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, and
- 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.
- Terminating a lease prior to the end of the agreement is not permitted. If you wish to move before the end of your agreement, you can seek to assign your lease to another party.
- If you do not sign and return a new tenancy agreement or renewal to the landlord, or if do not move out of the rental at the end of the term, your lease may become a month-to-month tenancy.
- Periodic tenancies require notice of one full rental payment period.
- Provided the landlord has no claims against the security deposit, this amount plus interest must be returned to you within 14 days of the end of the lease.
- If there is a claim made, the landlord must notify you within 28 days of the end of the lease.
- You have the right to assign or sublet your fixed-term tenancy agreement. The landlord has the right to approve the application of the new tenant before it is finalized, but they must have good reason to reject an assignment or sublet.
- If you sublet, you may be charged a one-time administrative fee of up to $75 by the landlord.
For additional details, you can also refer to Manitoba’s rental board website.
Also check out our article ”How to cancel my lease” that deals with detailed steps to follow.