Moving out of a rental home or apartment can be a busy and stressful time. If you are renting and you are considering moving out, you will have to let your landlord know about your plans. The type of notice you will be required to give your landlord will vary depending on the terms of your lease agreement and the tenancy laws of your state. In general, you will need to comply with the terms of your rental agreement, write your notice letter, and deliver that notice letter to your landlord. Regardless of what state you live in, follow the directions in this article to successfully notify your landlord of your intent to end your tenancy.
Part One of Three:
Understanding Your Lease Agreement Edit
Know what type of tenancy you have. In order to provide adequate notice to terminate your lease agreement, you will need to know what type of tenancy you and the landlord have entered into. For residential rental agreements, the most common type of tenancy is a periodic tenancy. Periodic tenancies can come in many forms, but two of the most common forms include:
- Month-to-month tenancies. A month-to-month tenancy is an arrangement in which the lease may be altered or terminated monthly upon proper notice.  This type of lease offers a great deal of flexibility because of your ability to terminate the lease once every month.  However, the landlord also holds a good level of flexibility and may be able to raise rent or change rental terms with the same minimal notice. 
- Fixed term leases. Fixed term leases are rental agreements in which you agree to stay and pay rent for a fixed period of time, most often one year.  In this situation, a renter who breaks their lease early may incur penalties for not staying for the agreed upon period. 
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Read the termination clause in your lease. Your rental agreement may or may not include a termination clause. If it does, be sure to read and understand it because in most situations this will provide you with directions on how to terminate your lease.
- If your rental agreement clearly sets forth the manner in which you should provide your landlord with notice, then follow those directions. For example, a lease agreement may state, “Tenant shall provide landlord with at least 10 days notice prior to vacating the premises.” In this situation, you should provide your landlord with notice at least 10 days before you move out.
- If your rental agreement is silent regarding termination, you should follow your state’s laws. For example, in Oregon, a month-to-month tenancy can be terminated by giving the landlord written notice not less than 30 days prior to the date you plan to move out.  If you have a fixed term lease of at least one year in Oregon, you can terminate the lease by providing not less than 30 days notice prior to the agreed upon end date of the fixed term, or not less than 30 days prior to the date you designate in your notice letter, whichever is later. 
- As you can see, in Oregon, at least 30 days notice is required. If you are in a month-to-month tenancy, you can terminate your lease at any time so long as you provide 30 days notice. However, if you are in a fixed term lease, you will not be able to terminate until the fixed term is up (unless you are willing to incur some penalty).
Look for a delivery clause in your lease. In addition to understanding how much notice you need to provide your landlord, you also need to understand how that notice needs to be delivered. If your rental agreement sets out the manner in which you must deliver the notice, then you must follow that language. If your lease agreement is silent, then you should follow your state’s law.
- For example, your rental agreement may state, “Any notice must be provided in writing and delivered in person and through first class mail to the address provided in this Agreement.” Under this clause, you would be required to write your notice (i.e. not provide notice verbally) and deliver that written notice both in person to the landlord and through the mail.
- If there is no delivery clause, your state statutes will set forth the manner in which delivery must take place. In Oregon, you can choose to deliver your written notice either in person to the landlord or through the mail to the landlord.  If you provide notice through the mail, the minimum notice requirement (e.g. 30 days) will be extended by three days.  Therefore, in Oregon, if you deliver your 30 day notice through the mail, you will actually have to provide the landlord 33 days notice in order to account for the delivery time.
Part Three of Three:
Delivering Your Notice Letter Edit
Choose when you want to deliver your notice letter to your landlord. After completing your termination notice letter, you will want to consider when to give it to your landlord. Remember, the notice period will not start until your notice is delivered to your landlord.
- If you are in a month-to-month tenancy, you should deliver your notice letter along with your last month’s rent. This will ensure that you provide the required 30 days notice and that you will have paid the last month’s rent.
- If you have a fixed term tenancy, you should deliver the notice 30 days (or however long your state’s notice requirement is) before the term is up. For example, if you signed a lease that ends on August 31, 2013, you should deliver your notice August 1, 2013.
- While you can give the landlord notice at any time during the rental period, if you give notice in the middle of the month you will be required to cover part of the next month’s rent.  For example, assume you have a month-to-month tenancy and you pay rent on the first of the month.  You could give your notice on the tenth of the month but you would be required to pay rent through the tenth of the following month. 
Deliver the notice letter to your landlord properly. After deciding when you want to deliver your notice, remember to look at your lease agreement or your state’s laws and understand how you will have to deliver your notice. Make sure you follow the correct procedures to ensure your notice is valid.
Move out by the required date. Once you have delivered your notice, be sure you vacate the property on or before the date you specified in your notice letter.