how to cancel my lease

You are thinking of moving but you don’t know how to terminate your lease?  Here are a few steps to get you started.

You will want to keep in mind that specific requirements vary by province.  Once you are ready for the specifics, refer to our links by province.

Step 1 – Review Your Lease

  • Take a close look at your “lease agreement” or “tenancy agreement”.
  • Review the section dealing with cancellation.  Leases are not always easy to read.  Look for words such as “cancellation” or “early termination”.
  • Note, that it is rare for tenants to be allowed to terminate the agreement prior to the term.
  • The above being said, breaking a lease doesn’t have to create conflict. If you have paid rent on time, kept a clean apartment, and have been cooperative for the duration of the lease your landlord might be open to you leaving early.

Step 2 – Send a Written Notice of Cancellation

Based on what you may have discovered in your lease, write a notice of cancellation.

At a minimum, the notice should include the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • Your landlord’s name and address
  • A clear statement that you wish to terminate your lease
  • The date you intend to leave
  • The reasons why you are seeking to cancel your lease, and
  • Any other pertinent details that may help.
  • Be sure to send your letter via registered mail so that you have record of your landlord receiving the notice.

Step 3 – Keep Written Records

  • As with any step of your relocation, you will benefit from maintaining a written record of your actions.
  • Keep a log of all e-mails, phone calls or other interactions you have with your landlord.
  • The log should include dates, type of communication, key topics or discussion points, and any commitments made.

Step 4 – Document a “Release From Lease Agreement”

  • Once your notice of cancellation has been sent and you have discussed the terms with your landlord, create a “Release From Lease Agreement.
  • While this document may not be a legally required document, it can help avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Be sure to include the following information in your document:
  • Your name and address
  • Your landlord’s name and address
  • The date you will be vacating the premises
  • If the lease is ending early, what final amount is due and on what date
  • What will happen to the safety deposit
  • Acknowledgement that this the final step in terminating the lease arrangement
  • Signatures of both parties