Many people plan to move at the end of their lease – perhaps due to a pay rise, pay cut, or simply moving in with a partner. There are many reasons to vacate your apartment.
If you’re looking to move and get out of your apartment, you must know how to ensure the process is legally compliant. So, how do you write a notice letter to get out of a lease?
This guide will discuss a notice to vacate, when you might need one, how to write one, and more. Keep reading to learn how to move to a new place that suits your needs better.
What Is a Notice to Vacate?
A notice to vacate is a letter you write to your landlord to inform them that you plan to move out of the property when your lease term ends.
The notice to vacate exists to allow the landlord plenty of time to advertise the property and fill the property when you leave, and failing to provide a notice to vacate early on will leave your landlord in a challenging situation.
If your landlord is proactive, they might reach out to you in the months leading up to your lease’s end, enquiring whether you plan to renew your lease or move out. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to let your landlord know of your intentions early on.
The notice is primarily to ensure your landlord can fill the property upon your leaving, reducing the time the property is vacant and, thus, their loss of income.
Similarly, if your landlord were to send you a letter of eviction notice, they would need to give you a suitable period to arrange alternative housing.
When Is a Notice to Vacate Needed?
There are many different circumstances where a notice to vacate might be necessary. Below, you’ll find some examples of these instances:
- Tenant-to-landlord no-cause termination: When a tenant decides they will not renew their lease at the end of its term without a grievance, this is a tenant-to-landlord no-cause termination notice. The tenant should provide notice at least 30 days before the end of the lease.
- Landlord-to-tenant no-cause termination: When the landlord decides that they would not like to renew the tenant’s lease, with no specific grievance, this is a landlord-to-tenant no-cause termination. The landlord must typically provide the tenant with 30 days’ notice.
- Tenant-to-landlord notices with cause: When a tenant needs to leave the property because the landlord has violated the lease terms, they can send a notice with cause.
- Landlord-to-tenant notice with cause: When a landlord wishes to terminate the lease due to the tenant violating the lease terms, they must allow a period for the tenant to correct the violation. If your tenant cannot correct the breach or the tenant has damaged the property, the landlord does not need to give notice. If the tenant refuses to fix the violation, you will terminate their lease.
Knowing your tenant rights can help ensure you’re treated fairly and legally during the notice to vacate process.
It is also helpful to know about COVID-19 eviction policies if your landlord has filed a notice to vacate. Government policies and resources are in place to protect families struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic.
How to Write a Notice to Vacate
If you’ve decided to terminate your lease and move to a different property, you’ll need to draft a notice to vacate. This letter should contain relevant information. Below, you’ll find a list of the information you need to include in your message to vacate:
- Tenant’s name and address – you’ll need to include your name and current residence on the notice.
- Landlord’s name and address – you can find your landlord’s name and address on your copy of the lease agreement.
- Date – you’ll need to specify when you wrote this letter.
- State the purpose of the notice – you’ll need to state that this is a notice to vacate clearly.
- Moving date – you’ll need to clarify the date you plan to vacate the apartment, as you’ll be required to pay rent until this date.
- The advance period – you’ll need to specify that you’re handing this notice to your landlord in advance. The notice period requirements vary between states.
- Inspection specifications – any relevant information regarding inspections you must perform before vacating.
- Security deposit – this section will specify whether the tenant is entitled to the security deposit, along with the date upon which the deposit will be returned.
- Forwarding address – this will be your new address following your move-out date so your landlord can still reach you.
- Signature – the person who wrote the letter, either the landlord or tenant, will need to sign the notice.
When writing your notice to vacate, you’ll need to ensure the document doesn’t miss any crucial information. So, it’s best to enlist the services of a real estate lawyer to assist with the process or have them review your letter before you send it.
When your lease ends, you must decide whether you’d like to continue your lease or vacate the property. You should make this decision well before the end of your contract to ensure you give enough notice. Then, you’ll send your landlord notice to vacate within the legal notice period for your state. Legal advice will help you ensure the notice includes all necessary information.