Like any other contract, there comes a time when a lease agreement has to be terminated. A letter to that effect, no doubt, has to be drafted. Here go the questions: What is a lease termination letter? What are the steps involved in the exercise? And what are the contents of a typical lease agreement termination letter?
A ‘month-to-month tenant lease termination letter’ is a communique that is drafted to notify a landlord of the intent of the tenant to vacate the rented premise at a specified date, typically at the end of the month. A landlord may also draft it to cancel an ongoing contract. Many states stipulate this in their rules as critical parts of their rental agreements.
There are steps involved in terminating such an agreement. It is important to note and adhere strictly to these steps before taking the step to do so. Your failure to adhere to these procedures keenly will often lead to disastrous consequences. Here are the steps involved in the exercise:
Step I: Express the intention to terminate the lease
Start out by expressing your intention to terminate the lease. State exactly why you have deemed it necessary to opt-out of the agreement altogether. This expression may be done via phones, e-mails, or direct conversations. Some of the common reasons to terminate this lease agreement are:
- Violation of some of the rules of engagements
- Loss of job or income
- Relocation to another part of town or neighborhood
- Need for a larger or better housing structure
- End of the business that necessitated the renting of that premise
Step II: Inspect the premises
At this stage, the landlord comes to inspect the condition of the premise. Any errors, damages, or other adverse effects on the buildings are usually cared for at the expense of the tenant. They are subtracted from the security deposit that the tenant pays at the start of the occupancy.
Step III: Negotiate the termination
After inspecting the condition of the home, the two parties concerned have to negotiate the termination. Negotiating here means discussing the finer details of the termination, like the date when the same has to be executed, how the security deposit has to be refunded, and how any emerging disputes may have to be sorted out. All these have to happen within the set-out legal framework.
Step IV: Draft the lease termination letter
Having gathered every piece of information necessary, the party who initiated the termination now drafts the lease termination letter. This is the one that captures every detail by way of writing. It follows the official letter format and states exactly why the party has decided to call it quits.
Step V: Send it to the affected party
After drafting the letter, you now have to send it to the affected party. The ‘affected party’ here is the person who did not decide to have the lease agreement dropped. There is usually the need to prove that the other party indeed received the letter. This proof may only be guaranteed if the letter is sent out via ‘Certified Mail’ as it includes a return receipt.
What should be included
A typical lease termination letter has to comprise the following pieces of information:
It should start with the identification of the parties involved in the original lease agreement. These are the landlord, tenants, and agents. These parties have to be clearly stipulated and identified using their proper names for the avoidance of doubt. A reference to the previous lease agreement may also be necessary.
Identity of the Property/Premise
Following the above should be the identity and a short description of the premise or piece of property that is presently occupied. This also necessary as it goes a long way to dispel any doubts that may arise. The chances are that the same landlord owns many other pieces of real estate property than this one.
Date of Vacation
The letter should state the date when the tenant intends or has to vacate the premise. Closely related to this is whether there is a need for a one-on-one inspection or not. This, of course, must include how any penalties are bound to be handled or sorted out going forwards.
Next should be the bank account details via which any future payments ought to be directed. In many cases, the landlords will often withhold the security deposit until after the tenant has fully vacated the premise. This bank account is hence crucial as it prevents the loss of these funds ‘along the way.’
Reason for Termination
Why exactly has the initiating party decided to end the lease? This question ought to be asked and answered wholly before proceeding. It has to be genuine and well in line with the provisions of the various laws and statutes. Any recklessness may yield significant penalties going forward.
Dates of the Lease Agreement
When the present lease commence? And when is it to officially come to an end? This segment of the discussion has to address the twin issues properly. That is the only way to be certain of zero legal hurdles while executing the agreement if it happens to boil over to the corridors of justice.
Sample Letters & Templates
May 20th, 20XX
Mr. Horace Wilkinson,
Proprietor – Deluxe Apartments,
802 East Frierson Avenue,
Tampa, Florida 33603
Termination of the Month-to-month Tenancy Lease Agreement
I, Mr. Branson O’berry, am your tenant in Deluxe Apartments that are located in 802 East Frierson Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603.
As you are aware, we signed a month-to-month lease tenancy agreement that automatically renews at the end of the month. I have also been a faithful tenant to you over the past 6 years.
However, I have to terminate the contract now. That is because I have received a transfer at my workplace from Tampa, Florida, to Dayton, Ohio.
The termination shall take effect from June 20th, 20XX, roughly 30 days from today. Use my existing bank account details to channel the security deposit.
I also invite you to come to the premise any weekend before my departure to inspect it and suggest anything you might want to.
Many thanks for being a responsible landlord to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Mr. Branson O’berry
We have repeatedly stated that this agreement is governed by many legal regimes. We now explore any legal considerations or advice that is related to the sending of this letter:
Familiarize yourself with the relevant laws
Ignorance of the law is no defense indeed. You have to take your time and familiarize yourself with the relevant laws before setting out to draft this particular letter. How else can you abide by the provisions of the laws and avoid the penalties that come along?
Seek legal advice and assistance when stuck
In the course of negotiating the termination or drafting the letter, you have to seek legal advice, especially when you happen to get stuck along the way. Attorneys have the technical know-how and legal expertise needed to navigate the turbulent waters.
Have the agreement notarized
To be on the safest side, you are required to have the agreement notarized and deposited with the necessary legal offices. That also will go a long way in clearing any legal hurdles that may impede the smooth implementation of the terms of the agreement altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We now take a look at some of the frequently asked questions with regards to the lease termination letter for the month-to-month tenancy:
YES, but on condition that you stipulate it in the form of writing and give sufficient advance notice to that end. The notice period varies from state to state. In all, it is approximately 30 days. Such an eviction is also negotiable and subject to various terms of references.
In most cases, this is the case. Nonetheless, the specific requirements vary from state to state. It is hence incumbent upon you to familiarize yourself with the laws that exist in your locality before proceeding. Do not forget to notify the affected party in the form of writing well in advance.
. YES! This notice is necessary to give the affected party the psychological preparedness he needs to handle the vacation smoothly. It also prevents confusion and errors that usually arise when in the course of moving out of a rented premise.
The eviction notice can be challenged in a court of law and reversed. Moreover, some states penalize any landlord who does not issue this notice. You want to be on the safe side by issuing the notice sufficiently well in advance.
Now you know the significance and the steps involved when drafting a lease termination letter for month-to-month tenancy. All that is left for you now is to read and internalize the details. Remember to adhere to the insights as closely as possible. That is your only guarantee of doing a great job.