New York Residential Lease Termination Notice

Last Updated: June 15, 2023


Purpose. A New York lease termination letter (“Notice to Vacate”) is a required document to end month-to-month lease agreements in New York. State law requires giving at least 30 days notice for termination. However, state law does not require notice to be given to end fixed term lease agreements on their end date.

Read further to learn more about notice requirements and the residential lease termination process in New York.

What is a Lease Termination Notice?

A residential lease termination notice is delivered to a tenant when a landlord requests to end the lease agreement.  The ultimate goal of this notice is to have the tenant move out of the property within the specific time frame indicated by New York law.

In the state of New York, a lease termination notice is something that is used when a landlord needs the tenant to vacate the property in question. It can be a simple request that is used when the terms of the lease are broken, and it will help guarantee that everything about the rental arrangement that did not go according to what was agreed upon is in writing in the same location.

This is a legal document, so it must be delivered to the tenant with more than 30 days remaining before the move out date that you are requesting them to leave by.  The tenant may also use this document to inform a landlord that they are planning on leaving the unit, and it must be provided with at least a 30-day notice as well.

This is a notice that can be given to a tenant that is on a month-to-month lease as well as someone that has a yearly lease or longer. If it is currently the middle of May, and the landlord would like the tenant to vacate the unit, this form must be filled out and delivered with a minimum of 30 days until the vacate date. This means that they would not be required to move out until the first of July.

In the event that the lease is set to renew automatically, and the landlord wants to end the agreement, the letter will also need to be sent to the tenant. If it is not issued, the tenant may be permitted to stay on a monthly basis.

How to Write a Lease of Termination Notice in New York

When the landlord decides to write one of these forms up for the tenant in question, most of the information to fill it out is going to come for the original rental agreement. Make sure to check the date that the lease agreement came into effect and confirm the date that it expires. Check to ensure that there is not an automatic lease renewal clause in the lease as well. Once the dates that the lease is in effect are known, the landlord will be able to determine precisely what date needs to go on the notice. Some of the key points that will need to be covered in this form include the following sections.

Tenant Information

In this section, the landlord will need to put the tenant’s information. In most cases, this will include the full name of the tenant as well as any other residents or tenants who are residing in the unit.  In addition, the address of the unit that the landlord is requesting is vacated will also need to be included on the notice. Make sure that the address includes the name of the complex if there is one, the street address, and the unit number.

Lease Information

The current date and the date of the termination will need to be on the notice as well as the terms of the lease that was signed. The section is designed to inform the tenant that their lease will not be renewed. The next date that the rent is due will be mentioned in the notice, and it will be advised for the tenant to vacate the premise within 30 days after this date. At that time, the lease will be terminated, and the property will be back in the hands of the landlord to make repairs and lease out again.

This section should also have a disclosure section that will state the exact date that the tenants are to vacate the property. As the Landlord, it must be stated that the premise must be vacated within a 30-day period after the next date that the rent is due.

Any landlord that is writing up this notice should also note what will happen if the tenant does not comply with the notice and fails to vacate the premise.  If this does occur, the landlord can go ahead with any legal proceedings to vacate the unit. If the notice is not received in a timely fashion, the tenant may be permitted to extend their stay in the unit for another 30 days after the next payment of rent is due.


When the form is completely filled out, the landlord will need to sign and date the notice. Whoever is filling out the form, which may or may not be the landlord, will be required to sign it and print their name as well. Once the notice has been signed and dated, you will need to deliver the notice to the tenant.

Delivering the Notice

When the notice is delivered to the tenant, it must be reported by the server how it was given to them. In order to get the notice to the tenant, it must be delivered by someone who is not the landlord. The notice can be served to the tenant three different ways, which include:

  • The notice may be given to the tenant personally. If this occurs, the server must make a note of the person who the notice was given to.
  • The person serving the papers can leave them at the unit with a reliable individual who will be responsible enough to give the information to the tenant. This is an option that can be used when the tenant is not in the unit. It will require that the server leaves the message with an individual who is over the age of 18. If the notice is delivered or left with another individual, the notice must also be mailed to each tenant who lives in the unit.
  • The notice may also be posted on the door of the unit. If this is the way that the tenant receives this type of notice, it must also be mailed to them the following day.

Each time a delivery is attempted, the type of delivery that was attempted must be noted.  This will give the landlord records that they can use to prove that the document was delivered and when each attempt was made. The delivery method that was used should also be noted so that when it comes time for a hearing in the eyes of the law, there is proof that can be used to say that the notice was delivered like it should have been.

This section should also be signed by the person who is delivering the notice as a way to once again prove that everything was done correctly. This person will most likely be a property manager who takes care of the management of the property where the unit is located. If the landlord needs proof at some point during the legal process of getting the property back, the person who delivered the notice can be liable and answer any questions that may be presented about the case.

Additional Information to Include on the Notice

If the tenant has violated the terms of the lease in any way, this should be stated on the notice as the cause for the lease termination so that everything is documented fully. Also, any other terms that the landlord would like the tenant to follow before vacating the property must also be written here. The landlord may request that additional locks that were placed on the door are removed from the entrance of the property before vacating.  If additional keys have been made for the property, they request that the keys for the unit and the mailbox are returned as well.

The landlord may also request that the tenant notifies them of the exact date that they are planning on moving out and vacating the premise. This is so that the landlord can get their staff into the apartment as soon as possible to begin repairs of the unit. This 15-day notice will also give the landlord time to look at their paperwork to see if there are any potential residents who would like to move into the unit. If there are not applicants who have filled out an application for a similar apartment, then they can begin looking for a new family to fill the vacancy.

The Next Steps

Once the document has been signed, delivered, and dated, there are going to be a few additional things that both parties should plan to take care of before the tenant vacates the unit.  On the last day of residency, the unit should be walked through so that the landlord can see if there is any damage done to the property and whether or not the security deposit will be returned to the tenant. The tenant must also arrange for the utilities to be placed back in the landlord’s name or turned off when they leave the premise. If the landlord would like the utilities to be placed back in their name, then ample time must be given for the tenant to follow through with the request.

New York Notice Requirements for Lease Termination by Tenant

  • When a tenant has a fixed-term lease, regardless of the length, a notice is not required if the tenant is moving out of the unit when the agreement expires.
  • With a month-to-month or an at-will lease, the tenant will need to provide the landlord with a notice of at least 30 days when they wish to vacate.
  • With a week-to-week lease arrangement, the tenant must give a seven-day notice or more to the landlord.

Legally Terminating a Lease Early in New York

  • Starting active duty in the military is a reason to terminate a lease.
  • New York state law permits residents who are over 62 to break their lease if they are moving into a facility that is designed for seniors.
  • Any victim of domestic violence will be able to vacate without penalty; however, they may need to show an order of protection from the court.
  • If the rental unit violates New York health codes, the tenant will not need to continue paying the rent on the premises.
  • If the landlord has been harassing the tenant by entering the premises and violating the privacy of the tenant, the tenant will justifiably be able to break the lease without any further obligation to the landlord.