Does an Occupant on a Lease Have to Give a Thirty Day Written Notice if They Are Leaving?

A landlord needs to keep on top of when tenants are leaving in order to minimize the amount of time that the apartment sits vacant. Though a tenant may break a lease and leave earlier than originally intended, the landlord must make a good faith effort to replace the tenant before charging for rent. The amount of notice required to leave a property can vary.

  1. End of Lease

    • As a lease term comes to an end, you should not expect your tenant to give you a 30-day notice before leaving. Assume that she is leaving. However, it's smart to check in with her about a month or two before the lease term is up to see if she's interested in extending the lease or moving to a month-to-month contract.

    Month-to-Month Contracts

    • Some leases are month-to-month contracts. In this case, either you or the tenant can terminate the lease with 30-days notice. If neither gives notice, you can assume that the tenant plans to stay another month.

    Breaking the Lease

    • Most leases do stipulate that tenants must give notice to the landlord 30 days before leaving the property, especially if leaving the property earlier than the terms of the lease stipulated. This is not always possible. The tenant may have to move suddenly to accept a job offer or take care of a sick relative, for example. In such cases, the current lease typically holds true, with the tenant being responsible for rent payments even if he is not living there. You can use a pre-paid "last month's rent" or security deposit to cover these costs. However, as soon as the tenant moves out, you must begin to actively search for a new tenant. If you do find a new tenant, the original tenant is no longer responsible for paying the rent.


    • If the tenant has notified you about problems with the property, such as heating or air conditioning concerns, structural damage, electrical problems or pests, and you have not resolved the issue, the tenant may have no choice but to leave the property without giving you proper notice. In these cases, legal action may follow.

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