Lease Agreements: Can a Tenant Terminate a Lease Early

Lease Agreements

As a tenant, you know that lease agreements are legally binding contracts. Whether you have moved to a new rented property or are planning a move, you might be concerned about your freedom to terminate a lease early. Tenants reserve the right to terminate leases early under a variety of circumstances.

In case you are a property owner, it makes sense to know your rights, as well as the rights of your tenants, so that you can strike the contracts properly. Under certain situations, both tenants and landlords can terminate a lease early without legal or financial penalties. This article will answer the question: can a tenant terminate a lease early?

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Situations that support early termination by tenants

At one point or another, you may have asked yourself, “how can a tenant terminate a lease?”. At times, tenants need to move to a different place before the tenancy term gets over. In certain cases, you might not be in a position to give proper notice to your landlord. Here are certain situations where you can make an early termination without facing any financial or legal consequences.

1. Making an agreement with your landlord

If you are on good terms with your landlord, you can try and convince the person to terminate the contract early. At times, landlords would readily accept the offer, given that they can charge a new tenant a higher rent.

It’s always wise to have a written agreement to maintain transparency with your landlord. Use Form N11 (Agreement to Terminate a Tenancy) to terminate the lease agreement with your landlord’s consent. In this form, you need to furnish details like the address where you are moving, relevant dates, and your signature.

2. Assigning another tenant

If you want to close the tenancy contract prematurely, you might request your landlord and transfer the lease to one of the new tenants. This process implies that you would be transferring all your obligations and rights to the new person.

As a result, the new tenant would be required to fulfil all the conditions and shell out the rental amount. Additionally, as the tenant, you need to get approval in written form from the landlord at the outset.

Once the landlord approves your request, you need to furnish a notice period of seven days before you move out of the rented property.

3. Moving after domestic violence or sexual abuse

Tenants reserve the right to move to a new place even before the termination of the lease contract if they experience sexual abuse or domestic violence. This is applicable if your child gets subjected to such unfortunate incidents. Under such circumstances, you need to give 28 days’ notice to your landlord. You have the liberty to leave the property any time if you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

However, you are liable to provide your landlord with any of these documents: a copy of the restraining or peace bond against your abuser or a Tenant’s Statement (Landlord and Tenant Board form) about domestic or sexual abuse.

4. End your tenancy by applying to the Landlord and Tenant Board

In case you encounter a stubborn landlord, you might reach out to the Landlord and Tenant Board and end your tenancy. As a tenant, you should know that the landlord is responsible for maintaining sound living conditions. Under certain conditions, if you notice that the landlord is infringing your rights, you can apply to the Board and end the contract.

For instance, if the landlord harasses you, interferes with the utilities, illegally enters your apartment, or refuses to fix the electrical, plumbing, or other systems, you can proceed to the Board. In a nutshell, you can move out in any situation where the landlord makes the situation unpleasant for you. Even if the person prevents you from subletting the apartment, you have the right to terminate the contract.

5. Landlord not using the lease form

As per the legal norms, landlords and tenants need to enter the agreements in writing, using the lease form of the government from April 30th, 2018. You can get this form on the website of the Ministry of Housing. In case you have entered into an agreement for a tenancy, but the date is not present on the form, you own the freedom to close the lease early. You simply need to give your landlord notice 60 days prior to leaving the premises.

The norms of the standard lease apply to the rented apartments, rooms, houses, and condominiums. However, these norms do not cover housing co-ops, business spaces, mobile homes, subsidized homes, and sublet agreements.

Situations when tenants don’t have the right to terminate lease contracts early

terminating lease contract

Sometimes, unfortunate incidents befall the tenants, rendering them financially unstable. As a landlord, it is in your interest that you should take the initiative and let them move to a new place. It doesn’t make sense to waste your time and evict them after a few months.

For instance, a tenant might undergo challenging situations like illness, divorce, or job loss. In these cases, they would not have a proper ground to seek early termination. However, as a landlord, you must be concerned about finding a renter who would make timely payments. So, if you find the tenant requesting early termination of the lease contract, it would be an intelligent move to let them move out.

Can tenant terminate lease early in Canada?

When you rent or lease a home for a specific time, make sure to purchase tenant insurance or renters’ insurance from one of the reputed carriers. This is because you won’t benefit from a homeowner’s insurance policy. These policies are designed to secure the property owner’s interest and typically cover damage to the building structure.

However, you need proper coverage to secure your personal belongings, furniture, and other belongings. Talk to one of the insurance experts and customize a renter’s insurance policy for yourself. This way, you can rest assured that any damage to your property caused by man-made or natural disasters will be covered!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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