Leases are a binding contract between a tenant and a landlord and breaking a lease is a breach of this contract. Despite this breach, you may find yourself with a valid reason for needing to break your lease – such as moving to another city.
If you are in this situation, we want to help you try to avoid – or at least minimize- penalties from your landlord. The best way for you to do this is to:
- Familiarize yourself with your province’s necessary legal requirements to terminate a lease.
- Know whether you have a “Fixed” or “Periodic” term lease. A Fixed Term is a lease with a specified end, while a Periodic Term is a lease that runs month-to-month, week-to-week or other pre-determined time.
- Be sure to provide your landlord with as much notice as possible.
- Wherever permissible offer to help finding a replacement tenant.
Each province has different regulations pertaining to leases or tenant agreements, and how to cancel a lease.
- You may terminate a lease by providing your landlord with a written notice of non-renewal or cancellation.
- If you fail to notify the landlord of your intentions to cancel your lease, the lease will be renewed automatically for the same period and under the same conditions as the previous lease.
- If your lease is for less than 12 months or the duration is undetermined, the notice must be given to the landlord at least one month and not more than two months before the end of the term.
- For leases of 12 months or longer, the notice must be given at least three months and not more than six months before the end of the lease.
- Requests to sublet are permitted provided your request includes the name and address of the proposed person. The landlord has 15 days to advise you whether they accept or refuse your proposed person.
If your lease is from July 1 to June 30 and you want to cancel it, you must give notice to the landlord by March 31
For additional details, you can also refer to Quebec’s rental board website:
Régie du logement
Montréal and area: 514-873-2245
Also check out our article How to cancel my lease that deals with detailed steps to follow.