Ending a lease

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, it’s important to end a lease the right way


Overview

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, it’s important to end a lease the right way. Written notice must be provided to end a lease agreement. How much notice is required depends on the length of the lease term, and how long the tenant has lived in the rental unit.


Ending a lease, the right way

A tenant can end a lease as long as they give the proper amount of notice in writing. The amount of notice required to end a lease depends on the lease term. A written notice to end a lease must include:

  • The name of the tenant and landlord
  • The address of the rental unit
  • The date the lease agreement will end
  • The signature of the person ending the lease

The landlord must provide a reason for ending the lease. The landlord can only end the lease for one of the following reasons:

  • The landlord or their immediate family want to live in the rental
  • The rental unit will be used for something other than a residential unit
  • The rental unit will be renovated significantly
  • The tenant is working for the landlord maintaining or managing the rental, and the job ends

We offer printable Notice of Termination forms that landlords and tenants can use. This form requires a signature. Landlords use the Notice of Termination to Tenant form, and tenants use the Notice of Termination to Landlord form.  

If a landlord who has served a notice of termination of a tenancy on the basis of a reason listed above and does not, within two months after the tenancy terminate, occupy, lease, use or renovate the rental unit in a manner consistent with the reason for the termination as stated in the notice of termination, the tenant may apply to the Residential Tenancies Officer, to compensate the tenant for losses caused by the termination.

Tenant’s may apply online, or send printed or digital copies of completed forms to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal by email to irent@snb.ca, by fax at 1-855-869-642, by mail to PO Box 5001, Moncton, NB, E1C 8R3, or bring it to a Service New Brunswick service centre.


Amount of notice required to end a lease

A tenant or landlord must give proper notice to end a lease. The amount of notice required depends on the type of lease agreement.

Fixed-term lease

A fixed-term lease automatically ends at the end of the agreed period.

Week-to-week lease

You must provide written notice at least one day before the end of a week, to be effective on the last day of the next week. It requires a full rental week of notice.

For example, if the rent is due each Monday, you must give notice by Monday to be effective 7 days later.

Month-to-month lease

At least 1 rental month written notice before the end of a month, to be effective on the last day of the month. It requires a full rental month of notice.

For example, if the rent is due on the 1st of the month, you must give notice before midnight of the 1st of the month to be effective for the last day of that month.

Year-to-year lease

At least 3 months’ written notice before the end date of the lease, to be effective on the last day of the lease agreement.

For example, for a lease that began on January 1, the last day of that lease would be December 31. You need to give notice on or before October 1 to end the lease on December 31.

Long term tenancies (occupied by the same tenant for 5 consecutive years or more)

At least 3 months’ written notice to be effective on the last day of the third month.

For example, you must give notice before midnight on the 1st of January to be effective on March 31st.

 

Mobile home sites

For more information about unique requirements related to mobile home sites:

Mobile home sites


Ending a lease early

Talk it over

If you have signed a lease agreement and need to end the lease early, you may discuss this with the other party and come to a mutual agreement for an end date.

For example, some landlords may have a waiting list of potential tenants interested in a rental unit.

Assigning a lease

If the lease allows for assignment, the tenant may assign a new tenant to take over the lease. The new tenant becomes responsible for all of the terms and conditions of the lease. To learn more:

Assigning and subletting

Victims of domestic violence can end a lease early

Victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or criminal harassment (stalking) may end their lease early for their safety or the safety of their children. To learn more:

Victims of violence

Failure to pay rent

If a tenant does not pay rent, the landlord may serve the tenant a Notice to Vacate. If the conditions of the Notice to Vacate are not met, this may lead to an eviction. To learn more:

Evictions

Other reasons to end a lease early

Landlords may apply to end a lease agreement early if a tenant is:

  • Causing extensive damage to the rental unit or property
  • Creating a health or safety risk
  • Conducting illegal activity on site

To do this, the landlord will serve a Form 3 - Application to Residential Tenancies Officer to the tenant and a copy to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. The landlord must detail the reason for the request and include any evidence available to support the application.

Form 3 - Application to the Residential Tenancies Officer (PDF)

Send printed or digital copies of completed forms to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal by email to irent@snb.ca, by fax at 1-855-658-3096, by mail to PO Box 5001, Moncton, NB, E1C 8R3, or bring it to a Service New Brunswick service centre.

The Residential Tenancies Tribunal will then contact the landlord to investigate the matter and may request additional information and evidence.


Notice required for viewings

Tenants are entitled to proper notice before the landlord shows the rental unit to prospective tenants, unless it is clearly specified in the lease agreement that no notice is required during the last month of rental. For more information about how much notice is required:

Landlord entry into a rental unit


Moving out

  • Tenants must be out of the rental unit by midnight on the last day of the lease.
  • Tenants must clean the rental unit and all the provided items, such as stoves and fridges, to have the full security deposit returned.
  • Tenants need to repair any damage that has occurred, other than normal wear and tear.
  • Tenants must take all their belongings upon departure.

The tenant and landlord should complete a final inspection together. To learn more about inspections:

Inspections

If the tenant does not move out on the date shown on the Notice of Termination, the landlord may proceed with an eviction. To learn more:

Evictions

Revision of a Notice of Termination

A tenant in receipt of a notice of termination may request a revision of the notice if they are unsure as to whether the Termination meets the required criteria .  Tenants must apply to the Residential Tenancies.Tribunal within 15 days of receipt of the Notice of Termination to have this notice reviewed.

Tenant’s may apply online, or send printed or digital copies of completed forms to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal by email to irent@snb.ca, by fax at 1-855-869-642, by mail to PO Box 5001, Moncton, NB, E1C 8R3, or bring it to a Service New Brunswick service centre.