Landlord Tenant Handbook
Termination of the Lease

Termination is the end of a tenancy and occurs at the end of the lease term or as a result of mutual agreement to terminate the lease prior to the end of the lease term.

Termination of the Lease for a definite Term (or a one-year lease)

If a lease has a date of termination or a definite term and if there is no mention of a requirement to give notice of termination, then the lease expires and the tenant is responsible to leave the premises on the date or at the end of the term stated. The landlord is under no obligation to automatically renew the lease with the tenant. If a lease does require that a tenant give notice of termination prior to the stated expiration of the lease, then the specified amount of notice must be given before a tenant is free and clear of his/her obligation. Many leases contain hold-over clauses which allow the tenant to continue the tenancy on a month-to-month basis following the expiration of the initial term of the lease. The lease should be consulted carefully to determine all termination and hold-over provisions.

Termination of a Month-to-Month Lease

A month-to-month lease is a rental agreement for a one month period which is renewed automatically each month for another month until properly terminated by either party. If someone previously had a lease which was not renewed, but the individual remained a renter then the lease is considered to have rolled over into a month-to-month lease. The terms for termination and some other rights and obligations established in the expired written lease may still be applicable unless altered with the knowledge of all parties.

A tenant may give written notice of intent to terminate by mailing or hand delivering a copy to the landlord. To terminate a month-to-month lease, written notice of intent to terminate must be given at least ten days before the last day of the rental month which has already been paid, that is, eleven days prior to the next rental payment due date. In a written lease for example, start from the day when the rent is due then count back 10 days.

In a written lease, it is acceptable to require a longer period of time for notice to terminate as long as this time period is noted in the lease.

A common practice is for a written lease to require a 30 day notice. The failure of either party to provide proper written notice will obligate both parties to another month's tenancy.