Lease Termination Letter - 30 days Notice to Quit
The most common purpose of a lease termination letter is to allow a tenant or landlord to terminate a month-to-month lease agreement (also known as a 'tenancy at will'). In addition to terminating a lease, a termination letter can also be used if either the tenant(s) or landlord(s) has violated the lease by filing a notice to quit, although, in this instance, either party has a period of time to fix the problem. It is up to the Landlord to decide whether or not they wish to release the Tenant if the lease does not allow early termination.
The Right Way to Terminate a Lease
You can end a lease by sending a notice to the other party, for example, or by filing for eviction if the tenant is not cooperating.
Step 1 - Identify the type of lease you have
Step 1 of this process is to identify the lease you have with the other party. Most leases are either:
Standard (1-Year) Lease – The most common type of lease is the fixed-term lease, where both parties agree to adhere to the lease terms until the lease ends.
Monthly Lease – This is also known as a “tenancy-at-will” which means that the Landlord and Tenant are bound by each other until one party gives notice that the lease is ending (either specified in the lease or subject to the state minimum period).
Sublease Agreement – This is a standard lease, with a fixed term, except that the original tenant re-rents the property and not the landlord.
Step 2: Communicate with the party you are working with
Whenever possible, you should speak with your landlord or tenant before sending any kind of legal notice. You can do this by phone, email, or face to face. To explain why you want to terminate the lease, you should mention one of the following three reasons:
1. Lease Termination - If either the landlord or tenant wishes to terminate the lease before the lease expiration date, a letter of early termination should be sent to the other party. The Landlord will be a lot more understanding if the Tenant cancels due to losing their job and not being able to pay the rent because they do not want to revoke the Tenant's lease. Although unlikely, both parties may also choose to wait until the lease expires before terminating.
2. Default on Lease - the other party may try to cancel the lease if the landlord or tenant has defaulted on their lease.
Tenants who fail to pay rent or violate the lease are subject to eviction proceedings by the Landlord if they have not paid their rent or violated it in another way.
Landlords can send a lease default notice to tenants if they have not upheld their lease obligations, such as not fixing a needed repair or not providing heat (if necessary).
3. Lease Termination on a month-to-month basis - Here, the Landlord or Tenant would view their lease and see what their termination period was. In the absence of a termination period, the State Minimum Period would apply.
Step 3 - Send the notice
Proof of receipt of notice from the other party is needed before the notice will be valid. The package must be signed by the recipient upon delivery. This is the same as Certified Mail (with return receipt).
As proof that the other party received the notice in the mail in case it needs to be submitted to a court of law, the sending party must retain the signature part.
Step 4 - Engage in negotiation with the other party
Most likely, you will get the attention of the Landlord or Tenant after sending an official notice. For now, you should work on resolving whatever the matter is before involving attorneys. It is as simple as telling the other party when the agreement is ending. Even so, if the notice was for a breach of the lease by the other party, things can get a lot more complex.
Step 5 - Going through the legal system
Sadly, if the Landlord and Tenant are unable to agree, then each must follow their own legal path to end the lease.
In the case of landlords
They must do this in accordance with the laws of their state.
In the case of tenants
Using the local courts, most often Small Claims Court and Housing Court, the tenants may absolve themselves of their obligations in addition to claiming any damages.
Minimum Termination Period (Required)
States have their own laws pertaining to the minimum termination period that a landlord can give a tenant which can be found by state here.
States with Special conditions
(1) CO – Leases must be terminated based on their length as follows:
One (1) year or longer, three (3) months;
Six (6) months or longer but less than a year, one (1) month;
One (1) month or longer but less than six (6) months, ten (10) days;
One (1) week or longer but less than one (1) month, or a tenancy at will, three (3) days;
Less than one (1) week, one (1) day.
(2) GA – The landlord has sixty (60) days' notice and the tenant has thirty (30) days' notice.
(3) HI – It is the landlord's responsibility to provide at least forty-five days' notice, and it is the tenant's responsibility to give twenty-eight (28) days' notice.
(4) MA– A 30-day period, or the interval between payment periods, whichever is longer.
(5) OR – The landlord and tenant are required to give at least sixty (60) days' notice if the tenant has been at the property for more than a year.
(6) RI – The required notice period is thirty (30) days for tenants over sixty-two (62) years old, sixty (60) days if the tenant is over sixty-two (62).
(7) VT – Two (2) years’ notice is required if the property has been occupied for less than two (2) years. The requirement for those on the property longer than two (2) years is ninety (90) days.
You can cancel all monthly rental agreements by sending this notice (either in person or by certified mail) to the other party. You should start by writing the following information on the document:
Identify the best fit for your position by checking the box:
Box 1 - For landlords only. Mark the box and enter the date the lease agreement was signed and the date the lease terminated. Provide the tenant with a total of the days their notice period will be for.
Box 2 - For tenants only. By checking the box, the lessee must enter the contract termination date and the notice period for their rental contract with the landlord.
Step 2 - Enter the address where the landlord should send the security deposit after they move out on the next line.
Documents should be signed by the issuer on the bottom (making two originals).
Step 3 - Send the form to the other party via one (1) of the following legal routes:
Give the document to the recipient personally;
A person authorized on the premises should receive the document personally;
Using certified mail (return receipt).
When the notice is received, the notice period begins. If there are deadlines to meet, it is therefore recommended to send the document sooner rather than later.