Ciao, Landlord: Writing a Lease Termination Letter

in Legal Issues on by

Are you ready to leave your tiny, expensive apartment for a bigger, cheaper, better place? Congratulations! But before you hire the movers and turn in your keys, you have something to take care of first. You’ll need to write a lease termination letter to your landlord.

A lease termination letter is a formal notice to your landlord that you will be terminating the rental agreement. Your letter should be sent at least 30 days in advance of your move. If you’re leaving your apartment at the end of your lease, the lease termination letter should follow a standard format and include the following:

1. Specify the date you and your roommates plan to vacate the property. Generally your landlord will expect you to move out on the date your lease ends. You may be able to extend your lease on a month-by-month basis, but adding a few extra days for your move is usually not permitted.

2. Establish what will happen to your utilities. Will you request that service be shut off? Will you transfer the bills to your landlord’s name or the name of the new tenant? You may find guidance about what to do with utilities in your lease.

3. Arrange a walk-through with your landlord or super to inspect any damage and regular wear and tear on the apartment. If possible, you should be present for this walk through to make sure that the damage report is accurate and free of inflated damage assessments. If you and your roommates can’t be present for the walk-through, take dated digital photos of each room in your empty apartment before you leave.

4. Inform your landlord where and how you will return the keys.

5. Establish where the landlord should send your security deposit. Most leases specify when the security deposit will be returned — usually between 30 and 60 days. In most cases, you are entitled to the interest on your security deposit, minus certain fees.

You can find a sample template here:

Breaking the Lease

Leaving before your lease is up? This will complicate things a bit. Your lease is essentially a contract; in signing it you agreed to the terms specified within it, including penalties for early termination. Take a close look at your lease to see whether it notes penalties that you may face if the lease is broken early, such as the loss of all or part of your security deposit. Even if penalties are specified in the lease agreement, you shouldn’t panic just yet. There are a few ways that you may be able to avoid early termination penalties.

Give Early Notice

If you know you’ll have to break your lease early, let your landlord know as soon as possible. Giving early notice will allow your landlord extra time to show the apartment and screen new tenants. The more time you give your landlord, the less of an inconvenience your early termination will be and the better your chances of avoiding penalties and fees. Call or visit your landlord in addition to sending a letter, and offer your assistance in finding new tenants. A cooperative attitude and a polite tone may make a world of difference in whether your landlord decides to penalize you.

When You Just Can’t Take it Anymore

If you are leaving because something about your apartment makes it unliveable — whether it is your loud neighbors or the disrepair of the apartment — you may be able to argue that your landlord has not held up his or her end of the lease agreement. Again, you’ll have to take a close look at your lease to see whether your landlord has defaulted on any of the promises made by the lease, including prompt repairs or a guarantee of “peace and quiet.” If you have reason to believe that the landlord has violated the lease, include the relevant sections of it in the termination letter. Politely explain how your experiences in the apartment have fallen short of reasonable expectations. If you anticipate a conflict, ask a friend who is an attorney to send the letter on his or her letterhead. Even if you have no intention of taking legal action, the hint of a legal conflict may convince your landlord to simply let you leave.

If all else fails, the Better Business Bureau or a local tenant association in your area may be important allies. You can find information about tenant organizations in your area here:
Again, your landlord may be more willing to let you leave with your security deposit if he knows you have enlisted the help of a tenant-rights group.

Breaking your lease is a risky move, but people do it all the time with few problems. Acting polite yet persistent can go a long way in helping you break your lease without consequences.

102 Responses to “Ciao, Landlord: Writing a Lease Termination Letter”

  1. June 08, 2007 at 12:12 am, Guest said:

    Do I have the right to terminate my lease at anytime for an ant infestation. My lanlord is being pretty shady about the situation and we’ve has enough


  2. June 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm, Guest said:

    what if I paid in advance for the month of June and he found a new tentant. I cleaned the apartment better than it was when I first rented it. He returned my deposit but will not return the half of the rent that I paid for the month. I should have two weeks of rent coming to me and he has not given me any reason why he is keeping it. I was always on time with my rent and never caused any trouble to him


  3. July 04, 2007 at 1:19 pm, Guest said:

    We are having problem with the management people regarding bugs.
    Our toddler is constantly with a rash and there is no reason.
    I am finishing college, my Mom has a maid come in twice a week, no trash is kept inside and no one dare smokes!
    They have no reason for the bad attitude I am forced to deal with. My parents paid the entire rent for the entire duration of the lease. The manager assured her anything that needed to be done would be within 24 hours. what a liar!!!!
    Recently I did renew the lease but still,with 6 months of it in advance!
    Yet, they tell me if I leave it will effect my credit?
    We are ot ready to buy a home yet,need to finsih school first.
    I do not want to bother my Mom again, she will go ballistic on them. I can’t deal with these people, it feels as if I am a hostage here.
    Don’t want to wreck my credit and frankly, the people are so rude, you cannot imagine!
    Even packages delivered by Fed Ex, I get a week later?
    When they were sent overnight!
    What to do?
    Stuck in Texas


  4. August 16, 2007 at 9:03 pm, Guest said:

    I just signed an apartment lease in Eugene Oregon last Friday, I was planning on going to school there, I now need to get out of my lease because I have decided that I no longer want to transfer schools. They told me that Oregon has no recession policy and that I can’t get out of my lease, is this true?


  5. August 24, 2007 at 8:54 pm, Guest said:

    Has the landlord taken any steps to solve the ant problem,They should have a proffesional pest service treat the problem, but you may have to take certain steps to help solve the ant problem. They can be very difficult to get rid of but it can be done.

    Remember they were probably there before you, the landlord, or the buldings were, don’t you just love nature…..


  6. August 26, 2007 at 3:26 am, Guest said:

    My disabled brother-in-law was coerced into co-signing a lease for his cousin in the same complex my brother-in-law lived in. The cousin left state to run from the law after the first month, sticking my brother in law with the lease. The landlord has been forcing my brother in law to continue to pay the lease, and I just found out that the landlord re-rented the apartment within the first month. Now approximately 4 months have gone by and my brother in law is still paying, even though the apartment was rented out to another tenant. This obviously doesn’t sound legal, but what does my brother in law do?


  7. August 28, 2007 at 7:03 am, Anonymous said:

    My boyfirend was court ordered to vacate our apartment. both our names are on the lease. I now pay rent by myself.can I take him to court for his share of the rent, being that his name is still on the lease. Is he liable for his portion of the rent? I live in Baltimore Md.


  8. August 31, 2007 at 10:39 am, Guest said:

    Do I have a right to terminate my least for a mold problem? I am currently 5 months pregnant, have already reported the mold to management, which was not remedied properly. They just applied some caulk over it.


  9. September 01, 2007 at 10:59 am, Guest said:

    It isn’t legal. The landlord can only recover ACTUAL damages, aka rent. Once the landlord has rented the unit again, his/her damages stop. STOP PAYING RENT. Let the landlord take action, he’ll lose in any court in the land.


  10. September 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm, Guest said:

    Texas does not take care of tenants and if you are living at Landmark of Conroe, I can vouch for that. I only gave a 5 day notice and I knew at the time I was going to have to take care of the balance. We had just suffered through hurricane Katrina in MS, moved to Texas as a last resort and found this place. With no family in the area and a terminally ill husband I had to move back to the east coast in order to be near family. Plus he was not receiving the medical treatment he so badly needed. After my sending 2 letters to the local office on Longmire Road and 2 letters to the Corporate office which happens to be in MS, I never received a response from either one of them. Now a year later I have a collection agency that requested I send a payment of just under $1000 and they would send me a letter stating that I had taken care of this obligation and I could forward a copy to the credit bureau’s. I sent the payment that day and I have never received this letter from the agency that was promised. Just 4 days ago received a call from the collection agency telling me I owed another $1,224.66. I asked what for and he said he didn’t have to tell me. Today I get a letter from that agency stating they are not only ruining my credit but will be sure that when I apply for work it will show up. What a way to treat people. It’s not bad enough that I just lost my husband, but can’t find out now what this money they want is for. And Landmark of Conroe will not respond to my letters. So bottom line is, be careful or you will never own a home if your complex can screw you.


  11. September 14, 2007 at 5:57 pm, Guest said:

    I had an accident and i need to get surgery that means i am going to be disable for some time. Can i brake my lease because of that?


  12. September 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm, Guest said:

    YES! Chewing gum should have been applied as it come in many flavours 🙂


  13. September 17, 2007 at 11:00 pm, Guest said:

    States should take ACTION to all these problems with property management companies that own apartment buildings. There should be landlord tenant DISCLOSURE FORM similar to the residential sellers property disclosure forms for owners, when they purchase. What is wrong with the state legislatives in most of these states … Arizona property management companies need to disclose scorpion problems! My son is stuck in a scorpion invested apartment! They are so unhappy its ridiculous that landlords get a way with this! Come to ACTION AND MAKE STATES HAVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES DISCLOSE THE UNSEEN!


  14. September 22, 2007 at 2:45 pm, Guest said:

    I recently transferred from to Texas to Delaware. I found a job approximately 35 miles away in Maryland. The apartment complex wouldn’t let me rent month to month. I recently found a house in Maryland 10 minutes from the job. Here’s my problem, if I vacate the premises earlier than the July 08 lease date, then I am on the hook for the months the apartment is empty until they (or I) find someone to rent it. My argument is this, the drive is killing me, gas is outrageous and winter is coming, so I need to be closer to the job……the lease office’s argument is this, unless I’m moving for a medical/work related issue, then I’m still on the hook. Does it count as medical if I’m sick of living in the hood? Any help/advise would be great.


  15. September 26, 2007 at 4:28 pm, Guest said:

    I would like to break my lease early (6 months), due to the fact that I am sharing a house with a roommate who is incredibly difficult to live with. I have had no issues with the landlord per se, however, the living situation itself is very distressing to me. After six months of trying to work out our incompatibilities, I am at my wits end and have found a much better living situation. My legal contract is with the landlord and not my roommate; does any one have any tips on the best way to handle this?


  16. October 02, 2007 at 1:20 am, Guest said:



  17. October 13, 2007 at 4:02 pm, Guest said:

    I was wondering what you finally decided to do? My son just signed a contract in Laurel Maryland in August 2007 to go to the university. He hates his apartment, they have not made any repairs that we gave them notice about when he moved in. They promised him un upstairs apartment and he didn’t get that either. He also moved from Texas. He too feels he is living in the hood. Please let me know what happened?


  18. October 24, 2007 at 11:25 am, Guest said:

    Call The E.P.A and they will investigate the mold problem and if they determine that mold exists you can terminate your lease or take a piece of Carpet Mold to The Health Department.
    You may request the Health Department to come out because of your condition.


  19. October 31, 2007 at 3:58 pm, Guest said:

    I would like to terminate my apartment lease, because the neighbor’s dog across the street is barking at night and early in the morning. I can not slip at night, and can not concentrate at work.
    My apartment manager told me, that he will keep my $850 security deposit and asking for additional $450 fee for early breaking the lease. Can I avoid paying it?


  20. November 07, 2007 at 3:45 pm, Guest said:

    did you get a reply to this.

    I can be reached at [email protected]


  21. November 12, 2007 at 4:28 pm, Guest said:

    I signed a lease in September.I now have an opportunity to take a promotion for my job that would require me to move. What are the laws in Iowa for early termination?


  22. November 12, 2007 at 7:12 pm, Guest said:

    I just moved into my apartment about a week ago and the down stairs tenats are complaining about me walking I asked to be transfer to a down stair s unit and they refuse to change my apart although I havent completely moved in I’m pregnant and have 2 little girls i dont need the stress at this time so I advised if I cant changed my apartment i would like to break my lease to find a place better for me and my kids to live // I’m tired of aruging with down tenats ..its not healthly me or my unborn child


  23. November 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm, Guest said:

    If you get an answer to this, I would like to know as well. I have been in this townhouse for over a year, and when my former roomate graduated, I offered a bedroom to this younger girl. She’s so incredibly difficult to deal with. She’s moody and she drinks too much. Plus she resorts to childish manipulation such as posting things on Xanga and leaving gossip at work-we work at the same place. I love my townhouse and my brother could move in at the end of his lease, but I am not sure how to get her to leave without risking a very over the top scenario. Frankly, I can’t live with this stress any more. And I don’t trust her not to destroy my stuff if she moves out.


  24. November 21, 2007 at 9:36 pm, Guest said:

    I recently moved into my apartment about 3 weeks ago. I am not there often because of my job but the few times I have been there I have come across lots of bugs. The neighbors too are quite noisy. I would like to break my lease and would like to know the laws for NJ. Can you break your lease within the first 30 days without consequences?


  25. November 28, 2007 at 8:30 am, Guest said:

    I have had my car burgarised 3 times in less than six month on the same apt complex . Can I terminate my contract on grounds of lack of security on the complex ?


  26. December 13, 2007 at 1:27 pm, Guest said:

    I tried to buy the townhouse that I leased 10 months ago.
    The owner place a for sale sign up so I look for some other
    place. I gave my landlord a 30 day notice he says I must pay for 2 months. I live in miami, fla


  27. December 26, 2007 at 12:49 pm, Guest said:

    If you took a new job, thats farther away that should count as a work related issue!!! Your gas, etc, is not the point. You should tell them you have a new job, thats out of the state (don’t specify where because I know DE borders MD). And break the lease.


  28. January 08, 2008 at 2:24 pm, Guest said:

    um… Unless you signed some kind of agreement for the new landlords, or there are certain circumstances, they are to adhere to the lease still in effect.


  29. January 16, 2008 at 4:49 pm, Guest said:

    My company transferred me to a new job 140 miles away from my current apartment, due I have the right to terminate the lease. I have sent letters notifying my landlord over a month in advance and paid for a month that I did not live their and have paid to run ads in the newspaper for the apartment.


  30. January 19, 2008 at 10:01 am, Guest said:

    How many years after you have moved out does a landlord have the right to come back and charge you for you breaking the lease in Colorado?


  31. February 06, 2008 at 5:14 pm, Guest said:

    I have given a notice to move, I’m in a business office, my landord wants to show my space to other potential tenants before I move, do I have to allow them to show my space?. I’m in los angeles CA.


  32. February 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm, Guest said:

    I need to leave my apartment in Maryland. There are both roommate issues and maintenance issues. My roommate will not sign the paper work for someone to come in an take my place on the lease. Both of our names are on the lease. Is it possible for me to get termination without her signature? i.e. Can I leave without her consent?


  33. March 02, 2008 at 12:46 am, Guest said:

    I co-signed a 13 month lease for an apartment for my son in Ohio in September of 2007. In February 2008 my son was arrested for the burglary of another apartment at his apartment complex and was arrested and is now in jail awaiting trial. Today I received from the landlord by FAX a “Notice of Apartment Lease Termination” from the landlord stating that the Apartment Lease agreement will terminate in 30 days on March 31, 2008. The landlord told me that I had to pay the rent for the month of March so I did. I was asked for my permission by the landlord to change the locks at no cost to me and I said OK. The landlord did not say if I would be liable for the remaining 6 months left on the lease. Will I be held liable to pay the rent for the next 6 months when the apartment complex is the one that terminated the lease agreement?


  34. March 05, 2008 at 11:22 am, Guest said:

    you should not be responsible… unless there was something in the lease that said something along the lines if you give them reason to throw you out, you will still be responsible for the rent.


  35. March 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm, Guest said:

    If a landlord gives you a 5 day notice that they will terminate your lease if rent is not paid does that mean you can move and not owe the remainder of rent for the lease?


  36. March 18, 2008 at 9:51 am, Guest said:

    I gave 90 day notice to vacate my townhome and my lease ends on March 31st. I have yet to find a new place! The landlord already has my unit rented out, so I need to be out by April 1st. If I don’t find a place by then, do I still have to move? Can I basically “change my mind” at this point? Also, I am under Section 8, who has already extended my voucher until May. I’m being told a landlord can’t evict without good cause, but I can be sued as a hold over tenant?


  37. April 05, 2008 at 9:39 am, Guest said:

    I own a business and my lease is up in a year and a half. I am closing the business due to not making enough for the rent. I am moving back home to another state. The landlord can keep the $2000 deposit. If I give enough notice can moving so far away be enough to terminate the lease? A friend of mine did this on an apartment some years ago and was fine.


  38. April 11, 2008 at 10:51 pm, Guest said:

    We stay in apartment owned by the housing authority, when we first moved in, explained to the management that my husbands check was never received on the same day, they said if we were going to be late let them know, which we did and paid the late fee, a new management took over and when we were late they sent a notice that we would have to pay by the eighteenth or they would start proceedings, the notice they sent was delivered after eighteenth so I called and told them, they asked when I could pay it I said on the 21st by five o’clock they said fine, then sent a notice saying I had to have it in the office on the 21st by nine o’clock, by the time my husband left work and went to the bank it was 10.45 when we paid the rent and late fee. The next week we received an eviction notice for unpaid rent and lawyers fees, when I called and said we had paid them, they said we still owed lawyer fees of 360.00 never having been sent an eviction notice or having to go to court didn’t know what the proceedings were, the HRA’s lawyer said I had to sign papers and I never did see the judge, now I feel like I should have talked to the judge. I am also wondering can they evict you with out telling you in the lease a certain time frame?


  39. April 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm, Guest said:

    i live in nj i live on the bottom level of the apartment and the people above me are very noisy and i hear them have sex, i dont feel this is something i need to be hearing in my apartment. now here is my problem i dont agree or disagree with ones preference with same sex relationships however i should have the right to be informed or even asked if i have any problem with them living above me especially with an apartment that has no insulation at all and you can hear everything and i mean everything from conversations to sex…i feel landlords should inform all potential tenants of all situations at their apartment complex.


  40. April 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm, Guest said:

    After reading the countless other comments regarding breaking the lease, I am here to add another request for help!!!! HELP!!!! I live on the 5th floor, work nights and have noticed someone is trying to gain entry through my hall windows. I went to the office complained and they said they have an idea who it is and are keeping an eye on them. Well, it happened again, I complained again. Then my friend saw two men very suspicious at the workout room at 11 at night. The following morning I saw the workout room was broken into, they said someone was locked in, the mailman told me the mailboxs were vandelized, the apt people told me it was routine repairs. I don’t feel safe, I am getting ill from lack of sleep and the mold, can I get out of this lease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  41. April 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm, Guest said:

    I’ve just moved into a rented house and my landlord had put in $300 worth of oil in to the tank a few days prior to my signing of the lease and move in date and now is saying that I need to pay him the money he put in the oil tank!? Am I obligated to pay this?


  42. April 24, 2008 at 11:02 pm, Guest said:

    Since Dec 2007, my wife and I rent a small 1BR house owned by a landlady who lives next-door. Last week, we were horrified to discover carpet beetles appearing all over the house. We are clean individuals who maintain the house well and have never had any pest trouble in any of our houses. We contacted a professional exterminator who confirmed that the apartment was well-maintained by us. The house is an old one and the source of contamination seems to be some old carpets and decaying wood underneath in one of our closets. We were advised to get fumigation done over the course of 1 year to get rid of the eggs.
    All through this, the landlady has been extremely un-cooperative and insists that we deal with the problem. Our rental agreement does not state anything about pest control and we do not want to deal with the worms, especially when the landlady is rude and uncooperative.
    My question are:
    1. What do we need to do to terminate our agreement (we have a 1-year lease) and move out?
    2. Is there any way of making sure that we are not sued by the landlady?
    3. How do we get back the deposit from her?

    We are international students and your help is much appreciated/ Thank you…


  43. April 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm, Guest said:

    I want to terminate my lease because the things in my apartment are not getting fix and not getting fix the right way. I had very high gas bills becauxe the place is not wheatherized properly. My front door is not insulated correctly and I only been here since January of 2008


  44. May 03, 2008 at 1:47 pm, Guest said:

    Lol. So you should have the right dictate who your neighbors are gonna be? The nerve of some people…it’s like they think the world revolves around them….


  45. May 03, 2008 at 1:51 pm, Guest said:

    Sure you can. By honoring your lease.


  46. May 03, 2008 at 1:56 pm, Guest said:

    To start with, you can stop blaming your landlord for problems with FedEx. Lol.


  47. May 08, 2008 at 10:40 am, Guest said:

    My tenants default repeatedly on the terms of the lease. They refuse to maintain the property in terms of shovelling snow and removing dog poop, along with dumping motor oil and keeping trash outside, which is a city ordinance violation. They have a continuing problem with prompt payment of rent and utilities and responding to written requests. They installed Direct TV and when they were informed that this was a default of the lease, the dish was removed. Recently a lawyer contacted me about dissolving the lease. This relieves me from having to evict them. My question is, are they financially responsible for the remaining 7 months of the lease and do I have to return their deposit?


  48. May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm, Guest said:

    My landlord owner never signed the lease agreement until 5 months later and altered the section where it stated landlord was responsible for yard. She mailed a copy of original lease and I matched it with my copies where it was obvious that she altered and then only signed it with out dating the contract. I have been there of 6 months and have been advised that I am at a month to month status. She also raised the rent with a month notice. What are the penalties for altering a lease that she had never signed but we did have a verbal agreement?


  49. May 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm, Guest said:

    [email protected] in refrence to landlord altering the yard responsiblilitly


  50. June 01, 2008 at 10:46 am, Guest said:

    You need to just wait it out until she moves out on her own…Someone like that might go pscho on you…


  51. June 07, 2008 at 4:07 pm, Guest said:

    my apartment and others does not have air or heat and they have being trying to put people out for not paying their rent. They stated that they are not paying until the air is fixed! Is this legal.


  52. June 15, 2008 at 8:31 am, Guest said:

    What world do you live in? You cannot terminate a lease jsut becuase there is mold. Mold is everywhere. It is in the air you are breathing right now. The EPA will not make house calls. Every jurisdiction that you live in is different. The health department can be a good place to start. Many jurisdictions (cities, counties, states, etc) have rental inspectors that may come out, but they will look at mold and say “yes, that is mold”. Just because there is mold, does not mean that there is a problem. Mold is everywhere. Mold can be caused by circumstances beyond a tenants control, like exterior moisture leaking into the building. Most landlords will fix that by repairing the interior and not the real problem. Mold on the interior is usually caused by NOT CLEANING! If you have mold, you are not cleaning. Get out your cleaning suplies and go at it at first sight. Use your bathroom exhaust fan if it is in the interior to get moist air out of the building.


  53. July 02, 2008 at 9:50 am, Guest said:

    My landlord and I signed a year lease 3 months ago and now she decided that she is moving back to california and wants her house back…do I have any rights for her to compensate me to move?


  54. July 07, 2008 at 11:31 am, Guest said:

    It’s not always whether someone is cleaning or not. And, it’s not always somewhere the tenant can get to. Yes, it is everywhere, but the black mold can be very dangerous to your health. It doesn’t always have to do w/ cleaning. I keep a clean home, but about 4 yrs ago, my husband, son & I started to get sick very often. After about a month of this, we started hearing dripping from the A/C/heating unit. Maintenance was called to fix the drip. When they removed the vent cover & got in there, they discovered the unit had been leaking for many months & the moisture had created a breeding ground for mold. The whole unit & surrounds had to be cleaned and sanitized to remove the black mold.

    In our situation, we would have been within our legal rights to break our lease, or request a release. Black mold is a serious health hazard; hence, it can create an unsafe living environment, which is a legally exceptable condition for lease termination.

    My point – it’s NOT ALWAYS THE TENANT’S FAULT! Stop being so nasty & critical of others.


  55. July 11, 2008 at 11:40 am, Guest said:

    Dear Potential Tenant,

    Other people in your apartment building might have sex. They may also engage in other human behaviors.



  56. July 12, 2008 at 3:24 pm, Guest said:

    I wanted to know if I have the right to terminate my lease from my landlord because he does not want to fix the ac for the second time and the fist time he had to fix the leaking sink along with the ac and the leaks left mold under the sink, which is still there and he never fixed it. There are huge coach roaches inside and outside. I have been here six months and I have a section 8 voucher. 2 months into living here the sewer backed up into the tub. We signed leases before the house was inspexcted and section 8 pays him 700 but he wanted 800 I was paying him 100 extra three months ago until we found it we where not suppose to do it be he is still wanting to collect rent. What are my rights.
    I also have 2 children and expecting. He has also told me twice to get the hell out of his house.


  57. July 15, 2008 at 5:47 am, Guest said:

    I live in Georgia, and I signed a 14 month lease last year in july. From the moment i moved into my apartment there have been several problems. I have called maintenance to the unit several times for repairs and they never came to fix any of the damages. Some examples are the towel rack hung improperly, pest control problems,graffiti and vandalism in the breeze way, and excessive trash in the breeze way. Once, when i had requested maintenance to come to my apartment, they left a note on my door saying they did not have a copy of the key to my apartment which i had turned in when they requested a key audit (that all tenants provide a copy of key to residence to the rental office). This was about six months after i had moved in. After i continued to complain about the condition of the hallway, they sent a painter to cover up the graffiti, however, he did not put down any protection on the doors or carpet and the entire interior of the building is covered in white paint. Not to mention that within a course of a year, there has been excessive criminal activity from police chases to drug transactions directly in front of my building. The last straw was four days ago when my neighbor(who lives directly behind me) was robbed and shot in his apartment. I have not been able to sleep there and have been living at a family members house. I have spoke to other neighbors who have already tried to break their lease and they have been denied. I was going to pay my rent but have used that money to find another place to stay. What would be the best action to take?


  58. July 15, 2008 at 11:29 pm, Guest said:



  59. July 18, 2008 at 1:19 am, Guest said:

    Kindly ask for both the security and pet deposit back. They materially breached the contract (lease) with you, so everything is legally refundable.

    If they do not give you your money back, then you can easily file a valid claim in small claims court or just threaten legal action. Since they canceled your lease before it began, they are unjustly enriched by keeping both of your deposits. Any lawyer will tell you that’s a classic no-no in contracts law. Basically they are stealing from you.

    If they still don’t budge, definitely just file a claim. If your landlord says that you need to go to mediation because the lease specifies it, inform them that since they canceled the lease you are no longer bound by it, and thus not required to mediate your dispute.

    Sorry you have to go through this trouble.


  60. July 23, 2008 at 1:03 pm, Guest said:

    My apartment is on the ground floor and the upstairs leaks (from where no one knows) into my living room. This took 5 days to fix in Feb. and I requested to move units or at least have a mold inspection done as the place smelled awful afterwards. I was denied both and they said painting it would suffice.

    Last Saturday the leak came back in full force and more of the ceiling came down (small pieces, but pieces). The carpet got wet. With other issues (electrical and with the mail box) not being taken care of, along with them not responding to the leak until three days later (after I threatened to break the lease) I decided I was fed up and want to break it. I looked through the lease and it says that if “if repair hasn’t been made within 7 days, you may terminate the Lease Contract and exercise statutory remedies. Security deposits and prorated rent will be refunded as required by law.”

    If the leak is stopped but the ceiling and carpet have not been fixed within seven days can I still terminate my lease?


  61. July 24, 2008 at 9:48 pm, Guest said:

    I live in Oklahoma and my apartment complex raised my rent by over $80, and I didn’t find out until the day it was due. It’s partially my fault because my lease ran out and I wasn’t paying attention, but every other place I have been has given me notice to sign a new lease. I went ahead and signed a new lease so I wouldn’t have to pay the month-to-month fee, but I really just can’t afford the rent anymore. I want to break the lease renewal I signed but the original says there is a fee of two additional months rent that I won’t be living there. Is there any way I can get out of my lease without paying that fee? When I applied to the apartment I had to show proof of income… I make less now and the apt is more so would that work,if I showed them I really don’t make enough to even qualify for the rent??? I was told it is illegal to raise the rent like that without any warning, is that true? I already found a much cheaperstuck. place I am just


  62. July 27, 2008 at 5:49 pm, Guest said:

    I just signed a one year lease last month and I completely hate where I live. The apartment above me and next to me party all of the time and they all smoke. I thought that because I have my own AC and filter in my unit that the smoke would stay out, however I was wrong. I wake up with headaches all of the time and my allergies are going crazy. My clothing, couch, bedding, and everything in my apartment smells terrible. I am woken up at 1:30 all the time on weekends because of the loud talking, screaming, music, etc. Would this be default on the landlords fault because in the lease it says that other tenants shall not “disturb the rights, HEALTH, safety and, COMFORT of others? She is doing nothing about it and tyring to work 50 hours a week with flared allergies and headaches is making life difficult. Should I really be required to live a year like this?


  63. July 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm, Guest said:

    SOS, trouble

    well i got a problem. 3months ago we, my siblings and I sign a lease with an apartment but we needed to have a guardian sign a document which proof that if we can’t pay the person will be responsible to pay for us. But, we are international students we don’t know anybody who will be willing to do that. And after thinking about it our parents thought the rent was too expensive. So, even after signing the lease, we went a week after say that we could not move anymore. We were supposed to move in late August. They said that they were going to look for 3 people to take our apartment and that we will need to look for it too otherwise we could not break the lease. 2 months later, we did not hear for them and we already terminate the lease where we actually live so we found another apartment a week ago. So we are screwed with two contracts for two differents places. I understand it was our mistake but we gave notice 3 months before moving in, we did not find a gardian which is I believe part of the contract. I really do not know what to do, seems like we got into troubles. Can somebody give me some advices? thanks.


  64. July 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm, Guest said:


    Since the current renters are no longer leaving, the deposits that were made are refundable because you are no longer able to move into the apartment.

    You may want to speak with the Manager of the Property who can go about resolving this issue better.

    Hope everything works out!!!!


  65. July 31, 2008 at 1:20 pm, Guest said:

    This is common. First, state the state you live in. In Ohio, after 11:00 any music must be down or else you can call the police and they could be cited for it. Also, record any activity with the music including audiotapes and times, I would even try and get picture of the activity. If possible. The police reports would help you in the future. Also, no matter the state local city ordinances should state the time music must be lowered. Furthermore, write a letter and stick it on their door (check the legality of this), stating that you feel the music is too loud. Now with the smoking there really isn’t much that you can do in that scenerio. Tenants are allowed to smoke in their apartments. I would suggest that you alert the landlord of the issue and the landlord can request but not demand that they open the window. The noise alone might be enough to move you out, however I believe a court order might be nescessary. You could sue the other tenants for the noise in small claims court if nescessary. I would also suggest that you send a letter to the landlord, make it certified just so you can document the event that occured. Incase you take it to court stating that the apartment was uninhabitable thus your moving out.


  66. July 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm, Guest said:


    Get a lawyer or look into Legal Aid. The problem is “does the landlord have to repair the floor”. That answer is no. Renters insurance is for the damage to personal items. Now if the ceiling is still damaged and you stated that small pieces fell to the floor, thats when you get a lawyer involved. Techniqually if the repair wasnt made within 7 days and you have PROOF that you told this to the landlord you MIGHT be able to break the lease. Now with the mold, you can test it yourself, with a modest fee I believe. If the results come back stating the mold is UNHEALTHY you can definatley fight that in court, assuming you told the landlord of the unhealthy mold, and you can document it.


  67. July 31, 2008 at 1:31 pm, Guest said:

    Your stuck. The reason is because you signed the new lease. On a Month to Month lease you could have moved out providing notice within 30 days. You may qualify for a reduced rent through your landlord or if you feel it is a bit too much state to him how much you make and to request eviction. Otherwise, your stuck. Now it is illegal to raise rent without any warning, but becayse your lease ran out he could argue that it was your fault you didn’t know.


  68. July 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm, Guest said:

    Read the lease. Definatley take this to court. If you signed a lease and he took the security deposit and pets fee, you may be able to get the security deposit the pet fee and depending on your state, you may even be able to get relief money. It appears that you still have a few days from the time you posted this (months at least). Talk it over with a lawyer


  69. July 31, 2008 at 2:48 pm, Guest said:

    If you feel its dangerious, I would suggest you get a police report of the incident that happened in the other apartment, and POSSIBLY take it to court. I am not clear about the law in this case. You can argue that the area is unsecured and thus you felt unsafe. Not sure how much of a defense that is though.


  70. July 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm, Guest said:

    This landlord definatley has issues. About the mold. Get it tested and tell the landlord in a certified letter. If he does not fix it (which by law he must), you can techniqually take it to court. Also talk with Section 8 Housing. They may be able to force the issues if they must. Also, get the mold tested. If it is hazardious, you can definatley break the lease due to the fact that it is unsafe. I believe that I read somewhere that 99% of mold is non hazardious, so get it tested before you freak.


  71. July 31, 2008 at 3:24 pm, Guest said:

    By you already giving the notice to vacate you have presented good cause. If he signed a lease with the other tenant’s he does not have to honor your lease as he can say that he does not want you to extend to month to month. In this scenerio, he must give you a 30 day vacate notice, however since you gave the 90 day notice I question if he even has to give the vacate notice as YOU gave the notice that you were leaving.


  72. August 15, 2008 at 10:04 pm, Guest said:

    Thanks for the help but nothing has been done. I have called the police and they guys snuck out the sliding door and left the building so the police never even talked to them…I stated in my first writing that they live above me, I meant that I am above them. Anyways, that is besides the point. I left 3 messages for my landlord and she never returned calls so I kept calling and calling the office until I got her on the phone. She stated the same thing she told me 2 weeks ago which was that she sent them a letter saying “one more complaint and they are gone.” one week later I called the cops, called her, and she told me she can’t just go kicking them out…even though that is what she told me she was going to do. She is going in circles and I am not going to deal with it so I terminated and am hoping this doesn’t hurt my credit, because right now my credit is flawless!


  73. August 24, 2008 at 11:50 am, Guest said:

    My Landlord never received my 30-day notice. I live in California and sent my 30-day notice and final months rent to her P.O. box via first class mail, not certified. She says she never received it and now wants me to pay an additional months rent. This is the first missing correspondence that has gone missing in the more than 2 years I have rented from her. She also stated in the past that she had lost my cell phone number, but in my 30-day notice letter I placed my cell phone number and that just so happens to be the number she called. I think she is being dishonest with me, but I cannot prove it. Do I have any recourse here ?


  74. August 25, 2008 at 11:15 am, Guest said:

    my boyfriend and my son and i have moved into and apt. our landlord transfered us from a one bedroom to a twobed and had us sign a one yr lease agreement and now we ve been here for 8 mon and finally found a house that is affodable and even 100 cheaper but one problem, we are on a lease for 3 more mons. our landlord is disrespectful, the kind that is to good for our money so i worry that writing a letter or calling her for that matter wont make a difference because if she does “let” us move im afraid she’ll make us continue in aying rent there until she finds a new tennate and that just wont be possible well it would but it would be tight and we have to be able to live and not just have a place to live in! HELP w/ any legal advice as to not continuing the rent and just moving. thank you much


  75. August 25, 2008 at 11:39 pm, Guest said:

    If she never received your 30 day notice then she never received the final months rent! Correct?? How did you send it?? personal check, money order??
    How much security deposit did you have on the apartment??
    Basically, the only thing she can do is keep whatever you have already paid her.
    So, clean the apartment, put it back in the shape she gave it to you. If you have done any damages – repair them in a professional manner. Don’t do ANY repairs or painting if you can’t do them professionally. Have the carpets cleaned.
    Then wait until she sends you the Final Accounting and see what she charges you for. Also, be sure and track that final payment you sent. If you can – stop payment on it. If you can stop payment then replace the missing final payment, before you finish and get the Final Accounting. You could also offer to show the apartment for her. If she gets another tenant who moves in the day after you move out then she can’t charge you for the missing month because it’s not missing anymore! She is much less inclinded to file suit against you if you’ve paid your last month, cleaned the apartment and found a new tenant for her.
    Once you get the Final Accounting, if she says you still owe money, then you have a couple of choices. You could pay it. You can call and disagree about the charges – make her prove anything.
    You can ignor it. In order to file charges against you she has to pay around $200 in court AND serve you with papers. MAKE SURE SHE DOESN’T HAVE YOUR NEW HOME ADDRESS/WORK ADRESS OR ANY OTHER WAY TO FIND YOU TO SERVE YOU. If she can’t find you, she can’t serve you. It’s a lot of hassel to file in court, expensive and time consuming. Plus if you help her get it re-rented right away then you don’t owe her anyway.
    Make sure the apartment is spotless and ready to go immediately so she doesn’t lose any rent. If she lives in another location, then she must have someone who gets the apartments back together for her. Find out their phone number and have them come over and do a walk through with you, offer to let them in early to do any painting, whatever, they feel necessary. Schedule the carpet cleaning for the day before you move so the carpets can dry. Find a tenant.


  76. August 26, 2008 at 12:00 am, Guest said:

    No, you are have a right to enjoy in peace and quiet AFTER 10PM. But, You need to document IN WRITING. Send a letter stating that you have called on 1) this date 2) this date 3) this date.
    keep a list of nights the neighbors are keeping you up. Call the police for noice disturbance. Notify the landlord of the problem with the AC/filter in you unit (IN WRITINTG). If your landlord has e-mail you can send weekly notices of violations by your neighbors (the police won’t show anyway!)
    Ask the landlord to move you to another unit or terminate your lease. THEN basically give her notice that you are terminating the lease effective in 30 days. (you can also go to legal aid to ask for help).
    So, she has you in a lease, but what else does she have?? How much of your money?? last months rent or a security deposit?? It takes a minimum of 3 weeks to evict you, costs a bunch of money and time. If you send her 30 days notice that you are breaking the lease, for good cause, with holding the last months rent BECAUSE she already has last months rent OR she has a security deposit that is the equivelant of last months rent (send her the difference if she doesn’t). Get a Post Office Box for her to mail you any notices (DON’T GIVE HER YOUR HOME ADDRESS OR WORK ADDRESS) Give her a message phone number so she can contact you but hopefully not harass you at home or work – but don’t give her a number which will allow her to know you are home and thus serve papers on you.
    If she already knows where you work and it’s a location where you could be served court papers – then it doesn’t matter if she knows where you move to. If she feels justified, is pissed and thinks she can win in court and you did not leave the apartment spotless and pay her all you owed her than she will be more inclined to go to all the trouble to file. Other wise she will let it go and rerent the apartment. You could also agree to show the apartment to other tenants.


  77. August 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm, Guest said:

    They’re gay, not sex offenders. Nobody has to notify you if gay people are living in your apartment complex. Just like nobody has to notify them that there is a homophobe living below them.


  78. August 28, 2008 at 8:22 pm, Guest said:

    I live in TN, and go to school in KY. This past spring I went online and saw an offcampus student apartment complex and thought it would be a great place to live. I am used to living in dorm rooms, I have never dealt with money-grubbing companies that offer crappy apartments. I signed an online lease, but DID NOT turn in a Parental Guarantor (sp?) form…which you need to have notarized and signed to live there. I payed a 200 dollar deposit. I went and visited the place for a tour this summer and it was not what they had described online, so my mother and I told them our issues with the place and said we were looking at other options.

    I decided to move into another student apartment complex. The ther place has been calling me saying that they needed a Guarantor form, and if they did not get one by July 5th, they could no longer reserve my room. Well, it’s August, and I told them that I will not be living there, and now they tell me that I have to honor my lease and pay.

    I never moved in, never payed 1st months rent, I payed a 200 deposit, never turned in a Guarantor form (which a few months ago I had to have or couldn’t move in), but now I have to pay.

    If I never turned the Guarantor form, according to the lease, then the lease is void. AND I NEVER MOVED IN, they have no loss. I never gained posession of the premises, so how can I be held accountable and still be expected to pay all of the rent?

    Is there any way I can get out of my lease, which should be null and void anyway.


  79. September 05, 2008 at 10:54 pm, Guest said:

    I switched my lease a year ago to a month to month lease do to me wanting to purchase a home. Well I finally found my home and I gave my landlord a 30 day notice to vacate. My landlord sent me a letter stating that I was in violation of my lease because I was suppose to give him a 60 day notice not a 30 day. He is trying to charge me an additional month. Is this at all possible? Legally, can he do that? My lease is a month to month. What should I do?


  80. September 06, 2008 at 8:38 pm, Guest said:

    I’m land lord and your intended, haha


  81. September 08, 2008 at 6:04 pm, Guest said:

    my landlord has never given me a lease. I have rented here for 9 months. today a realator was here with a family wanting to show house. I didn’t know it was for sale. what do I do?


  82. September 17, 2008 at 8:41 am, Guest said:

    I know how it is in Texas. Whether you are on contract or month to month, 60 days before vacate must be given.


  83. September 17, 2008 at 10:56 am, Guest said:

    I signed a rental lease back in June for a year lease here in North Carolina.. I signed the lease with the understanding that I was dependant upon the rent money from my house in Idaho.It was an unexpected military move and we have tried to sell the house but due to the current market was unable too. We are not able at this point to cover the cost of living in the house we are in and need to move to somewhere more affordable.I currently have to drive 68 miles round trip to work which adds to the burden of our financial situation. If I terminate my lease and give a 60 day notice what would the possibility be that I would be responsible for the remainder of the lease. Do you think that I have a reasonable excuse for termination?


  84. September 25, 2008 at 11:31 pm, Guest said:

    There is never really a good reason. It would be up to your current landlord. However the law does state that they can not refuse to rent to a responsible person. I would talk to them explain the current problem they may be able to work with you, or start posting for someone to sublet your place. is a good free site to post on. Good luck to you


  85. October 22, 2008 at 1:42 am, Guest said:

    Best way to send 30 day notice is thru the US Post office that way you get return recipt and that why your landlord can,t say he or she did not get your 30 day notice.


  86. October 22, 2008 at 10:00 am, Guest said:

    2 years ago my husband and his roommate gave a 50 day notice (the lease calls for a 60 day notice)to the rental office that they would not be renewing there lease there. When they turned in the letter the leasing manager signed it and placed a copy on the door. Six months later he and I looked into moving into the same complex together, during this time the leasing agent told my husband that he owed a balance from giving a short notice 6 months ago. My husband disputed the charges and told them at that time that he will be paying it. As we were driving home the leasing agent called my husbands phone and stated that he talked to his manager and they agreed to forgive the balance because at the time my husband lived there they were good tenants and paid on time. He asked us to come back the next day to continue the paperwork so we can move in. We stayed at the complex for a year then a year later after we moved out they have put a collection on my husbands credit report stating he still owed the money from 2 years ago. We have written certified letters disputing the debt. We have not gotten a response back from the owners of the property.We feel we shouldn’t have to pay after they told us at the time we signed the lease that they were going to forgive the late notice fee.Can an apartment complex lease an apartment to you again if you owed them a legitamate debt before? What can we do to remove this negative rating on my husbands credit report. We are trying to get a house.
    By the way they didn’t add any extra fees or make us put down a deposit when my husband and I rented from them the 2nd time.


  87. November 06, 2008 at 4:11 pm, Guest said:

    My boyfriend had eleven months left on a lease from one apartment complex and asked if he could transfer his lease to another complex owned by the same property managment firm. They verbally said yes but that he would be charged a transfer fee of $250 and that he would have to start a new twelve month lease at the new location. He agreed to this, moved in and signed a new lease. Now they are sending a bill from the old complex for the trasfer fee and one months rent. They already refunded his security deposit from the old complex, so this makes no sense at all. What exactly did they transfer for the fee and why would the same company let him begin a new lease if they were going to say he violated the old one?


  88. December 11, 2008 at 11:53 am, Guest said:

    Help…I live in Texas and am late with this months rent. My landlord is charging me 10% of the rent on the 4th day and $10 dollars a day thereafter. That’s $147.50 on the 4th and $10 a day…Doesn’t that seem a bit excessive? How much is too much in late fees and who can I talk to about this?? Unfortunately, I’m already up to $217.50 in late fees…that seems like too much!! Please help!


  89. December 11, 2008 at 9:31 pm, Guest said:

    I have a question – I recently finished a dispute over my last rent payment and I’m wanting to move out when my lease ends in February. Before the dispute occured, I signed a renewal agreement, but I hadn’t (and still haven’t) signed and returned the actual lease. I’m wanting to turn in my notice within the next two days. Will the landlords honor my notice since the lease was never signed or turned in? Or will they hold me accountable since I signed the renewal agreement?


  90. December 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm, Guest said:

    I have a question. I gave my 30 days notice but will be moving out before the scheduled date of the “notice to vacate”. They would like me to pay January rent but I really can’t afford it right now plus I will only be living in the place for like 8 days into the month.I am not in a lease and am paying month to month right now(what a rip off). They are welcome to keep my security deposit/logevity fee, etc but what exactly will happen if I don’t pay January rent? Any advice is appreciated. email is [email protected]


  91. January 01, 2009 at 10:41 am, Guest said:

    I sent a notice to my landlord outlining his noncompliance items needing repair. The only address I have for him is a po box. My state requires him to make the repairs within 5 business days after receiving notice. He didn’t pick up the certified mail notice until the third day it was at his po box. When does the clock start for his 5 business days?


  92. January 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm, Guest said:


    my sister lives with four girls she shares a room with one of them, they do not get along and she is tring to move out. My sis pays $750 including utilities to share a tiny room and the other girls in the place have there own rooms and pay less then $1000 its stupid to begin with but now the roommates want to up the rent in the shred room to $850 and they are telling my sister that they found a girl to take it and she won’t pay a security deposit.. now my sister just wants her security deposit back and they will not give it to her and won’t make the new girl give it to her.. so if anyone has advice on what to do that would be helpful..


  93. May 26, 2009 at 10:52 am, juan garcia said:

    the landlord has violated the lease, he open a pizza place, to sell soda, fry chicken etc, I have a super market were I sell all that. My lease say 37. Landlord represents that it is the owner of premises located at 25-11-2513-2515-2517 and 2511b seagirt Ave, Far Rockaway, Queens and that it will not lease said premises to a tenant that will duplicate the items for which the demised premises herein are rented. What can I do.


  94. June 30, 2009 at 9:20 am, Ms. Indepedent said:



  95. September 07, 2009 at 11:57 pm, guest said:

    I am currently in a yearly lease agreement and have been here less than 30 days . The landlord told me there was just one stain on my apartment floor and that everything else has been fixed after I started moving my stuff in I found a hole in my hallway floor, back door frame is broken so the door does not shut, curtain rods in bathrooms keep falling on our heads cause there not secured, there is water damage and mold everywhere, i live upstairs and there is no screens on my windows I keep reporting all these problems to the landlord and gave them an inspection sheet which they never did a walk through with me like they were suppose to I have taken pictures of the apartment which the fire department told me to do when my kids bathroom started smoking from burnt wiring. Does anyone know a way I can get out of my lease agreement since my landlord will not fix the problems even though it states it in the lease agreement?


  96. September 09, 2009 at 7:07 pm, Wanda G said:

    I recently moved into an apartment about 3 weeks ago, it has not yet been 30 days in the state of arkansas, can i break the lease without any penalties. I know I would lose my deposit and possibly owe for partial month. What is my rights?



  97. March 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm, Marion M said:

    I recently rented my condo to a tenant. He and I both agreed that he pays his first month in installments. However, He has failed topay the first months rent. In Maryland can his lease be cancelled or resended?


  98. March 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm, Marion M said:

    I recently rented my condo to a tenant. He and I both agreed that he pays his security deposit in installments. However, He has failed to pay the first months rent. In Maryland can his lease be cancelled or resended?


  99. June 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm, I'm David said:

    If you are ever continuing to pay rent on a property you are not occupying due to an early termination of lease, and the landlord continues to make you pay after he/she has rented to another tenant, there are two things you could do: Call the cops on the current tenant, stating you are the lessee, and he is suspiciously lurking around your apartment. Or, you can take the landlord to small claims court. However, if the person the landlord is renting to does not have a lease, then it will be more difficult for you to establish they are double-dipping on rent.


  100. December 19, 2011 at 12:33 am, ash said:

    My husband and I have been living in our apartment for over a year. We have had a cockroach infestation for about eight months out of the year. We have the exterminator come every month ( which is sent by the management) even though they are taking action our apartments roaches are not going away there is actually more. We pulled our fridge forward and dozens were crawling everywhere. We renewed our lease thinking they will go away…but they aren’t and they are moving to our BED !!! What can I do? I don’t want to live here anymore it makes me sick. How do I break my lease?


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