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When Can a Tenant Terminate a Lease?

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When Can a Tenant Terminate a Lease?

In a rental agreement, lease termination can sometimes be a necessity. However, terminating a lease needs to be done properly in order to avoid legal issues and other concerns. For tenants, termination of a lease can occur under various circumstances, including:

  • According to an agreement between the tenant and landlord
  • Under a "periodic tenancy" – these can often be terminated for any reason, although notice may be required
  • Under a "tenancy at will" agreement – these may be terminated at any time

Also, some state landlord and tenant laws allow a tenant to break their lease if the landlord has engaged in certain violations that make the residence immediately uninhabitable. These types of laws may vary by jurisdiction.

When Can Landlords Terminate the Lease?

There are some instances when landlords can terminate a lease agreement and evict the resident. These may include:

  • According to an agreement between with the tenant
  • At the end of a tenancy term (sufficient notice is often required)

Thus, landlords need to ensure that an early termination of a lease does not create losses or other issues for the tenant. The best way to do this is to issue the tenant a lease termination notice that informs them of any changes to the tenancy policy.

What If a Lease Termination Causes Damages?

Financial losses caused by an early lease termination can result in a lawsuit. This may require the court to examine both the landlord and tenant laws in the area, as well as any existing agreements between the parties involved. Losses may result in a damages award, which would reimburse the non-breaching party for losses.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Lease Termination?

Dealing with a lease termination can involve many different legal issues. You may wish to hire a real estate lawyer if you need help drafting, reviewing, or enforcing a lease agreement. Your attorney can assist you with the documents and can file a complaint in court on your behalf if necessary. Also, you can inquire with your lawyer regarding any lease termination agreements or other similar documents.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 06-18-2014 10:44 AM PDT

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