Moving soon? Not sure how to break it off with your landlord? Here’s HOOD’s step-by-step guide on communicating your intentions to find new accommodation, including a notice template you can use to email your landlord.
In life, moving is as certain as the sun rising in the east. You may have found that perfect place you’ve been dreaming of — the one where you see yourself making a home, drinking coffee, having dinner parties with your friends, and maybe raising a family.
There’s just one catch. It doesn’t matter if you are leaving your landlord on horrible or amicable terms — nobody wants to be dumped. So, how do you tell your landlord you’re breaking up with them?
At HOOD we believe in simplifying all the hard parts of life. Like moving out and reconnecting your utilities, for example. Instead of spending hours comparing different service plans and rates, call us — we’ll sort out all of your utilities with one phone call. Click here and start arranging your Electricity, Gas & NBN connections.
And not only that, we’ve got a list of everything you need to know and do so that you can tell your landlord you’re ending the lease without a hitch— including a free template below!
First, check your lease agreement
To start, check the termination clause in your lease agreement. The termination clause has all the rules that both the tenant (you) and the landlord need to follow when vacating the property. Your lease agreement usually falls under one of these types:
- A short fixed-term lease — cannot be longer than five years.
- A long fixed-term lease — longer than five years.
- A periodic lease — month-by-month lease.
A periodic lease usually happens when the fixed one expires. If that’s your situation, you don’t have to sign a new agreement because the original one still applies.
No matter which lease agreement you fall under, you have to pay the last month’s rent and give notice to your landlord, telling them you’re relocating.
Moving out during a fixed-term lease
Photo: Freepik by freepik
Relocating during a fixed-term lease is tricky, so it’s best if you have a good relationship with your landlord. Why?
Because there is a legal obligation for you to fulfill the terms of your agreement. If you want to move out earlier than your lease end date, it won’t be easy.
First, contact your landlord. Try to be open, and honest, and have a reasonable discussion. Lay your cards on the table. Explain the circumstances of your leaving and why you can’t wait until the contracted move-out date.
One of the following scenarios is most likely to happen:
- Your landlord will refuse and ask that you stick to the terms of the lease.
- Your landlord will allow you to vacate the rental early, under certain conditions — such as foregoing your security deposit.
- Your landlord may agree to terminate the tenancy early.
Even if your landlord agrees to terminate the lease early, it’s a good idea to be financially prepared for several outcomes.
Your landlord may ask you to cover the marketing costs of finding a new tenant or to find a new tenant for them, and they could also demand that you pay rent for the remaining months on your lease. However, if your landlord refuses to let you out from your obligations, unfortunately, you are stuck.
Moving out at the end of a fixed-term lease
If your lease has ended, and you need to move out, there shouldn’t be any trouble doing so. What you want to do is vacate the rental on the move out date specified in your lease contract. To get ready for vacating, check out the best moving house checklist ever.
Pay attention — your lease does not automatically terminate on the date specified in the contract.
You are required to give your landlord notice and pay for the last month of rent. Most contracts ask for a 30-day notice to vacate, while some may even ask for 45 to 60 days. This is known as the “Surrender of Lease” notice. For example:
Your lease finish date: August 25th
When you’ll need to deliver the notice: before July 25th
You can give your landlord notice to vacate by email, or by a written notice. If a written notice is more your style, send it via a courier service which has a tracking option. This makes sure you have a traceable footprint.
Moving out during a periodic lease
This is the easiest situation for tenants to deal with. It usually happens when your fixed lease is over and you haven’t signed a new agreement.
All you have to do is stay at the rental property and continue to pay rent as always. The same terms and conditions apply as your previous fixed lease, but the contract is now month-to-month.
If your lease is periodic, you’re quite lucky. However, even in this scenario, tenants are required to give landlords proper notice to vacate.
The same rules apply as relocating at the end of a fixed lease — give at least 30 days notice before you move so you don’t lose your security deposit. As before, you can do this by email or by sending a written notice.
Here’s what to include in your vacate notice
Here are a few important points a tenant should include when they give their notice letter:
- Landlord’s address — Use the official address written on the lease.
- Date of the letter — Make sure the landlord gets your notice on time.
- The purpose of the letter — State why you are writing the letter and include the date you intend to move away.
Remember to include these details too:
- Mention that the rent is fully paid.
- Request that the deposit is returned to you.
- Write your new address, so the landlord can pay back the security deposit once you move.
- Sign the letter.
Notice to vacate outline – Your free template
Finally, here is an example of a letter giving notice to a landlord of a tenant moving out:
Dear (Landlord name),
Thank you for renting (unit X) to me, however I have decided to move.
The purpose of this letter is to meet the lease requirements by giving you (X) day’s notice. Let me know if there is any property inspection you need to do. I will deliver all keys for the property before my move out date.
Please inform me when I can expect my security deposit of $(the amount stated in the lease contract) back.
Also, please inform me if you see any reason to not return my security deposit or refund me the full amount.
Finally, if there are any policies for leaving the rental unit that I should follow, please let me know. You can reach me at (email and/or phone number).
For your records, my new address is:
(enter an address here)
You’re ready for your move & your landlord knows it!
That being said, if you still have doubts and questions about your move, check out our website and other blog posts. We’re sure you’ll find the help and advice you’re searching for there.
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