Tenant Leaving before lease term

3 Replies


What action required if tenant is leaving early before lease term expire.

I have tenant leaving in two month after moving in because of job relocation. 


Well,  Make sure the home is in good condition and if there are repairs needed that would be deducted from their security deposit.  If they are truly being relocated I doubt you would want to try and press them for the remainder of the lease.  Sounds like they are giving you advanced notice. 

Some will say that you should always sue for lost rent if there is vacancy between this tenant leaving and the next tenant coming in. You can do this but in my view that should not be your primary focus at this time: getting a new tenant should be the focus of all of your energies. It is not fair, the tenant's breach of contract will cause you to do all sorts of running around advertising and showing, etc. But that is part of life as a landlord. Tenants come and then they leave, and a number leave before leases are up. Life is not fair. 

I had a case like this and told the tenants they were on the hook for rent. They were very cooperative in showings but panicked later on and filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board (Ontario) with a list of all sorts of crazy complaints about maintenance, which we had attended to fully. Their requested remedy in each case was early termination of the lease. I found a tenant ahead of time so we dodged this bullet, but truthfully compared with the pain of going to  hearing and dealing with that rubbish I would prefer to cover a little vacancy and just focus on getting a new tenant. This is where value is added. When tenants want to leave early my experience is that you should put emotion aside and let them go. Many if not most tenants are men of straw anyway and have no assets worth going after in court. Get them out of there with the least hassle and get the new tenant in as quickly as possible.

We offer tenants two options in this scenario:

1) Assignment.  They find a new tenant that passes our screening, there's an assignment fee paid by the outgoing tenant and they're done.

2) Lease buy out.  For a fee equal to 2 months rent, they can walk.  If we rent it sooner, we can keep both the rents and the lease buy out fee as the fee is not rent.  Many job relo's take this option (some employers even pay this as part of the relocation package).  It's a great win-win.

Make sure your vacancy is very clear.


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