Leases are legal contracts between landlords and tenants for a specific period of time. Terminating the contract early is usually forbidden, as it would violate the agreement; however, many leases provide an early-termination clause allowing either the landlord or tenant to do this under certain circumstances.
Either the tenant or the landlord can terminate a lease early in Indiana by giving the other party 30 days' notice. If the tenant terminates the lease, he must pay all rent up to the date of termination as well as any early termination fees specified in the lease. The landlord then treats the tenant like any other tenant who is moving out; she performs an inspection and deducts cleaning and damages from the tenant's security deposit before returning it to him.
Landlords and tenants in Indiana can terminate a lease by giving written notice at least 90 days before the lease ends. If a tenant does this, she is not ending the lease early and therefore does not have to pay any early termination fees. Tenants must continue to pay rent up until the date of the termination of the lease.
Nonpayment of Rent
If a tenant fails to pay her rent, the landlord issues a "10-day pay or quit" notice. This notice informs the tenant that she has 10 days to either pay her rent in full or surrender the property. Failure to pay rent can be considered an early termination of the lease if the tenant surrenders the property rather than paying the delinquent amount of rent; tenants may be liable for early-termination fees.
Form of Notices
Written notices from landlord to tenant must address the tenant formally and inform him of how much time he has to surrender the property. The notice should also list the exact address of the property. Similarly, a notice from the tenant to landlord should address the landlord by his title and name, give the property address, and state exactly when the tenant expects to terminate the lease. This format eliminates any potential confusion between the landlord and tenant about the issue.