There are certain situations where a landlord or tenant may be able to break or end the lease early. If one party substantially breaches the lease, the other party can serve a 14 day notice to end the tenancy. Alternatively, the other party can make an application through the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service or Alberta Court of Justice Civil to end the tenancy. For more information, refer to the Eviction Notices and Tenant’s 14 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy page.
If a tenant wants to break the lease early because of personal circumstances (e.g., lost job, relocating for work), the tenant should talk to the landlord. The landlord does not have to agree to ending the lease. However, they might be willing if the tenant agrees to help with advertising and finding a new tenant. If the landlord agrees to end the lease early, the tenant should make sure this agreement is in writing. They should also make sure it is signed by the landlord to prevent any future problems. When a landlord will not agree to end a lease early, a tenant may want to consider subletting the property or assigning the lease. For more information, see our tip sheet If Your Employment Ends. Lost your job and want to know more about your rights? Visit CPLEA’s Rights at Work page.
A landlord cannot break a tenant’s lease and make a tenant leave the property before the end of the lease. A landlord can ask the tenant to agree to ending the lease early but the tenant does not have an obligation to do so.