Tenants are looking for early termination of lease. Lease expressly states this is not allowed unless we agree on terms. Their reason is that they are fearful of the neighborhood (despite having been there for 3+ years at this point). No doubt they are speaking sincerely, though, and thus I would feel terrible telling them they needed remain. What is typically done here? X number of month's rent as termination fee? Indicate they must remain for an additional Y months given short notice? I want to do right by them as people, but also don't want to screw myself on the mortgage payments.

  • 4
    Many rental laws are at the state or local level. Please specify the state. Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:18
  • After three years, why aren't they at month-to-month by now?
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:34
  • 1
    Not everyone or every area goes to month-to-month after the initial lease. Depends on the local rental market and how much owner trusts the occupants to give reasonable advantage notice before leaving. Where I grew up, yearly lease renewals (with inflation adjustment and sometimes additional security deposit) were the norm.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 15:13
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    Is the neighborhood being unsafe related to something you did? If not - how is it a cause?
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 23:11
  • @littleadv of course not. Idk what you mean by 'a cause'?
    – Runeaway3
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


If they're on a lease, the usual where I've lived is that they continue to pay rental until the lease ends or another tenant can be found for that unit. The landlord may or may not allow the tenant to sublet the unit, or make the unit available as an AirBNB, to find the transitional period.

Another approach, of course, is to guess how long it will take to find another tenant and make that the fee for breaking the lease.

Some policy really should already be written into the rental agreement they signed, though you can choose to be more generous.

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