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.
- The tenancy obligation ends at the end of the fixed term arrangement. No notice is required to terminate a lease if it ends on a specific date.
- However, for a periodic lease (year-to-year, month-to-month or week-to-week), the tenancy is automatically renewed for the same term unless proper notice of termination is served.
- If the lease period is on a month-to-month basis, one month’s written notice is required to terminate the arrangement.
- If the lease period is on a year-to-year basis, three months’ written notice prior to the anniversary date is required to terminate the arrangement.
- If the landlord wishes to retain all or a portion of the security deposit, the landlord has seven days to file a claim with the province’s Rentalsman.
- If no claim is submitted, the Rentalsman returns the money to the tenant.
- If not explicitly prohibited in the lease arrangement, a written request to partially assign the lease to another is permitted.
For additional details, you can also refer to New Brunswick’s rental board website.
Service New Brunswick
Office of the Rentalsman: www.snb.ca/irent
Also check out our article How to cancel my lease that deals with detailed steps to follow.