How much notice do you have to give when vacating an apartment?

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Got a new job and want to move closer to work? Perhaps you intend to move in with your partner. Whatever the reason, you need to get ready to move out of your apartment. This involves notifying the property manager or landlord as to when you will be vacating. So, how much notice do you need to give? Generally speaking, although every lease is different (check your lease for specific provisions) most apartment buildings require 60 full calendar days’ notice from the end of your lease term which is substantially different from 60 full calendar days from when you will be vacating.

Study your lease carefully

Prior to signing a lease, you should understand what the cost of early termination (moving prior to the end of the lease term) will be. You should not be surprised by the cost if you are forced (job relocation or other cause) to terminate early. If you must terminate early, review your lease agreement prior to determine exactly what you need to do to vacate the rental apartment. Your lease will contain specific language as to how much notice you need to give, how to send that notice, and to whom it should be sent.

Understand the notice period

As mentioned above, as a general rule, most lease agreements stipulate that you must give 60 full calendar days’ notice from the end of your lease that you will not be renewing. Keep in mind that this is not the same as 60 calendar days from any time you want, but this can only happen 60 days from the end of your lease. For example, if your lease expires October 31, 2020, and your lease stipulates the 60 full calendars days’ notice is required, then you must give notice no later than August 31, 2020.

Check about breaking the lease before expiration

If you need to move out before your lease expires, this is a completely different expectation. This may still include 60 calendar days (or more) depending on the lease, and will at a minimum likely include some lease early termination fees that you will need to incur for moving out before the end of your agreement a minimum. Legally, the Landlord must do their best to mitigate your losses, but this is quite subjective, and if there is no set early termination fee in the lease, you could be responsible for rent through the remaining term of your lease.

Sending notice of moving out

Typically, you are required to give notice to your property manager or landlord via U.S. certified mail. Even if it’s not required, you may want to send the notice via certified mail for your own proof. Practically speaking, it’s also a good idea to follow up with a phone call with a few days after sending your notice, so you are maximizing communication. This helps to prevent any misunderstandings later. If you don’t provide proper notice, you run the risk of breaching your lease, which likely will result in significant financial penalties being assessed.

Find out about your security deposit

Once you send notice of moving out, it’s also a good idea to check with your landlord about your security deposit and when you can expect to get it back. Once again, be sure to check the terms set out in the lease so you can get back what you deserve without any difficulties. Remember, your security deposit should be refunded in full unless damages are above normal wear and tear.

Since every lease is different based on the agreement between tenants and landlords, it’s always a good idea to review the terms when you decide to move out.


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