How can I end my tenancy early?

Usually, your tenancy ends when the rental period is over. However, there are certain situations in which you can end your tenancy early.

There is a problem with the rental property

If your landlord does not follow their responsibilities properly, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to end your tenancy early.

You have to prove that your landlord violated the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). You must also prove that the best way to solve the problem is to move out.

You Agree to End the Tenancy Early

Talk to your landlord and ask if it is possible to break your lease. If your landlord agrees, make sure to get it in writing.

You Find a New Tenant

If your landlord does not agree to end your tenancy early, you have the right to suggest a new tenant for the remaining time in the lease.

If your landlord agrees to rent to this person, you will assign (transfer) your lease to the new tenant. If this happens, make sure you get it in writing.

Your landlord can refuse the person you suggested but they must have a fair reason.

Your landlord can charge you for any reasonable costs that are related to assigning the unit (for example, the cost to do a credit check on the new tenant).

If your landlord tries to charge you too much or they do not have a good reason to refuse the new tenant, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to help solve the problem.

You Sublet Your Unit

When you sublet your unit, it means you move out for a period of time and let someone else live there until you come back.

Usually, you sublet if you want to live in your unit again before your lease ends.

In this case, you are still the official tenant and the other person is the subtenant. You are responsible for the lease and the rent.

You can contact a legal clinic or housing help centre for more information. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

You Are Experiencing Domestic or Sexual Abuse

You can leave your rental unit by providing 28 days notice if you are afraid that you or a child you are living with will be hurt.

To give notice under these circumstances, you have to give your landlord the Tenant's Notice to End my Tenancy Because of Fear of Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse (N15) form and sign a Tenant's Statement About Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse. Alternatively, you can provide them with a copy of a court order such as a restraining order or a peace bond. Generally, your landlord must keep this information confidential.

For More Information

  • How A Tenant Can End Their Tenancy - This brochure provides some general information about the rules around moving out in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
  • Moving Out - This booklet describes what you have to do if you want to move out. It also tells you what can happen if you do not follow the rules.
  • Can your landlord take your stuff? - This booklet explains what landlords can do with your personal property when you move out or are evicted.
  • The Landlord and Tenant Board - Provides information about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and resolves disputes between landlords and tenants.
  • CLEO - Landlord & Tenant Law - Clear language publications on the rights of tenants in rental housing.
Last updated: September 8, 2016 4000849