Termination of Lease Agreement Ontario: A Guide for Tenants

Lease agreements are an essential component of renting a property. They establish the terms and conditions under which a tenant can occupy a rental unit. However, there may come a time when tenants need to terminate their lease agreements, whether due to job relocation, financial constraints, or personal reasons. In Ontario, tenants have legal rights and obligations when it comes to terminating a lease agreement. In this article, we will explore the different scenarios that may lead to lease termination and the processes involved.

Breaking a Lease

Breaking a lease agreement refers to ending a rental contract before its expiration date. In Ontario, breaking a lease agreement can have legal consequences. Tenants who have valid reasons for terminating their lease agreements, such as domestic violence, harassment, or the landlord breaching the lease terms, may be able to break their lease without any legal repercussions. However, they must provide the landlord with written notice of their intention to terminate the lease agreement and the reasons for doing so.

For tenants who wish to break their lease for other reasons, they may have to pay compensation to the landlord. The compensation amount will depend on the terms of the lease agreement and the length of time left on the lease. The landlord has a duty to try to find a new tenant as soon as possible to minimize the tenant`s compensation.

Ending a Lease at the End of the Term

If the lease agreement has an end date, the tenant is not required to provide the landlord with a notice to terminate the lease. Instead, the lease agreement will end automatically on the last day of the term. Tenants should ensure that they remove all their belongings from the rental unit and leave it in a clean and undamaged condition.

Ending a Lease on a Month-to-Month Basis

In Ontario, if the lease agreement does not have an end date, the tenancy is considered periodic or month-to-month. When renting on a month-to-month basis, tenants can terminate the lease agreement by providing the landlord with a written notice at least 60 days before the intended termination date. The notice must include the date the tenant intends to move out, the reasons for moving out, and the forwarding address for correspondence and deposit refunds.

Tenants should note that they are responsible for paying rent for the entire 60-day notice period, even if they move out earlier. They must also leave the rental unit in a clean and undamaged condition.


Terminating a lease agreement is not an easy decision for tenants. Still, it may be necessary due to various reasons. Tenants in Ontario must be aware of their legal rights and obligations when it comes to terminating a lease agreement. Breaking a lease agreement or ending a lease on a month-to-month basis requires written notice and may result in compensation or rent payments. Ending a lease at the end of the term does not require notice, but tenants must leave the rental unit in good condition. By understanding the legal requirements and following them, tenants can avoid legal repercussions and ensure a smooth transition out of their rented space.

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