How do I tell the landlord that I’m moving at the end of the lease term?

  • Most leases require that you give the landlord advance notice in writing before moving out at the end of the lease term.
    • If your lease is written, review your lease to determine the amount of notice you must give.  It is often 30 or 60 day notice.
    • If your lease is oral, the amount of notice is whatever you and your landlord have agreed upon.  It is best to give at least 30 day notice with oral leases.
    • Send the landlord a letter giving notice that you will be moving.  Be sure to sign and date and keep a copy for your records. If you cannot send a letter, send an email or text message.

Can I move before the end of the lease term?

  • If you want to move out before the lease expires, you can try to negotiate with your landlord to end the lease early.
  • Your landlord may agree to let you:
    • End the lease without penalty.
    • End the lease, if you pay an early lease termination fee.
    • End the lease, if you find someone to sublet the property.
  • If your landlord agrees to let you move out early, try to get that agreement in writing or confirm the agreement by email.
  • If you need to move out immediately because the property is not safe or because of domestic violence or because of a disability, you may have the legal right to move out early without penalty.  However, be sure to get  legal help.

How should I move out?

  • Clean the rental property and take photos of each room. Before you return the keys, ask your landlord to inspect the property with you.
  • If you cannot return the keys in person, it is best to return them by certified mail.
  • Be sure that all your personal possessions are moved out as well. Otherwise, you risk losing these items permanently, because landlords can dispose of property left behind if they give you notice and you do not respond within ten days.

For help getting your security deposit back after moving out, click here.