Can You Take Back a Notice of Moving Out of an Apartment?

By law, you usually have to give notice to your landlord or property manager when you want to terminate your tenancy at a rental property. In most cases, changing your mind after giving notice puts you in a bad position, as landlords and property managers are not obligated to let you rescind your notice.

What the Notice Does

When you give notice to your landlord or property manager, you essentially tell the landlord or property manager that you don't want to live in the rental unit anymore. The message is that the property manager or landlord thus is free to look for someone else who can rent the rental unit after you vacate. If the property manager or landlord knows she can rent the unit quickly, she may begin showing your unit as soon as you give proper notice.

Inability to Rescind Notice

Once you give proper notice, the notice is legally binding. The landlord or property manager is not obligated to let you rescind it. Thus, if you stay beyond the notice period, you can be held liable for additional expenses and face the threat of a formal eviction. If you give notice and later discover you cannot move easily, the inability to rescind the notice will likely cause major logistical problems.

At-Will Rescinding

Even though a landlord or property manager is not obligated to let you rescind your notice once you give it, in some cases, property managers and landlords do allow tenants to take back their move-out notices. Usually this happens only if the landlord has yet to show or agree to rent the unit to someone else. It is up to the landlord or property manager to allow you to rescind, so you cannot guarantee that you can rescind notice based on previous experiences at other rental units.

Tips

Give your notice to vacate only when you are absolutely sure you are going to leave the rental property, and assume your landlord or property manager will uphold the notice once you give it. In the event your property manager or landlord is gracious enough to allow you to rescind the notice because no one else has seen or signed a rental agreement for the property, get the rescission in writing and have your landlord or property manager sign this documentation. This way, both you and the landlord have evidence that you still have the right to occupy the unit, and the property manager or landlord cannot assess charges or start eviction proceedings against you.

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