In general, you cannot end the tenancy during the fixed term of the lease (residential tenancy agreement). When you or the landlord makes a decision to end the tenancy, a written termination notice must be given.
Generally, when you or the landlord makes a decision to end the tenancy, a written termination notice must be given.
Receiving notice from the landlord:
If your landlord serves you a termination notice you can move out any time before the notice ends without having to give your own notice, unless the fixed term has not ended.
The minimum period of notice your landlord can give you to vacate is:
1. 14 days – if you are 14 days or more behind with the rent or you have otherwise breached the tenancy agreement
2. 30 days – if the fixed term of the agreement is due to end. In this circumstance, you are responsible for paying the rent until the last day of the fixed term, even if you move out before the notice ends
3. 90 days – if the fixed term period has expired and no new agreement has been signed. In this circumstance, you are only required to pay rent until you hand back vacant possession of the property to the landlord.
Ending tenancy early:
In general, you cannot end the tenancy during the fixed term of the lease (residential tenancy agreement). By signing the lease, you have agreed to live there and pay rent for the period set out in the lease. However, sometimes a change of circumstances means you may need to break the lease early, for example, because you can no longer afford the rent or you have to move away.
The landlord may let you end the tenancy early. If they do, ask for it in writing. If the landlord doesn't agree to end the lease early, ask if you can try to find another tenant to take over the lease - this is called assignment or transfer of tenancy.
If the landlord won't let you assign or transfer the lease to someone else, you may have to pay some costs to leave, such as:
1. Rent until a new tenant moves in or until the fixed term of the lease expires
2. Advertising costs for a new tenant
3. The re-letting fee (usually one week rent) when the property is let by an agent who charges the landlord a fee for finding new tenants
4. If you abandon the place you may have to pay compensation to the landlord for any loss, including rent.
At the end of the fixed term:
If you want to end your tenancy when the fixed term period of the agreement is due to run out, you will need to give the landlord at least 14 days notice. This notice can be given up to and including the last day of the fixed term.
After the fixed term:
If you want to end your tenancy after the fixed term has ended (and you have not signed another lease), you will need to give at least 21 days notice. This notice can be given at any time and does not have to line up with the rent payment cycle. You must pay the rent up to and including the day your notice ends and you vacate.
Laws differ between states. Be sure to know yours by visiting your state website.