What is a Notice of Intent to Vacate?

A notice of intent to vacate is a letter used by a tenant to let their landlord know that they do not plan to renew the lease at the end of the lease term and will be vacating the premises. This written notice informs the property manager or the landlord that the tenant will not be renewing the lease and will be moving or will be vacating the rental property. It is hard to find another tenant in a short period of time. It takes time to screen potential tenants and decide whether they qualify or not. The law protects the landlord through making the tenants provide a letter of intent to move out. This gives the landlord enough amount of time to look for another tenant to prevent loss of rental income. This is written within the lease signed by the tenant and the tenant will not be getting his security deposit if this notice is not provided within the right time of moving.

When to send notice of intent to vacate?

Typically the notice of intent to vacate is sent 1-3 months or 30-90 days to the landlord or property manager before the day the renter leaves the rental property. The exact amount of time is depending on the rental lease agreement signed by the landlord and the tenant.

Key Elements of a Notice of Intent to Vacate

The format of a notice of intent to vacate may vary but when making one, make sure these elements are present.

Landlord and tenant’s information: Both party’s information should be placed in the notice since they are the ones involved. This may include their names, contact numbers and mailing addresses for them to be able to reach each other when certain issues arise or things to be talked about.Statement of intent to vacate: Aside from the title at the top of the notice, there should also be a statement that explains what the notice is all about. This may contain information about the signed rental lease dates as supporting details for the tenant’s lawful move out of the rental property. This section does not necessarily have to say the reason why the tenant does not choose to renew the lease. Relevant dates: Specific  dates such as the day the residents notice of intent to move out was sent to the landlord, the date that the signed lease ends, and the date the tenant moves out are needed. this is crucial to determine gave proper notice or deserves penalties for not abiding to the landlord-tenant laws.Signature: A signature on document is necessary because it proves the existence of an agreement and demonstrates that both party agreed to the same conditions. It’s difficult to say what terms they agreed upon if there isn’t a signed document that proves it.

How to make a notice of intent to vacate?

Here are the essential steps to make a notice of intent to vacate. You can also download the templates above.

Step 1: Put the landlord’s general info.

When writing an intent to vacate letter to landlord, always provide the landlord’s general info that is also found in the signed rental lease agreement. This is important to let the landlord know who you are addressing the notice to.

Step 2: Declare your intention to leave the property.

You must send a declaration stating your intention to depart your rented property. The declaration does not need any reason why you are moving out.

Step 3: Indicate date of moving out

Select the appropriate date to end your tenancy, known as the termination date  and you provide timely notice to your landlord which is depending on what is written on the rental lease signed.

Step 4: Mailing Address

This is important to let the landlord  know where to send your security deposit and where to reach you with regards to issues that may arise upon the inspection of your rented property.

Step 5: Signature

Legal documents always have signatures to let the people reading it know that it is legit. Put your signature with your name, always. 

Don’t forget to ask for a return receipt from the courier after you send the notice. This is to make sure the landlord got the notice at the right time.


What is a security deposit?

A security deposit is payment used as a proof of intention to care and move inside a rental property. The amount of the security deposit is usually equal to the one month of rental payment. Depending on the conditions of the rental lease, security deposits may be either refundable or nonrefundable.

What is the difference between notice of intent to vacate and notice to vacate?

Some people may have used these confusingly but these two are different. The landlord sends a notice to vacate to the tenant which is a written document stating that the landlord wishes to terminate the lease and have his premises evacuated from the tenant’s possession. While the notice of intent to vacate is sent by the tenant to the landlord to let the landlord know that the tenant does not wish to renew the lease and plans to move out the rental property.

Is it okay to send the intent to vacate notice a week before moving out?

No. Typically, there should be a 30 day notice of intent to vacate or more, depending on what is agreed with the signed rental lease, to prevent the landlords from losing rental income since it is hard to find another tenant in a short span of time. This is enforced by the landlord-tenant law.

There is never a problem with moving from one rental place to another. It is always your choice to pick new places that you think will make you feel safer. However, you must never forget that, as a tenant, you signed a legal document and it also has to end with another legal document. You should always send a notice of intent to vacate apartment or rental property. Abide by the landlord-tenant law for you to have a peaceful move out and to maintain respect to the landlord’s business.