Whether you’re moving to a new city, need a bigger place or simply looking for a change, there will come a time while you’re renting where you’ll have to give your apartment community notice that you intend to move out. Similarly to when you moved in, there is a procedure you should follow to ensure you give your notice correctly — giving both you and your apartment manager adequate time and notice.

Step 1: Check Your Lease

It’s important you understand and know the terms of your lease and what it says on giving notice that you intend to move out- even if it is due to feeling forced out, like because of an unexpected rent increaseIt may require a certain amount of advance notice, such as 30- or 60- days, and there may be some other considerations. Take the time to read over that section to confirm that the wording of the sample letter, as well as your planned notification process, complies with your lease. Remember, if you are actually breaking your lease, there will be additional considerations you will need to take into account.

Generally, unless your lease says otherwise, a lease that specifies a set term (i.e., 6 months, 12 months, etc.) does not generally require the tenant to give written notice to their landlord upon moving out when their lease expires. However, there are several situations that do require tenants to provide non-renewal letters to their landlords when intending to vacate the property, including when a lease:

  • …is being broken before the end of the lease terms expire
  • …that originally had terms but the terms were not renewed by both parties signing a new lease, causing the tenant to automatically roll into a month-to-month lease
  • …was signed specifically as a month-to-month lease
  • …is a term lease that automatically renews, but the tenant wants to move out instead of allowing the lease to auto-renew

Step 2: Get Your Questions Answered

If you have any doubts or are unsure of what the process should be, it doesn’t hurt to stop by your apartment management office and go over exactly what you need to do to be in compliance with your lease. Be sure to bring your copy along so they can point out specific text and sections to help you understand what you need to do. You can also ask about security deposits and move out procedures. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a Tenant Rights section on their website that can help to answer questions specific to your state.

Step 3: Give Notice

For most leases, you will need to give written notice of your intention to vacate your apartment. Again, it’s important that you go over your specific lease to ensure that you have included everything required, but the sample letters at the end of this article can give you an idea of where to start. Be sure to include the date of your letter, the date you intend to move out and a forwarding address. It’s also a good idea to follow up with a phone call to confirm that the letter has been received.

Your letter giving notice should include several key factors, which your landlord will be looking for:

  1. Date the letter was written
  2. Target move-out date
  3. Whether or not the lease has expired or was broken
  4. Any special circumstances or reasons for breaking, or not renewing, the lease.
  5. Forwarding address
  6. Address of the property you are vacating

Once you have moved out, it might be necessary to send a follow-up letter regarding your security deposit to your landlord in order to receive your refunded security deposit. Below are two sample letters that you can use to notify your landlord of your intent to move out and follow up about your deposit.

Delivering your letter can be just as important as its contents. The last thing you want is to wind up in court after discovering your letter was never received by your landlord. To ensure delivery, it is best to send your letter as Certified Mail. For added protection, you can request a return receipt, as well. Before doing anything, though, be sure to check your lease; it may outline specific methods of delivering notice.

Sample Letter: Notice of Intent to Vacate / Not Resigning Your Lease

(Your name)

(Your current apartment address)

(Date of Letter)

(Apartment Manager / Lessor’s Name and address for notice. Note: Please read your lease carefully. Sometimes, the address for a notice of intent to vacate is different than the apartment management office)

Re: Notice of Intent to Vacate

Dear (Name of Manager or Lessor),

This letter constitutes my written (number of days notice that you need to give) -day notice that I will be leaving my apartment on (date), the end of my current lease.

I am leaving because (new job, rent increase, etc. Be diplomatic as you may need a referral in the future).

I expect that my security deposit of ($___), given to you on (date), will be refunded in full, since the apartment has been left in good condition.

I can be reached at (new phone number and address) after (your moving day).

Sincerely,

(your name)

Sample Letter: Security Deposit Final Matters

(Your name)

(Your new apartment address)

(Date of Letter)

(Apartment Manager / Lessor’s Name and address for notice. Note: Please read your lease carefully. Sometimes, the address for a notice of intent to vacate is different than the apartment management office)

Re: Security Deposit Final Matters

Dear (Name of Manager or Lessor),

This letter is a follow-up regarding the return of my security deposit, which I have not yet received from you. Per the terms of our former lease, it is your legal obligation to return my security deposit in full.

Given the excellent move-out condition of my [insert property type here], I expect you to return my entire security deposit of [enter amount]. If for some reason you feel that you are not required to refund my entire deposit, you must provide me with an itemized statement listing all charges. Please know that if you fail to do so, this letter serves as written notice of my intention to pursue my claim for the full amount of my initial deposit.

Sincerely,

(your name)

Now all you have to do is fill in the blanks and check your lease for any other information required. Please be aware if you are not leaving at the end of your current lease, and instead are breaking your lease, there may be additional language and procedure to follow. Check with your lease to confirm.

Have any tips for getting ready to move to a new apartment? We’d love to hear them!

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