A landlord can terminate a lease for any reason allowed under state law and the lease agreement. It’s never a happy ending when the landlord has to go through the legal hoops to get a tenant out of an apartment. It’s better to resolve any issues prior, which may help you rent a future apartment. Here’s a list of 4 instances in which a landlord can terminate your lease:
1. Lease Expiration
A landlord can terminate a lease when the lease expires. For example, if you signed a lease agreement to rent your apartment for one year, and that year is almost up, the landlord can send you a “Notice to Terminate Lease.” You would have to move out on or before the last day of the end of the term. The landlord may not want to renew your lease because of a strained relationship with you as a tenant, because they want to sell the unit or because they want to live there themselves. There are many reasons for terminating a lease when it expires, so it’s better to ask your landlord ahead of time, rather than just assuming that the agreement will “roll over” into a month-to-month tenancy.
2. Non-Payment of Rent
Rent payment is the most important part of your lease agreement. The landlord agrees for you to rent the apartment in exchange for you paying a certain amount on a monthly basis. If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, the landlord has no incentive to keep you in the apartment. State laws prevent the landlord from just throwing you (and your things) out on the street. They have to go through the proper legal channels beginning with a written notice and ending with orders for eviction. However, if the process is successful, then the landlord can terminate the lease and get you out off the property with the help of local law enforcement.
3. Pets without Permission
Unless you’re renting a pet-friendly apartment, your lease most likely restricts your ability to have pets. You may not be allowed to have any. If you violate this term in your lease, by housing a pet (even if temporary) a landlord can terminate your lease. Before you think about adopting a pet, make sure you have permission in your lease to get one. You can always amend the lease to give you permission to have pets on the premises. This may result in the landlord requesting a pet security deposit, but that’s better than being evicted due to having a pet “illegally.”
4. Illegal Activities
Lease agreements typically prohibit you from engaging in any illegal activity on or near the apartment you’re renting. If your landlord suspects (and has proof) that you’re participating in illegal activities in your apartment, then the landlord can terminate the lease. The illegal activity has to violate the state laws that governs the lease agreement.
If you get a notice from your landlord to terminate the lease, it’s important to respond quickly. Your agreement may allow you time to rectify any breach in the agreement, and you may be able to reach a resolution with your landlord and avoid getting evicted.