Breaking leases early

1 Reply

Hello!  My tenant has a lease agreement in place that doesn't end until March next year.  However, they want to break their lease early to move into a bigger unit elsewhere.  Any idea what the rules around breaking this lease agreement would be?  They want to just give me a month's notice and then move in December (which is a terrible time to look for new tenants).  I took a look at my lease agreement and it seems to have rules around how a landlord can break the lease and how tenants can break a periodic lease, but not how they can break a fixed term lease.  On the BC Tenancy website, it seems to read that tenants can't break a fixed term lease unless the landlord and tenant both agree to do so on paper.  I do have a liquidated damages clause on my tenancy agreement though that says that breaking a lease before the fixed term will cost the tenant two month's rent.  Does that mean that the tenants can leave as long as they pay the two month's rent?  

I'm a little vague on this so I would appreciate any insight you might have on the local BC tenancy laws.

Thanks in advance!

The tenants can leave whenever they want--the question is just how much they'll owe you for breaking the lease early. Sounds like you have it spelled out well in your lease agreement; if the tenant gives you notice they want to break the least, there is a penalty of two months' rent. Just show the tenants that agreement they signed and let them know they'll be responsible for paying that as they agreed to if they move out early. You should be able to withhold their security deposit and apply it towards that. 

Two months is quite strong, assuming you can actually get them to pay it. The lease I use says tenants can break a lease if they choose to, but have to pay a $500 fee and are responsible for paying rent until I have filled the unit with another renter.

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