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When Your Lease Ends: Sample Letter to Landlord

Sample Letter to Landlord

When your lease ends, you have to decide whether you'd like to move out, continue renting on a month-by-month basis (depending on your agreement and state law), or sign a new lease. While the landlord may choose to end your lease or raise your rent moving forward, state laws generally require a 30-day or 60-day notice before the tenant must vacate the premises. In most states, tenants who stay in their rental beyond the end of a lease without signing a new one are automatically shifted to a month-by-month lease.

Regardless of your decision, it's often a good idea to communicate clearly to your landlord -- in writing -- about your intentions when your lease ends. The following sections will help you determine how to proceed.

Don't Just Pack Up and Leave: Put it in Writing

You may have an obligation under your lease to warn your landlord of your intention not to renew when your lease ends. But this should be done in writing. Although most landlords are scrupulous about maintaining and returning security deposits, the letter should remind your landlord that you expect your deposit back. As a rule, putting things in writing generally helps protect your interests (in this case, it creates a record that you asked for your deposit in the affirmative).

After you leave, it may also be your responsibility to inform your landlord in writing of your new address in order to receive your security deposit refund. Again, it's good in this letter to remind your landlord of what you expect.

Below are two sample letters to use under these circumstances.

Sample Letter to Landlord: Intention to Vacate

[your name and address]


[Your landlord's name and official address, as listed in the lease]

Re: Notice of Intent to Vacate

Dear [Landlord],

This letter will constitute written notice of my intention to vacate my apartment on [date], the end of my current lease. I am doing so because [explain the reason if you desire, such as a large increase in rent].

Please recall that I made a security deposit of $______ on [date]. I expect to receive that deposit refunded in full, since the apartment is in good condition.

Very truly yours,

[Your name]

Sample Letter to Landlord: Request for Security Deposit

[Your name and new address]


[Your landlord's name and official address, as listed in the lease]

Re: Request to Return Security Deposit

Dear [Landlord],

Pursuant to [whatever applicable state statute], please forward my security deposit and accrued interest to my new address, [new address].

I hope it is your intention to return the whole of my security deposit and interest as required by law. If you feel that you are entitled to retain any portion of the deposit, you must provide me with an itemized statement of all charges. If you attempt retain any portion of my deposit without adequate reason, this letter is written notice of my intention to pursue my claims to the entirety of the deposit.

Very truly yours,

[Your name]

Additional Sample Letters to Your Landlord (For Purchase)

Writing a Letter to Your Landlord When Your Lease Ends? Consider Getting Legal Help

Tenancy issues are complicated and they deeply impact every aspect of your life. If you're involved in a dispute that's jeopardizing your housing, you may want to explore your legal options. Consider speaking with a local landlord-tenant law attorney to learn more.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help you navigate any landlord-tenant issues.

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