What Happens with a Request for Early Lease Termination?

What Happens with a Request for Early Lease Termination?

Life changes for tenants. And it is often not conveniently tied up to align with the end of a lease date. When a tenant needs to request early termination of a WILMOTH Group lease we offer a simple plan. A plan that is built on the concept that this early termination will not harm the owner of the rental. If the tenant wishes to proceed with the plan, we get started. If not, we refer them to their lease. There they will find they are obligated to make payments and maintain the property (including utilities) until the end of their lease.

Leases and Terms

WILMOTH Group’s Indianapolis lease is initially for a fixed term. The minimum initial period we will rent a home is 12 months. Renewals are also written for a fixed number of months. When a tenant signs a lease or renewal, they are agreeing to remain in the property, and pay rent on time, through the lease term. The other side of that equation is that the landlord is obligated to allow the tenant to remain in the property for that period of time.

If a lease is not renewed, and the tenant remains (authorized or not) it is considered a holdover. More commonly called a month-to-month lease. Month-to-month leases can be terminated with a 30 day notice by either the tenant or the landlord. Typically we avoid month-to-month agreements.

Request for Early Termination

So what happens when a tenant needs to move prior to the end of the lease term? Are they stuck?

Technically, per the language in the lease, their obligations to the lease continue to the termination date. As do the obligations of the landlord. The reality is that the occasional need to request an early termination does require us to offer a path for the tenant to end the lease. It should be helpful for the tenant to understand the financial costs of achieving their early termination in order to build those costs into their early move expenses.

How the WILMOTH GRoup Early Termination Plan Works

If a tenant needs to request early termination of their lease, they should recognize a simple fact. All of the costs of their decision to terminate early must be absorbed and paid by the tenant. The property owner that we represent should not incur unexpected costs because their tenant has decided to break their legal contract (lease).

Therefore, a typical request for early termination of a tenant’s lease with WILMOTH Group will follow these steps:

Written Notice

We need written notice from the tenant of their desire to terminate early and their move-out date.

Early Termination Fee

In order to locate a new tenant certain costs will be incurred. The early termination fee is due with the written notice. Even if the existing tenant has found a potential new tenant for the home. The early termination fee will typically be equal to one month rent with a minimum of $500. Tenants need to confirm this amount prior to submitting the written notice.

Continue Paying Rent

The tenant requesting early termination will continue to pay their rent per the terms of the lease until a new tenant’s move-in date. If there are any balances owed, these must be paid prior to beginning the early termination plan.


All utilities must be maintained. Sometimes, the tenant will need to vacate prior to a new tenant being found. Just like the rent still being due, utilities need to continue to be active and paid current until the date of move-in for the new tenant.

Lawn Service/Snow Removal

Just like utilities, it remains the tenant’s obligation to perform these services if the lease requires them. Remember, all existing terms and obligations of the lease continue for all parties until a new tenant has moved in.


We expect cooperation if the tenant requesting early termination will remain living in the rental. It is in all parties best interest if the current tenant is flexible and cooperates with all showing requests of the rental. Maintaining the interior in a way that allows for the best presentation of the property is also important. Both parties should share the goal of finding a new tenant quickly. So, the existing tenant should think like they are an owner trying to sell and recognize what can be done with the rental to make it the most appealing.

The Path To Early Termination

While we do not encourage early termination, we recognize that life changes occur. Our obligation to the rental owner is that such a change for a tenant will not cause any disruption in cash flow. The above plan has successfully been used for many years to achieve both goals for the tenant and owner.

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WILMOTH Group is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. We focus on providing creative local solutions for a variety of residential real estate needs including, properties for sale, property management services in Central Indiana.