What Is the Law on Early Termination of a Lease?


Quick Answer

Some federal and state laws allow early termination of a lease. If either a tenant or property owner violates a term in the rental agreement, early termination may occur, states FindLaw. Early termination may also occur by mutual consent between the landlord and tenant, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Full Answer

The law allows the landlord to terminate a rental agreement if the tenant violates his responsibility as imposed by law, fails to pay rent, or fails to adhere to a clause in the lease. Before termination of the lease, the law requires the landlord to send the renter a notice of termination, according to FindLaw.

A violation of a term of the lease by a landlord may void his agreement with a tenant and allow the tenant to terminate the lease before the expiration date, notes SFGate. A tenant who wishes to move out early can also negotiate for early lease termination, even if no violation has occurred. If rents have risen in the area, and the property owner appears motivated to charge higher rent, he may be more willing to release a current tenant from an existing lease.

Federal law allows active military officers to terminate a lease prematurely. In some states, a tenant may legally terminate a lease in circumstances such as when planning to relocate to an elderly care home or when a present employer relocates, says FindLaw. A landlord who violates safety codes makes his property inhabitable, which allows the tenant to end his tenancy early.

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