever, and either party can end the contract as long as the proper procedures are followed. Notice of termination of tenancy must be done properly, but laws depend on your jurisdiction. There may be waiting periods and other rules that apply, and these are normally spelled out in the lease. Additional regulations from local and state jurisdictions may also affect how things play out.

Tip

Letters outlining a plan to vacate an apartment, sent either by the landlord or the tenant, may have 30-, 60- or 90-day notice periods. What's required depends on laws in your area and the terms of the lease.

(Video) How Much Notice Does A Landlord Have To Give A Tenant To Move Out In California?

Notice of Termination of Tenancy

Tenants often need to end leases early and must take the appropriate steps to provide legal notification. This is done with a notice to vacate letter sent to the landlord. The terms of the lease and state laws should be consulted before the notice is written. Legal Templates advises renters to write these notices even if they plan to move out when the lease is up. That is because many leases renew automatically.

Landlords need enough time to prepare the property for new tenants, so it is important to check the lease for the required notice time period. A tenant’s notice to terminate a month-to-month lease will typically require a minimum of 30 days notice, while other leases may be different. Tenants who do not send notices as specified in the contract could be responsible for paying extra rent, late fees or early termination fees.

Simply telling the landlord about the plans to move out in person or via text or a phone call is not recommended since there will be no solid proof of the tenant’s intentions. In any case, there is probably a clause in the rental agreement stating that written notice is necessary. Sample written notices for tenant move-outs are also available online.

Sample Tenant Notice to Vacate

Tenant notice-to-vacate letters should also include the date and the complete tenant and landlord addresses. The tenant should specify that he wants to move out as well as the exact date that he wishes to do so. Details of the reason for vacating, including complaints, need to be included. It is helpful to refer to the relevant clause in the lease that specifies the required amount of notice for vacating the grounds.

Tenants can also ask for a final walk-through, but the actual date will probably be at the landlord’s discretion. Walk-throughs are important, especially when there are security deposits involved. The tenant can also state that he is expecting his security deposit to be returned per the lease and state laws (if applicable).

The last part of the notice can include a thank you if appropriate as well as the tenant’s forwarding address. Without this, the landlord will not know where to send the security deposit refund or any mail that arrives afterward. The tenant can then sign the notice at its end.

(Video) What if your landlord gives you 30 days notice to vacate?

Tenant Move-Out Best Practices

Tenants are expected to leave their units in the same condition as when they originally moved in. California, New York and some other states mandate that landlords do walk-throughs before a tenant vacates rather than afterward. This way, tenants have the opportunity to repair any damages that are of concern.

Some states also require landlords to give tenants notice (usually 24 hours) before entering the unit, and this would also apply to walk-through inspections at the close of a lease period. A landlord may want to show the unit to prospective tenants while the original tenant is still living there, and this is legal as long as the tenant is given adequate notice. If the original tenant is unsure about this, she can ask the landlord ahead of time.

(Video) How many days notice does a landlord have to give to evict a tenancy at will, in Colorado?

To ensure that a tenant or landlord receives these notices, it is a good idea to send them through certified mail with a return receipt requested. Some tenants may prefer to email, but in these cases, there may not be adequate proof that either party received the message. After the move out, the landlord should send the security deposit amount that is owed to the forwarding address the tenant provided; most states give landlords at least 30 days after a tenant moves out to return the deposit. If there is no damage and the tenant has followed the terms of the lease agreement, she can expect to receive the entire deposit.

Reasons Leases May End Early

There are many reasons a lease may be ended early, and this can be the decision of either party. If tenants have broken any of the clauses in the lease, landlords may request them to leave. This could include having extra people living in the apartment or owning pets when they are not permitted. Another reason for early termination is when tenants commit illegal acts on the property or repeatedly fail to pay their rent on time.

However, some of these, like having extra people in the apartment, may be due to an unavoidable lifestyle change for the tenant that leads him to approach the landlord and request to end the lease. As such, termination of lease for reasons that would breach the lease are not always a landlord-driven act. Responsible tenants often know when they have to take action to get out of a lease with which they can no longer comply.

Leases can be yearly, for a certain number of months, month to month or even week to week. The Balance Small Business explains that it is important to research the state laws before asking your landlord to end your lease. These laws apply to landlords too. As an example, one California law (Cal. civ. code 1946 & 827a) dictates how much advance notice landlords have to give tenants when landlords want to change the rental agreement terms (other than the amount of rent paid).

Sample Notice Letter to Tenant to Move Out

Of course, there are times when a landlord may be the driving force behind the decision to end a lease. Rent Prep explains that landlords may also have to provide renters with a notice of termination of tenancy if the landlord wants the tenant out before the lease is due to be renewed. This notice is a legal document that lets tenants know that they have to vacate the property by a certain date. They must include reason for termination as well.

Most states require that landlords provide these notices to tenants; not doing so can mean that the tenant might be able to remain in the apartment or that the landlord could be financially responsible for the tenant’s hardships caused by a lack of notice.

Online resources like Apartments.com have sample notice letters that can be used to let tenants know they need to move out. These are also called lease termination letters and are usually used with month-to-month renters. Depending on the terms of the lease and state laws, the landlord may need to send the letter 30, 60 or 90 days ahead of the desired termination date.

(Video) Can I accept money after I deliver a #NoticeToVacate?

Termination Letters for Both Parties

No matter which party is writing a lease termination letter, it should follow a similar format. The letter should be dated at the top and should include the sender's full name and contact information. The letter should include an explanation for the termination and both the original and new lease end date.

Tenants should also be provided with instructions pertaining to the moving-out process. An accompanying checklist for things that need to be done, like cleanup and returning the keys, is also useful. The landlord will also need to conduct a walk-through inspection before the tenant vacates, so a date for this should be given.

(Video) Best Way to Deliver a #Tenant's #Notice to #Vacate Revealed

The security deposit can also be addressed regardless of which party is sending the letter. The writer can refer back to the lease agreement specifications regarding what will happen if the property is damaged or if there is unpaid rent. At the end, there can be a request for the tenant to provide her new address for forwarding mail and invoices; tenants should provide this if they're the ones writing the letter. Both parties should include a thank you for the other party's anticipated cooperation along with a signature at the bottom.

FAQs

Can a tenant give notice at any time? ›

A tenant can terminate a periodic tenancy at any time by giving notice to the landlord. This applies to all periodic tenancies including statutory periodic tenancies and contractual periodic tenancies.

How much notice do you legally have to give a tenant? ›

Your landlord only needs to give 'reasonable notice' to quit. Usually this means the length of the rental payment period – so if you pay rent monthly, you'll get one month's notice.

Can I leave rented property before contract ends? ›

Can a tenant leave the property before the agreement ends? A tenant can, of course, leave the property if they wish, by writing to the landlord and giving appropriate notice of their intention to leave.

What can a landlord charge for when you move out? ›

Your landlord can keep money from your deposit if you have caused damage that needs repairing, left the property in a dirtier state than you received it or have not paid rent.

How do I serve a tenant notice? ›

The safest ways to give notice are:

Giving notice to the tenant personally with a means of proving receipt (e.g. asking the tenant to sign, or having an independent witness) Leaving notice at the property, again with some proof of doing so (e.g. a photo with a time stamp)

Can a landlord increase rent? ›

In Lagos State, landlords can increase rent once every 6 months. Rent increases in Lagos State are governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) of 1960, which gives tenants and landlords the right to demand rent increases.

How do you tell your landlord you can't pay rent? ›

Try to reach an agreement with your landlord

Ask your landlord if you can spread the amount you owe across future rent payments. This could be easier than having to pay the whole amount at once. Your landlord doesn't have to agree but they may prefer to negotiate with you, rather than go through the eviction process.

How can I terminate my lease early? ›

If the original lease agreement does not include either a cancellation clause or a renewal clause, the tenant must give the landlord one month's written notice before its expiration.

What are the new regulations for landlords? ›

Landlords must meet certain obligations to serve a 'no fault' eviction notice, such as registration, licensing, deposit protection and health and safety provisions. Break clauses will only be allowed for fixed-term occupation contracts of 2 years or more and the break clause cannot be exercised for the first 18 months.

How do you end a tenancy agreement? ›

You can usually end a periodic tenancy by giving your landlord 1 month's notice. Your tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy automatically if you stay past the end of the fixed term without a renewal agreement. A joint tenancy becomes periodic if any of the tenants stay on, unless there's a new agreement in place.

How do I write a notice to leave my house? ›

I am giving 1 month's notice to end my tenancy as required by law. I will be leaving [property address] on [tenancy end date], or on the day when a complete period of my tenancy ends next after 4 weeks from the day this notice is served.

What is a tenant break clause? ›

Break clause in the tenancy agreement gives the landlord or tenant the right to end a fixed term tenancy before the expiry of the fixed term period.

Can landlords charge for cleaning after moving out? ›

Therefore, even though a landlord by law cannot charge tenants for professional cleaning service or enter into any other third-party contract with professional cleaners for that matter, they are well within their rights to deduct these costs from the rental deposit held in a deposit protection scheme.

How should a tenant leave a property? ›

You should leave the property in a similar condition to when you moved in. Your landlord should not charge you for normal wear and tear. Keep evidence that you left the property in a good condition.
...
Leave the property in a good condition
  1. photos.
  2. records of any repair problems.
  3. inventories and check out reports.

Do I have to pay for cleaning when I move out? ›

If the tenant hasn't left the property in the same condition and cleanliness as when they moved in, allowing for fair wear and tear that's reasonable for the length of the tenancy; the landlord can claim back some or all of their end of tenancy cleaning costs incurred.

What are the new section 21 rules? ›

After the end of section 21, landlords will always need to provide their tenants with a reason for ending a tenancy, for example, breach of contract or wanting to sell the property. Tenants will be able to choose to end the tenancy at any time, as long as they provide two months' notice to the landlord.

What is a valid notice to quit? ›

A notice to quit (NTQ) must be in writing and the notice period must be at least: four weeks[1] or. if the period of the tenancy is longer, equivalent to the period of the tenancy or licence (except for yearly periodic tenancies where the notice period is six months)[2]

What makes a notice to quit invalid? ›

Your notice will not be valid if: you're not given enough notice. your landlord waits too long to apply to court. you receive the notice during the first 4 months of your original tenancy.

How much can a landlord increase rent 2022? ›

Changes to your rent

This year, the rules say rents can be increased by last September's Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus an extra 1%. The CPI is a common measure of inflation and in September 2021 was 3.1%. This means that most rents will increase by 4.1% from April 2022.

Can a landlord enter my property without my permission? ›

You are paying rent to the landlord for exclusive use as the property as your home and as such you have the right to decide who enters it and when. If a landlord enters your home without permission they are, technically, trespassing, unless they have a court order to allow them otherwise.

Can landlord increase rent by 100%? ›

The amount payable as rent is a matter of agreement. That being the case, it cannot be altered by a party without the agreement of the other. Unless the parties agree, a landlord's decision to unilaterally increase rent is ineffective.

What happens if you can't afford your rent? ›

Your simplest option is to try and negotiate with your landlord. You might be able to request: a rent waiver – where your landlord agrees not to charge rent for a period of time. a payment plan – an agreement to pay rent in instalments, as a way of reducing your immediate outgoings.

What happens if you can't pay your rent on time? ›

Being repeatedly late with your rent might lead to eviction and a bad reference from your landlord, which will make it difficult for you to find another property to rent. Your landlord might also withhold some of the deposit to cover underpaid rent if you still owe money when you move out.

What is a good reason to be late on rent? ›

Examples include paying for a funeral of a distant relative, sending their teen to prom or paying other bills first. A common excuse is that the tenants had to use rent money for something for their children. Tenants often hope landlords will give them a break if kids are involved.

How much does it cost to break a lease? ›

In many cases, the lease may give the tenant the option to pay an “early termination fee.” If this is the case, tenants can expect to pay one to two months' rent in order to exit the lease agreement.

What is a reasonable cancellation penalty? ›

Often the provision reads that an amount equalling two or more months' rent will be payable as a penalty, usually because it is considered that two months is the time it will take the landlord to find a replacement tenant.

Can a lease agreement be Cancelled? ›

Both the parties have to be present in person at the time of surrendering a lease. A lease agreement can be cancelled either by the landlord or by the tenant or by both, as per the need.

What new rights do tenants have? ›

The right to be protected from unfair rent and unfair eviction. The right to have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years. As of 1 June 2019, to not have to pay certain fees when setting up a new tenancy under the Tenant Fees Act (commonly referred to as the Tenant Fee Ban).

What is the new rent law? ›

Rental prices cannot rise more than seven percent (7 %) annually for housing units costing Php 5, 000 to Php 8, 999 per month if the renter stays in the same place year after year.

What are the rules of a tenancy agreement? ›

All tenancy agreements should state the parties involved, the rental price, any deposit retained by the landlord, the property address, the start and end date of the tenancy, and the obligations of the tenant and the landlord. It is important that both parties are fully aware of what is included in the agreement.

How do I write a notice letter to my landlord? ›

Dear [Landlord's Name], I am writing to inform you that I will be vacating my rental at [rental address] on [move out date]. As you are aware, my lease doesn't expire until [MM/DD/YYYY] but I will be moving out early due to ongoing maintenance issues that render the unit uninhabitable.

What is the minimum break clause in tenancy agreement? ›

The notice period of a break clause is two months for the landlord (as this is the minimum legally required notice period under Section 21) and usually the same for tenants depending on what was negotiated.

How do you end a tenancy without a break clause? ›

If there is no break clause in the agreement, then you can only end the tenancy if both parties agree to it. This is called surrendering the tenancy. The parties can only surrender the tenancy if the landlord agrees. The landlord should confirm this in writing - this will help prove when the tenancy ended.

How do I write a two month notice to my landlord? ›

Dear (Name of landlord or manager), This letter constitutes my written (number of days' notice that you need to give based on your lease agreement) day notice that I will be moving out of my apartment on (date), the end of my current lease. I am leaving because (new job, rent increase, etc.)

How do I write a quick notice letter for a tenant? ›

How To Write An Ideal Eviction Letter
  1. 2.1.1 Address the letter to the exact name on the tenancy agreement.
  2. 2.1.2 Inform the tenant of the eviction.
  3. 2.1.3 Be plain and concise.
  4. 2.1.4 State the reasons for the eviction.
  5. 2.1.5 Be sure to include the specific time of eviction.
  6. 2.1.6 Ensure to get a copy of the letter.
8 Jan 2019

How can I get out of a 12 month tenancy agreement? ›

How to end a fixed term tenancy early
  1. Speak to other joint tenants.
  2. Use a break clause.
  3. Negotiate with your landlord.
  4. Unwind a contract because of misleading information.
  5. Options if you cannot get out of your contract.

Can a landlord refuse a break clause? ›

Some leases require that the tenant is only granted a break on the condition that the tenant has complied with all covenants in the lease; this may quite onerous and a landlord could use a trivial breach to deny the tenant the right to break the lease.

Can landlord increase rent at break clause? ›

Your landlord can't increase your rent during your fixed term unless you agree or your agreement allows it. If your agreement says your rent can be increased it has to say when and how it will be done. This is known as having a 'rent review clause'.

Do you have to clean carpets at end of tenancy? ›

As a general rule, the tenant should return the property at the end of the tenancy, cleaned to the same standard as at the outset.

Can landlord deduct deposit for painting? ›

#6 Painting Costs

This is why they normally can not deduct the cost of paint from the deposit. However, if you painted the walls or have made a significant damage to the paint, your landlord has the right to use the security deposit to cover the repainting.

Can landlord charge for wear and tear? ›

A certain amount of wear and tear is unavoidable in rental properties, and normal wear and tear is required to be paid for by the landlord – but damage is not. Landlords have the right to take action to claim the cost of repairing or replacing their possessions.

Is the tenant responsible for painting when they move out? ›

Who Is Responsible For Painting: The Landlord Or The Tenant? Typically, this job will fall on the landlord as outlined in most leases. A tenant should only paint with written permission from the landlord to do so.

Can my tenant leave early? ›

Can a tenant leave the property before the agreement ends? A tenant can, of course, leave the property if they wish, by writing to the landlord and giving appropriate notice of their intention to leave.

What is fair wear and tear? ›

In essence, fair wear and tear is the deterioration of an item or area, due to its age and normal use. So, you should only propose a deduction from the tenant's deposit when the deterioration was avoidable and due to the tenant's actions or omissions. Not simply from living in the property.

What landlord can deduct from deposit? ›

Unpaid rent and bills. Cleaning, gardening or decorating. Damage and missing items. Breaking your tenancy agreement.

Can landlord take deposit for cleaning? ›

Landlords can claim money for cleaning from the tenancy deposit under certain circumstances. In fact, whilst cleaning standards can be subjective, it is the most common claim made by a landlord for a deduction from the deposit.

Can my landlord keep my deposit? ›

Your landlord or letting agent can only take money from your deposit if there's a good reason. For example, they can usually take money off if: you owe rent. you've damaged the property - this could be something like a spill on the carpet or a mark on the wall where you've hung a picture.

Do tenants have to give 2 months notice? ›

1 month's notice if your tenancy runs from month to month. If your rental period runs for longer than a month, you need to give the same amount of notice as your rental period. For example, if you pay rent every 3 months, you'll need to give your landlord 3 months' notice.

Do I have to give notice on my rent due date? ›

Minimum notice periods

You need to give at least: 1 month if your rent is due monthly. 4 weeks if your rent is due weekly.

How much notice is a section 21? ›

In England, a Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months' notice to leave your property. You may need to give a longer notice period if you have a 'contractual' periodic tenancy.

How much notice do I have to give UK? ›

You must give at least a week's notice if you've been in your job for more than a month. Your contract will tell you whether you need to give notice in writing - otherwise you can do it verbally. Give written notice if you think you'll need to refer to it later, for example at an employment tribunal.

How do I write a notice to quit? ›

A valid Notice to Quit must contain the following:

The date the Notice to Quit is to expire. This will start counting from the date of delivery i.e. the date the tenant got the letter of notice. The name of the landlord or his agent. If the letter is drafted by an agent, he must specify his authority in the Notice.

How can I terminate my lease early? ›

If the original lease agreement does not include either a cancellation clause or a renewal clause, the tenant must give the landlord one month's written notice before its expiration.

How do I write a lease termination letter? ›

It should contain the essentials, such as:
  1. Your name, and the landlord's name and address.
  2. The date you're writing the letter.
  3. Informing the landlord you're breaking your lease early.
  4. The reason why you're breaking your lease.
  5. The building and apartment you're vacating.
  6. The date by which you're vacating.
28 Jul 2022

What makes a notice to quit invalid? ›

Your notice will not be valid if: you're not given enough notice. your landlord waits too long to apply to court. you receive the notice during the first 4 months of your original tenancy.

What is tenancy break clause? ›

Break clause in the tenancy agreement gives the landlord or tenant the right to end a fixed term tenancy before the expiry of the fixed term period.

What happens if a tenant doesn't leave after section 21? ›

If your section 21 notice is valid, your landlord will need to go to court to evict you. You might be able to challenge your eviction and stay longer in your home. You might have to pay court costs if you decide to challenge your eviction. You should make sure you have a good case before you decide to go to court.

Does eviction affect your credit score? ›

The eviction itself won't show up on your credit reports. However, a landlord may choose to seek payment by selling your debt to a collection agency. If your unpaid debt goes to collection, it can remain on your credit report for seven years and may negatively impact your credit score.

How do I write a section 21 notice? ›

A Section 21 Notice comprises of no more than a couple of sheets of A4 and in essence comprises of 4 bits of information:
  1. The name of the landlord.
  2. The name of the tenant.
  3. The address of the rental property.
  4. The date of that the landlord needs their rental property back.

What is your current notice period? ›

So, what is a notice period? It is the period of time an employee has to set between submitting your resignation and their last day of work in the organization. Usually, a company sets a notice period of 1-2 months when an employee puts in their papers.

Do you legally have to give 4 weeks notice? ›

Legally, as long as you've been at your job for over a month, you have to give at least one week's notice. Although your contract can specify longer – usually at least a month. So be sure to check your employment contract beforehand.

How long is my notice period? ›

How much notice you should give, in relation to time worked is as follows: Less than one month - no notice. One month to two years - one week's notice. Two to 12 years - one week's notice for every year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Videos

1. How To Write A Move Out Notice
(Smartland Apartments)
2. What Is An Eviction Notice and How Many Days
(Fast Evict)
3. How to Give Written 30-Day Notice to Your Landlord
(Howcast)
4. How does landlord evict tenant on a month to month lease?
(LawTube)
5. Nebraska's 30-Day Notice to End Lease Agreement | Nebraska Landlord Tenant Law
(Nebraska Landlord)
6. 4 Ways To Remove a Tenant Without an Eviction | No Evictions
(Felipe Mejia)

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