How To End a Tenancy Agreement


One of the most difficult aspects of property management is navigating how to end a tenancy agreement. Tenants and landlords enter into an agreement with the intention that the tenancy will last a specific amount of time, usually a year. However, circumstances may change and result in a tenancy being terminated prematurely. Albeit a little trickier, it is possible to break a tenancy agreement early. When doing so, it is important to be careful and very thorough.

Do You Have Grounds to End a Tenancy Lease?

In order to terminate a lease early, a landlord must have reasonable grounds. Some examples of these types of grounds include a tenant who:

  • Causes purposeful damage to the property.

  • Is disruptive to the landlord or other tenants in the area.

  • Is involved in illegal activity within the property.

  • Shares the space with more tenants than allowed.

Other eviction grounds a landlord may be able to use do not necessarily involve the tenant. Some examples of these situations include:

  • Renovations or updates to the property within a certain time frame.

  • The landlord or their direct family choosing to live on the property.

  • The property is sold to a new owner and they choose to live on the property for themselves or a  family member.

The Process for Terminating a Lease

Now that you understand the grounds for terminating a lease, let’s examine the legal process to put this notion into action.

First, you must issue a formal notice to your tenant that they are required to leave the tenancy. You must also give advance notice prior to the actual date the tenancy must be terminated. If circumstances allow, try to give your tenant as much time as possible so they can make other arrangements. After you’ve given notice, the situation can go one of two ways:

The Tenant Agrees

The best-case scenario is if the tenant agrees to end the lease. If they do, it is best to have the tenant sign the agreement; this is formal proof of their decision to oblige. In the agreement you should outline both tenant and landlord expectations, this prevents miscommunication and gives both sides a work back timeline when the tenancy ends. In these expectations, you can determine the date that the tenant will move out, as well as any further housekeeping items. This way you’ll be viewed as a landlord that practises good property management.

The Tenant Does Not Agree

Unfortunately, there is always a possibility of being faced with a tenant who does not want to leave.

If you asked your tenant to change their behaviour and they complied with your request, you do not have legal grounds to evict them. However, if they did not oblige or they’ve broken their lease terms, you do have legal grounds to evict them. If they still refuse to go, you may need to apply to the housing board for approval to terminate the tenancy. If possible, handling the matter privately is always the most desirable option.

Help Ending a Tenancy Agreement

Are you attempting to navigate the ins and outs of ending a lease early? If you require further guidance or assistance ending a tenancy agreement, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Central Erin Property Management for more information.