Ending the Lease Early

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
***PLEASE READ BEFORE USING THIS DOCUMENT***

The following document ONLY applies to jurisdictions in Kentucky that have enacted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. These jurisdictions are: Barbourville, Bellevue, Bromley, Covington, Dayton, Florence, Lexington-Fayette County, Georgetown, Louisville-Jefferson County, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Oldham County, Pulaski County, Shelbyville, Silver Grove, Southgate, Taylor Mill and Woodlawn.

If you do NOT live in one of these jurisdictions, please do not rely on this document for legal advice.

Further, this information only applies to residential leases. It does not apply to: commercial units, properties under contract for sale, hotels or motels, or people who are employed by the landlord.

If you live in a jurisdiction other than the ones listed above, see the non-URLTA version of this document.


Whenever possible, try to negotiate a lease term with your landlord that corresponds to the length of time you actually plan to live in the apartment BEFORE SIGNING THE LEASE. Despite your good intentions to fulfill the terms of your lease, you may wish to move before the end of your lease period.

  • Your landlord does not necessarily have to hold you to the full term of the lease. If you can get your landlord's consent, and BOTH of you agree to end the lease early, then the landlord can release you from your lease.

  • If your landlord releases you from your lease, then the landlord removes your name from the lease or voids your lease entirely. This ends your liability for future rent or damages, and the landlord must return your Security Deposit to you. Landlords are under no obligation to release you from your lease, but some are willing to do this. Negotiate with your landlord to try to get him/her to release you.

  • Try to help your landlord by finding a replacement tenant who is acceptable to your landlord. Ask the landlord if you can be released from your lease and if the new tenant can sign a new lease.

  • Be sure that any agreements are IN WRITING, SIGNED and DATED for your own protection.

  • If you are unable to come to an agreement with your landlord and you still have to move out, you can try Subleasing.

  • Remember, your Lease is a LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT. If you break the lease in the middle of the term, you may be legally responsible for ALL of the remaining rental payments. If you do not pay these, your landlord might sue you.

  • You can end your lease EARLY if the LANDLORD has not complied with your lease and/or the Landlord Tenant Act

  • Your landlord is also allowed to force your lease to end EARLY if YOU have not paid rent on time, or if you have not complied with your lease and/or the Landlord Tenant Act



Reviewed August 2009