Termination of a lease – Elements to pay attention to

The termination of a lease is something that most tenants experience sooner or later. As a tenant there’s both the possibility that you might terminate the lease, or your lease can be terminated by your landlord.

If you want to terminate your lease, then you don’t need to justify why you want to, to your landlord.

There is, on the other hand, a number of things you need to be aware of. In this article we’ll be taking a look at some of these things that you as a tenant need to be aware of when terminating your lease.

Remember that if you choose to terminate your lease due to the rent being too high, then Rent Guide can help you get your overpaid rent back, or lower it for you so it might make sense for you to stay.

The termination of a lease must be in writing

The termination of a lease must always be done in writing and given to your landlord. Your landlord needs to sign a confirmation that they’ve received the termination and have understood that you wish to terminate your lease.

Your written termination to your landlord should contain further information such as your name, e-mail, phone number along with the address of the rented residence.

Furthermore, the following should be included in the written termination:

  • On which date you plan to move out
  • You bank details, so that the deposit can be paid back to you
  • Your new address. Alternatively, your landlord needs to be informed of your new address at the latest 8 days before you move out.

For good measure, you should also inform your landlord when the leased residence will be emptied, so that they will have an easier time renting it out to a new tenant.

The previously mentioned information that should be in your written termination are necessary to ensure that the circumstances regarding your termination are both clear and fair. This can help prevent a lot of potential issues that could arise between you and your landlord in connection with your termination of the lease.

Whether it’s considered legally binding to terminate a lease with a text message or an e-mail depends on your lease having been signed after January 1st 2018.

It also depends on whether you and your landlord have agreed that communication can be digital in your lease. If this is not in your lease, then you need to send the termination with a physical letter.

Even though you haven’t included digital communication in your lease, then a termination over text message or e-mail can still be valid, if your landlord answers you via text message or e-mail, or in any other way confirms their reception of the termination.

This is what the Danish Rental Act says about termination

When you as a tenant wish to terminate your lease, then the rules in the Danish Rental Act states that you must give a 3-month notice to your landlord. This 3-month notice rule applies regardless of whether you rented residence is a house or an apartment. If you live in a single room that doesn’t have a kitchen, then it’s only a 1-month notice.

In practice, this would mean that you would need to give notice on the 1st of March at the latest, if you wish to terminate your lease by the 1st of June. When you give notice of termination, then it always counts from the first day of the month.

This means that if you were to give notice of termination on the 12th of February, then the notice would be counted only from the 1st of March. From there you would then have 3 months to move out of your rented apartment or house. If it’s a single room without a kitchen, you would have to be out before the 1st of April in order to not violate the terms of the Danish Rental Act.

These rules regarding notice can be waived if you decide to agree on something else in your lease. This would usually be under § 11 of your lease.

It might also be the case that your lease is time limited, and is agreed to end on a specific date. Time limited leases are typically limited to 6, 12 or 24 months.

If your lease is time limited, then the lease will expire on its own once it reaches it’s agreed upon date of termination. Therefore, you won’t have to give notice in this situation according to the Danish Rental Act. Additionally, if your lease is time limited, then it can’t be terminated within the agreed time period. This can similarly be waived if something else is agreed under your lease’s § 11.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, where a time limited lease can be terminated. This could be if your landlord themselves wish to move into the residence, or if you as a tenant have violated the terms of the agreement.

The above can be summarized in the following bullet points:

  • If your rented residence is either an apartment or a house, then you must give a 3-month notice of termination
  • If your rented residence is a single room without a kitchen, then you must give a 1-month notice of termination
  • If the lease is time limited, then you usually won’t need to give notice of termination
  • The rules on giving notice can be waived under § 11 of your lease

Pay attention to your landlord’s duty to find a new tenant

When you as a tenant terminate your lease, there are situations where you might want to move out of the apartment before your notice has expired.

Should that be the case, there are specific rules on who is obligated to pay the rent for the remaining days, where you’re not living in the residence. This means that you aren’t necessarily obligated to pay the remaining rent!

You can however be certain that you need to pay the rent until you move out of the residence. However, the landlord’s duty to find a new tenant actually applies from the moment you move out and not necessarily just from when the notice expires.

If your landlord doesn’t try to find a new tenant before you move out, then there’s a good chance that you won’t have to pay for the remaining period where you’re not living in the residence.

If it’s your landlord who is the next to take over the residence and live there, then they can’t do much to find another tenant to move in sooner and so you will have to pay the rent until the notice expires. You will also have to pay the rent until the notice expires, if the landlord is planning to sell the residence.

Termination of your lease due to the rent being too high

There can be a wide variety of reasons for why you as a tenant would decide to terminate a lease. You might be looking to open a new chapter in your life, which involves you having to move elsewhere. Or you may have to terminate your lease because your expenses have started to become too high. In such a situation you may no longer be able to afford your rent anymore. Another reason might be that your landlord has given notice of an increase in rent.

Even if your reason for termination isn’t related to your rent level, it still makes good sense for you to have a talk with Rent Guide. We’re able to quickly assess whether your rent is set too high.

At Rent Guide we see a huge amount of cases where the tenants are paying too much rent. Rent Guide are experts in helping tenants get their overpaid rent back into their pockets.

So if you have terminated your lease because you believe your rent was too high, we’re happy to help. Submit your case to Rent Guide and get a free assessment of your case!

If we believe that you’ve been paying too much rent, then we’ll handle the case for you. We will contact your landlord and their lawyers and run the case at the Housing Board. If we win the case for you, you get your overpaid rent back minus our fee of 30%. Contact us today to learn more!