Breaking Up CAN Be Easy (Landlord)


While a breakup with that red-haired-dust-bowl-beauty-queen you met at the county fair may be difficult…..navigating a breakup with your landlord can be surprisingly pleasant, even civilized. There are ways you can call it quits with a landlord that can leave you both feeling good about the split. 


Whether you bought a new home, relocating for a job, moving in with that special someone, or simply don’t like your current arrangements. It’s best to amicably transition out of your rental. Ending a rental the right way, means doing it legally and in a way that leaves both you and your landlord happy. Plus, the better the landlord split, the more likely you’ll be to avoid lease breaking fees.

The wrong way to breakup with your landlord.

Just like an ex would expect, you don’t just bail and you never just send a text. You need to communicate that it’s over,  the right way

Never leave a rental without communicating to your landlord.

Don’t assume you’re free to move-out the moment a year-long lease is over. In most cases, your rental agreement will include language about a year lease transitioning into a month-to-month agreement after the term ends. In the case of a month-to-month lease, you will need to give your landlord proper notice to move out.

Depending on state laws you may have to give your landlord official notice to vacate anywhere from 20 days to 60 days prior to your planned move-out date. Most states require tenants submit a 30-day notice to vacate. Your planned move-out date should be the last day you will pay rent and when you give your keys back to your landlord, relinquishing all rights for tenancy.

Don’t abandon your rental property.

In some cases, renters decide to completely abandon their rental property, leaving a bunch of their stuff (junk) behind. Abandonment is even worse than failing to communicate your intentions. In the relationship world, this “ghosting” is one of the worst ways you can break up with someone. So don’t “ghost” your landlord, either.

Did you know, if you move out and leave stuff behind, your previous landlord can’t just throw it away? Even that old TV that doesn’t really work. Landlords are only allowed to throw out rotting trash. That means that he or she can’t even throw away a garbage bag filled with clothes. Abandoned rental property is a huge hassle to deal with: a landlord has to itemize everything, store the items for a specific amount of time, then sell the items at auction and turn that money over the county. Talk about a nightmare! Additionally, the tenant will be financially responsible for the cost to do all this. So if you are leaving your rental because you missed a rent payment, now you will have additional abandoned property fees added to your bill. It’s way better to talk to your landlord if you are having financial problems and need to move out (plus then you get to keep all your stuff!).

The right way to breakup with your landlord.

Fortunately for you, a landlord breakup is as easy as it sounds and leaves both parties with no hard feelings. Here are the steps to take to end your rental tenancy the right way.

Talk to Your Manager

Give your landlord or property manager a call, and tell them you plan on moving and that you want to know the steps you need to take to provide proper notice. They’ll be able to tell you how much notice you need to give, typically 30 days. You should be able to find this information in your lease, but calling your landlord might be a little easier than flipping through a lease agreement.

A great tenant will give the property manager a heads up well before 30 days. While your only legal obligation is whatever the time frame your lease states or state laws require, your landlord will appreciate knowing your plans as soon as possible. The more notice you give, the more time your landlord has to market the property and fill the upcoming vacancy.

While you can tell your landlord via phone call about your plans to move, do not submit your formal notice to vacate until the required deadline. This gives you some protection in case your plans to move fall through and you need to stay. Once you submit a formal notice to vacate, you can be required to stick to that notice and move out on the date it says.

Give Notice

After your initial phone call, follow your landlord’s instructions for how to submit a formal notice to vacate. Some larger apartment complexes or corporate property management companies have a form for you to fill out. Otherwise you will need to mail or deliver a formal Notice of Intent to Vacate. The Notice of Intent to Vacate is just a simple letter that tells your landlord what day you plan on moving out and where to send your security deposit.

Include the date you are submitting the notice, the date you plan to vacate and a forwarding address. You do not need to provide a lengthy reason for leaving. Landlords use this as official paperwork for their records.

Pay attention to the date of your notice. Try to coordinate your notice delivery with a rent deadline. Just be careful, if you typically pay rent on the 5th of every month, and turn in your 30 days notice with your rent check, you could be required to pay rent through the 5th of the following month. (not the 1st like you thought).

When a Notice of Intent to Vacate Won’t Work

This notice of intent to vacate will only apply if you have the legal right to move out of a property. As in, your term-lease is over or you are a month-to-month renter. If you are in the middle of a lease, you cannot simply turn in a Notice of Intent to Vacate and expect to move out no problem. When you signed a lease agreement, you agreed to pay rent throughout the entirety of term. If you need to move out early, you will need to take different steps to break your lease agreement.

Wrapping It All Up

You did it! A landlord break up is a simple as effective communication. Good luck with the redhead and best of luck moving forward!


Real Property Management is the nation’s leading property manager. For over 30 years, Real Property Management has developed intelligent solutions for thousands of individual property owners, investors, tenants and Realtors.

What can RPM do for you? 

Matt Pelton

Matt’s an Ohio licensed Realtor with 20+ years in residential and investment sales, leasing and property management. RPM also offers pre-purchase consultations and BPO’s for investors, lending institutions and independent lenders. Matt splits his time between Sales Manager and resident SuperHero at Real Property Management.  Contact Matt via the Mat-Signal by night or during the day via the interwebs or 866.500.6200 –[email protected]  – As the largest property management brand in the country, Real Property Management is well equipped to maximize your investment, alleviate the daily burdens, and provide you with detailed communication along the way.  How can Real Property Management help you? 

Real Property Management



IG @CincySalesGuy – @ColumbusRealPropertyMGT – @RealPropertManagementMidwest


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