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Sample Letter to Landlord

Your Lease Has Ended: Now What?

Once your lease ends, you have to decide whether you would 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 rental basis.

See FindLaw's extensive Landlord Tenant Law section for more articles and resources, including Tenant Lease Agreement FAQs and What is the Difference Between a Month-by-Month Lease and a Fixed-Term Lease?

Don't Just Pack Up and Leave -- End the Relationship in Writing 

You may have an obligation under your lease to warn your landlord of your intention not to renew at the end of your lease period. 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 is good in this letter to remind your landlord of what you expect.

Below are two sample letters to use under these circumstances. If you require legal assistance or have additional questions about ending a lease, you may want to speak with an attorney specializing in landlord tenant law.

[your name and address]

[Date]

[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]

[Your name and new address]

[Date]

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

Re: Final matters

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]

Next Steps
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