Following Through - Terminate Your Lease and Move Out
Following Through – Terminate your Lease and Move Out
If you decided that you wanted to terminate your lease and move out if your landlord still refused to make repairs, and if that’s what you said in your letter to them, then there’s nothing else the law says you have to do except to move out! But, there are some things you can do to that might limit any problems you have down the road.
First, take plenty of pictures when you move out! This is good advice any time you move out of a home you are renting, but it’s even more important if you’ve been having a dispute with your landlord. These pictures can help show what condition the home was in when you left and may help out if your landlord tries to charge you for damage that either didn’t happen, or happened after you left.
Second, if you paid a security deposit, you should send your landlord a letter letting them know when you moved out and letting them know where to send your security deposit. Your landlord has 30 days to return your deposit or, if they are going to deduct anything from your deposit, they have to return whatever is left of the deposit along with a list of the deductions they’ve made. There’s a form letter you can use at the bottom of this page.
If your landlord doesn’t return your security deposit or if they make deductions that you don’t think are right, then you can file a case in court to try and get your deposit back. If you win, the court can award you three times the amount your landlord improperly withheld plus attorney’s fees if you are represented by an attorney.
You also have the option to file a case in court before you move out and ask the judge to say that your lease is terminated. Our online tool can help you prepare paperwork for this type of case. If you want to do this, it means you will have to stay in the home (or at least keep paying rent) while the case goes forward. But, you may at least get a ruling from a court saying whether your lease is terminated.