How to Write a Lease Termination Letter

In the realm of real estate, the lease termination letter, often referred to as a notice to vacate, is a critical document that communicates your intent to end your lease agreement and vacate the property. This document is typically required for rentals that do not have a predetermined termination date.

The Importance of a Lease Termination Letter

The lease termination letter serves as a formal declaration of your intention to vacate the rental property. It is a crucial step in the process of ending a lease agreement, and it is often mandated by law. The letter provides your landlord with ample time to prepare for your departure and to list the property for new potential tenants.

The time frame for providing this notice varies, with some landlords requiring a 30-day notice, while others may require 45 or even 60 days. It is always advisable to refer to your lease agreement to ascertain the exact notice period required.

The Anatomy of a Lease Termination Letter

A lease termination letter should be structured like any other formal letter. It should include your name, address, the date, and the landlord’s name and address. A subject line such as “Notice of Intent to Vacate” should be included to clearly communicate the purpose of the letter.

The body of the letter should specify the number of days’ notice you are providing, the date you intend to end your lease and vacate the property, and if you wish, the reason for your departure. If there were any issues with the rental, it is acceptable to include them in this section, but always maintain a tone of professionalism and courtesy.

Remember that if you ever plan on renting again, you’ll need good landlord reference letters. Typically, landlords will ask for 2 landlord reference letters, one from your most recent or current landlord, and one from your landlord before that. As a result, it’s important to leave on good terms if at all possible, because landlords are not obligated even in hyper tenant-friendly states like New York to write you a reference letter!

The letter should also indicate your expectation for the return of your security deposit. Concluding the letter with your contact information, such as your phone number, is a good practice in case there are any issues that need to be addressed.

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The Process of Writing a Lease Termination Letter

Gathering the Necessary Information

The first step in the process is to gather all the necessary information required to fill out the form. This includes your landlord or property manager’s name and address, the date you wish to terminate the lease, the reason for terminating the lease, and any other relevant information.

Drafting the Letter

Once you have all the necessary information, you can begin drafting the letter. The letter should be structured professionally, with blank spaces where you can fill in the relevant information. Ensure that the letter is dated and signed at the bottom to make it official.

Providing Proper Notice

It’s important to follow both the terms of your lease as well as any local rent regulations when it comes time to end your lease. Pay special attention to the section in your lease called Notices, which will specify how an official notice to either party must be sent. Also, your locale may have special rent regulations or laws around notice periods, typically for the landlord to abide by.

Delivering the Letter

Once the letter is filled out, it should be delivered to your landlord as soon as possible. This can be done via mail, email, or in-person delivery. If you opt to send it by mail, account for delivery time to ensure it arrives at least 30 days before you plan on vacating.

Collecting Your Security Deposit

Finally, ensure that you collect your security deposit, provided there has been no damage to the apartment. The letter should include information about where to send the deposit once you vacate the unit. If you terminate the lease early without the landlord’s consent, they may keep the deposit as compensation for missed rent. However, under normal circumstances, you are entitled to get it back.

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A Sample Lease Termination Letter

Here is a sample lease termination letter for reference:


Landlord Name:

Dear [landlord’s name],

This letter is intended to notify you that [I am / we are] terminating the lease agreement for [unit number] at [property address]. [I/we] intend to vacate the premises [before the end of the lease term or at the end of the lease term] on [date you plan on leaving].

The reason [I am/ we are] leaving is [state the reason, if applicable].

Please forward the security deposit and any other notices to [your forwarding address].

Please feel free to contact [me/us] at [email address] or [phone number] if you have any additional questions or concerns.


[tenant signature]


[tenant’s name]

Final Thoughts

Writing a lease termination letter is a standard procedure for renters and should not cause too much trouble. By following these steps, your lease termination letter should be more than sufficient to get the job done.

Disclosure: Hauseit® and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. No representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of information provided.

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