When Can a Residential Tenancy Agreement Be Terminated

As a tenant, it is essential to understand your rights and obligations when it comes to terminating a residential tenancy agreement. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, knowing the rules and regulations around ending a lease can save you from legal trouble and financial loss.

Here are the circumstances under which a residential tenancy agreement can be terminated.

1. Expiration of Lease Term

The most common way a residential tenancy agreement ends is when the lease term expires. A lease agreement typically runs for a fixed period, such as six months or a year. Once the term ends, the tenant can move out without notice, unless he or she is renewing the lease or arranging for a month-to-month tenancy.

2. Mutual Agreement

A residential tenancy agreement can also be terminated by mutual agreement between the landlord and the tenant. In this case, both parties must sign a written agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the termination, including the date it will take effect and the amount of any deposit to be refunded.

3. Breach of Lease

A breach of lease occurs when the tenant fails to comply with any of the lease terms, such as not paying rent on time, causing damage to the property, or violating occupancy restrictions. In such cases, the landlord may terminate the lease by serving a notice to the tenant, giving them a period to rectify the breach. If the breach continues, the landlord can apply to the court for an eviction order.

4. Non-Renewal of Lease

If the lease agreement has an automatic renewal clause, the tenant must give notice to the landlord if they do not want to renew the lease. The notice period depends on the lease agreement, typically 30 to 60 days.

5. Change in Property Ownership

A change in property ownership, such as the landlord selling the property or transferring it to a new owner, can also lead to the termination of a residential tenancy agreement. In such cases, the tenant must be given adequate notice, usually 30 to 90 days.


Before signing a residential tenancy agreement, it is essential to understand the terms and conditions governing the lease. Both landlords and tenants should be aware of their rights and obligations when terminating a lease to avoid legal disputes and financial loss. Knowing when a residential tenancy agreement can be terminated can help landlords and tenants plan for the future and avoid any legal issues.