4.5 Breaking a Lease
If you have to move out before your fixed-term tenancy ends (often referred to as “breaking a lease”), you have a few options to consider:
You have a legal responsibility to follow the terms of your fixed-term tenancy agreement. If you break your lease, you may have to pay your landlord some money, but it’s not as simple as automatically owing all of the remaining months of rent. This is because of an important legal principle called "mitigation”.
Once your landlord knows that you are breaking your lease, they have a legal responsibility to mitigate, or minimize, your loss by trying to find a new tenant to rent your unit at a fair price. If your landlord immediately finds a replacement tenant and doesn’t lose any rental income, you may not owe them anything at all. In other words, your landlord can generally only go after you for money they have actually lost.
© 2017 Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre & Justice Education Society