There may come a time when you find yourself in a situation where you need to terminate your lease and vacate your rental property

What to do if you need to break your lease?

need to break your lease?

What to do if you need to break your lease?

There may come a time when you find yourself in a situation where you need to terminate your lease and vacate your rental property before the originally planned end date. Several circumstances could lead to this decision, such as a work-related relocation, a change in your financial situation, a relationship breakdown, or the property you are renting being put up for sale. While these situations can be challenging, it's important to handle them correctly and professionally.

Ending your lease early is a decision that should be made in compliance with the terms of your lease agreement and relevant tenancy laws. It's essential to follow the appropriate procedures to ensure a smooth transition. If you ever find yourself needing to break your lease, it's advisable to seek guidance from your landlord or property management company and, if necessary, consult with legal experts or tenancy authorities to understand your rights and responsibilities. This approach will help you navigate the process efficiently and minimize any potential complications.

Periodic Tenancy:

For those with a periodic tenancy agreement, the process of ending the lease is relatively straightforward. In this scenario, you are not required to provide a specific reason for terminating the agreement. Instead, you need to furnish a written notice to your landlord or property management, and this notice should be given at least 21 days in advance of your intended departure date. It's crucial to ensure that your written notice includes all the necessary details and complies with the legal requirements and guidelines established by your local tenancy laws. This will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free termination of your lease.

Fixed-term Tenancy

When it comes to ending a fixed-term lease agreement, there are some additional steps involved, but the process is still manageable. Here's what you should do:

Consult Your Property Manager:

Start by having a conversation with your property manager. Discuss your intentions to end the lease early and your obligations in this situation. Request the property owner's consent to terminate the lease without further financial obligations. This consent should be obtained in writing.

Continue Lease Obligations:

Unless otherwise agreed upon, you are typically required to fulfill your lease obligations until the lease's original end date. This means you must continue paying rent and maintaining the property until then.

Understand Financial Responsibilities:

Breaking a lease may incur certain financial responsibilities. The property owner has the right to claim losses directly resulting from the lease break. They are obligated to take reasonable steps to minimize these losses. Costs that can be claimed include rent, gardening, pool maintenance, advertising expenses for finding a new tenant, and any unexpired portion of leasing fees charged by the property manager to the owner. These costs may be claimed until a new tenant moves in or the original lease expires.

Provide a Forwarding Address:

You are required to give the property owner a forwarding address for communication.

It's important to note that there is an exception to these rules. Tenants who are victims of family and domestic violence can give a minimum of seven days' notice for both fixed and periodic tenancies and move out immediately. However, they must provide evidence and follow the required notice of termination procedure.

What happens if the property you are renting is for sale?

If you are on a fixed-term lease, the new owner is typically obligated to honor that lease agreement. You have the right to remain in the home until the lease reaches its expiration date. If the new owner's intention is to move into the property once the lease expires, they must provide you with the appropriate amount of notice, usually 30 days, before the lease concludes.

However, it's important to note that both parties, meaning you as the tenant and the new owner, can mutually agree to terminate the lease early. This could be for various reasons or arrangements that benefit both sides.

Another scenario is when the property is purchased by an investor. In such cases, they may choose to renew the lease once it reaches the end of its term, depending on their plans and your preferences. The flexibility regarding lease renewal often depends on the specific agreements made between the tenant, the property owner, and the property manager.

For tenants with a periodic lease, the notice period can vary depending on the circumstances. If the property sale contract requires the premises to be handed over vacant upon settlement, you should be given a minimum of 30 days' notice to vacate the property. This notice period is typically intended to allow you enough time to find a new place to live.

On the other hand, if the property is purchased by an investor who wishes to end the lease at a later date, they are generally required to provide you with a 60-day notice. This extended notice period is designed to give you more time to make the necessary arrangements, such as finding a new rental property.

It's essential to be aware of these notice periods and your rights as a tenant in such situations. This information can help you plan your move more effectively and ensure a smooth transition when your lease ends.