Early lease termination due to breach of the signed lease contract

What if your tenant moves out of your rental property without reason, and there are still few months of rent left? The first thing you can think of is to take a legal action and sue the tenant, claiming the remaining rent payment for the breach of contract.

This is completely reasonable and conforming to the landlord and tenant law, because when either party violates his/her obligations, that party is in breach of the signed agreement. If such event occurs, then the negatively affected party has the right to simply call the whole deal off.

Instead of taking legal actions, landlord can go ahead and find a new tenant as a replacement for the remaining period. The current lease can be terminated immediately and the new rental at the unit can start. The previous tenant does not owe any extra money.
The baseline of lease contract obligates both landlord and tenant whereby landlord is required to provide the dwelling for the duration of the lease at the property and the tenant is obligated to make a payment for the same amount of time of occupancy.

From the tenant's perspective, the lease can be terminated in case the landlord neglected his/her responsibilities and breached the signed obligations. The fundamental responsibility of the landlord is to deliver the possession of a habitable unit to the tenant and to ensure a quiet enjoyment of dwelling for the duration of occupancy. At any time, if a landlord fails in either of these duties - whether intentionally or not - then the tenant has a full right to void the remainder of the lease contract.

Albeit a rare case, a landlord can change the lock at the front door and therefore literally prevents the tenant's entrance when there was an overdue payment pending. This is called an actual eviction, and it allows tenants to move out immediately, regardless of any binding lease term. Other similar cases are called constructive eviction that too permits the tenant to cancel the same lease and leave without any further obligations. This is because the landlords violated their required obligations and negated the responsibilities. A most common examples are HVAC system malfunction and no actions were taken after several attempts of complaints from the tenants via verbal or written notice.

Of course, the use of constructive eviction in order to just get out of a lease wouldn't be a simple tool for the tenant side. A court judge will question and want to see if there were reasonable evidences that would prove the triggering of such claims and thus enable the tenants to be safely ouf ot the property.

It is not always simple and easy to make an argument that the landlord has violated some lease provision terms or implied covenants and therefore tenants are justified in terminating the lease automatically. Even with the case of damaged property, if the portion of dwelling area is not as significant as to prevent a tenant's daily life - for example, a couple of broken bathroom tiles or leaking garage roof - then there is little chance that it can be a good ground base for terminating the lease early. In more technical terminology, the case should be materially impeding the enjoyment of the dwelling at the provided property.