Early Termination of Lease Agreement in Texas: A Guide for Tenants

As a tenant, signing a lease agreement is a major commitment. However, there may be circumstances that make it necessary for you to end the agreement before the agreed-upon end date. Fortunately, Texas law provides specific guidelines for early termination of lease agreements. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know about ending a lease early in Texas.

Understanding Your Lease Agreement

Before we delve into the specifics of early termination, it’s important to go over the basics of your lease agreement. Your lease outlines the terms of your tenancy, including the duration of the lease, rent amount, and any additional rules or regulations that apply to your unit. It’s important to read and understand your lease agreement thoroughly before signing it. Doing so ensures that you know your rights and obligations as a tenant.

Grounds for Early Termination

In Texas, there are certain situations in which you may be able to terminate your lease agreement before the end of the term. These include:

1. Military Deployment: If you are a member of the armed forces and receive orders for deployment or relocation, you may terminate your lease agreement early.

2. Domestic Violence: If you are a victim of domestic violence, Texas law allows you to terminate your lease early without penalty.

3. Uninhabitable Conditions: If your unit is deemed uninhabitable due to issues such as mold, bedbugs, or lack of heat or water, you may have grounds for early termination.

4. Landlord’s Violation of Lease Agreement: If your landlord violates the terms of your lease agreement, you may be able to terminate it early.

Breaking Your Lease Agreement

If you need to break your lease agreement for a reason other than those listed above, you will likely be responsible for paying early termination fees or penalties. The amount of these fees will vary depending on the terms of your lease agreement, but they can range from one to several month’s rent. It’s important to remember that breaking your lease without proper grounds can result in legal consequences, including eviction and damage to your credit score.

Steps to Take When Terminating Your Lease Agreement

If you need to terminate your lease agreement early, it’s important to follow the proper steps. Here’s what to do:

1. Review Your Lease Agreement: Before taking any action, review your lease agreement to ensure you understand the terms and conditions regarding early termination.

2. Give Notice: Provide your landlord with written notice of your intent to terminate your lease agreement early. The notice should include the reason for termination and the date you plan to vacate the property.

3. Negotiate with Your Landlord: Your landlord may be willing to work with you to find a mutually agreeable solution. For example, they may allow you to sublet your unit or find a replacement tenant.

4. Document Everything: Keep copies of all communication between you and your landlord regarding early termination. This includes emails, letters, and any other written documentation.

5. Clean and Maintain the Property: Before vacating the property, ensure that it’s clean and in good condition. Failure to do so may result in losing your security deposit.


Ending a lease agreement early can be a complicated process, but understanding your rights and obligations as a tenant can help ensure a smooth transition. Remember to always consult with a landlord-tenant attorney to ensure you follow the correct legal procedures. By following the steps outlined above, you can protect yourself and minimize financial repercussions when terminating your lease agreement early.