Moving Out, Breaking the Lease

Moving Out

If you have a month-to-month lease or some other periodic tenancy, you must provide notice to the landlord when that you intend to terminate the lease at least 20 days before the end of the lease period (for example, if your month-to-month lease renews on the first of every month, you must inform your landlord of your intent to end the lease by the 10th of the month (for a 30-day month).

When you have moved all of your belongings out of the apartment and have cleaned, you should do a walk-through with your landlord with the checklist you made when you moved in.  You should take pictures as well of any damage, wear, or problems when you move out. If you paid a security or damage deposit when you moved in, the landlord must either refund the deposit in full within 14 days, or provide a written explanation of the damage to the rental unit to justify keeping your deposit.

If the landlord refuses to return your deposit and does not specify in writing, within 14 days from when you move out, what damage to the unit your deposit is covering, you can sue your landlord in small claims court for twice the amount of the security deposit.

Breaking Your Lease

If you have a term lease and you move out before the end of the lease term, the landlord can hold you responsible for all rent due under the terms of the lease.  However, a landlord has a duty to mitigate the loss.  The landlord must make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant and must not unreasonably refuse a new tenant.  And rent paid by the new tenant must offset the rent owed under the broke lease.