As a renter, there may come a time when you need to cancel your rental lease agreement. Whether you’re moving out early, experiencing financial hardship, or need to break your lease for other reasons, it’s important to understand the process and the potential consequences. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to cancel a rental lease agreement and how to avoid any legal issues.

Step 1: Review Your Lease Agreement

Before you do anything, you need to review your lease agreement. Look for any clauses related to breaking the lease and the penalties associated with it. Some lease agreements have a specific “early termination” clause, which outlines the conditions under which you can break your lease early. Others may require you to pay a penalty fee or forfeit your security deposit. Understanding the terms of your lease agreement is the first step in cancelling your rental lease.

Step 2: Provide Written Notice

Once you’ve reviewed your lease agreement and determined the conditions for breaking the lease, you need to provide written notice to your landlord or property manager. This notice should include the date you plan to move out, the reason for breaking the lease, and any other relevant information. Be sure to follow the notice requirements outlined in your lease agreement. Some leases may require a specific number of days’ notice, while others may allow you to give notice at any time.

Step 3: Discuss Your Options with Your Landlord

After providing written notice, you should discuss your options with your landlord or property manager. They may be willing to work with you to find a solution that benefits both parties. For example, they may be willing to let you sublet or assign your lease to another tenant. Alternatively, they may be willing to waive any penalty fees in exchange for your cooperation in finding a new tenant. Keep in mind that your landlord is not required to agree to any of these options, so it’s important to be cooperative and respectful during these discussions.

Step 4: Move Out and Clean the Unit

Once you’ve reached an agreement with your landlord, it’s time to move out and clean the unit. You should leave the unit in good condition, which includes cleaning the floors, walls, and appliances. You should also remove all of your personal belongings and dispose of any trash or unwanted items. Be sure to follow the move-out instructions provided by your landlord or property manager to avoid any potential penalties.


Cancelling a rental lease agreement can be a challenging process, but it’s important to stay informed and follow the proper procedures. By reviewing your lease agreement, providing written notice, discussing your options with your landlord, and moving out and cleaning the unit, you can avoid any legal issues and maintain a positive relationship with your landlord. If you’re uncertain about any of the steps involved in breaking your lease, consider speaking with a legal professional or a trusted advisor to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities.