When the term of the lease comes to an end — usually after 1 year — tenants have 3 options:

1. Renew the lease

To find out how lease renewal is handled in your province or territory please consult with your provincial/territorial office.

2. Terminate the lease and move out

The tenancy should end according to the lease. Always give proper notice to the landlord in writing. If you fail to give the proper number of days’ notice, you may have to pay for additional months.

Once a notice to end the tenancy has been given, the landlord should be given access to show the rental unit to new applicants provided proper notice to enter the premises has been given.

3. Sublet or assign the lease to someone else

If you have to move from your residence before the lease expires, you are still responsible for paying rent each month until the end of the agreement.

A sublet is a legal arrangement between you and another tenant who becomes a sublessee — a person who will move in, continue paying rent, and respect the requirements of the rental agreement between you and the landlord. You are still responsible for the sublessee’s actions however, including damages and non-payment of rent, so it is important to only sublet to someone you trust.

Application to sublet

Landlord permission is required for subletting. They cannot refuse a request to sublet, but they can decide whether to approve the new selected tenant or not.

Landlords should never charge a fee for subletting.

To find out more about subletting regulations in your province or territory, please consult with your provincial/territorial office.

A landlord and tenant can also work together to find a new occupant with the intention of assigning the lease to them.

There may be legal costs involved with this process and the landlord’s permission will be required. The end-result, however, transfers all of the obligations and risks to the new tenant entirely.


Be sure to protect your rental history by giving proper notice. You may need to use your old landlord as a reference in the future.

If you choose to sublet your unit, you can’t charge a sublessee more than what you would normally pay in rent. You can however charge them less and make up the difference yourself as long as the landlord receives the amount specified in the rental agreement.


Check with tenants whose lease is coming due to find out if they wish to continue renting from you to avoid any surprises.