Housing and Property

Tenants: Leaving Your Place Before the Lease Ends


As a tenant, it may be possible for you to leave your place before your lease ends (also called ‘terminating’ or ‘resiliating’ your lease). But you can’t simply tell the landlord you’re leaving. You must reach an agreement with the landlord, be in a special situation, or get permission from the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL or rental board).

Leaving at the end of the lease

If you want to leave your apartment at the end of the lease, and not during the lease, you must inform the landlord. This is called a Notice of non-renewal of the lease.

Learn more by reading our article Renewing a Residential Lease and Rent Increases.

Leaving early with the landlord’s permission

There are many reasons you might want to leave your place before the lease ends. For example, you might be moving to study or work somewhere else, you might have bought a home, or don’t get along with your roommate.

You can end your lease early by reaching an agreement with your landlord. You don’t have to follow a particular procedure, but you can’t just tell the landlord you’re leaving. They must agree to it.

If you reach an agreement, you can have the landlord sign a document confirming these things:  

  • the landlord agrees to end the lease
  • the new date when the lease will end
  • any other important information, like your moving date or any necessary repairs to be done

You can use this model agreement on the JuridiQC website (in French only).

Subletting or transferring your lease

In most cases, you can also sublet your apartment or transfer your lease to someone else.

When you transfer your lease (also called ‘assigning’ your lease), you give your lease to another person. This means they will have all the rights and responsibilities that come with the lease.

When you sublet, the person who takes over the apartment becomes the temporary tenant, but you are still responsible for the lease.

Learn more about sublets and lease transfers by reading our article Assigning a Lease or Subletting.

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Ending your lease because of a special situation

It is possible to end your lease without your landlord’s agreement or the TAL’s permission if you are in one of the following special situations:

  • Your security, or the security of a child who lives with you, is at risk because of spousal or sexual violence
  • You’re moving into low-rent housing (known in French as HLM)
  • You’re a senior who is permanently moving to a housing facility that offers nursing care or personal assistance that you need because of your state of health
  • You have a disability that prevents you from continuing to live in your rental unit

A tenant’s death doesn’t end the lease

If you and a roommate signed a lease for an apartment, and your roommate dies, you are still a tenant. You can stay, but you must now pay all the rent on your own.

If you did not sign the lease (that is, only your roommate who died signed it), you can usually stay in the apartment if you respect certain conditions.  You can also generally just leave, if you prefer.

Learn more by reading the final section of our article Renewing a Residential Lease and Rent Increases.

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Ending your lease with the TAL’s permission

In some cases, you can end your lease if the landlord doesn’t respect their obligations. For example, the landlord must:

  • provide a clean apartment in good, liveable condition
  • allow you to peacefully enjoy your apartment
  • make all necessary repairs, except for very minor ones

If your landlord doesn’t respect their obligations, you can end your lease with the TAL’s permission. To learn more, read our articles Poor Housing Conditions: The Tenants’ Recourses and Heating and Rental Housing.