Has your tenant notified you that they intend to break their lease? What's your next step? First and foremost; know your lease.
Let’s look at this extremely common scenario….
Your tenants contact you and state that unfortunately, they ‘have’ to break their lease….they’re sorry but they’re buying a home and will need to move out prior to the end of their contract. Or, they state, I’m sorry but our family is breaking up and neither of us can afford the rent on our own; we have to move right away.
So now what? Are you simply left holding the bag? You may say to yourself; I don’t want to be the bad guy here, however you know that since there’s not an ‘arm’s length’ between you and your tenant, you can’t blame the fact that you can’t accommodate them on someone else (like the property management company). Let’s face it, they know you own the property and since you’ve always had such a good relationship, they're also ‘sure’ you’ll allow them to leave early without any penalty. Is this an awkward conversation? Yes.
But why should you allow them to break their contract with you? What if the shoe was on the other foot and you informed your tenants that you 'had' to move back in, mid lease, because your job has transferred you back into town? Would your tenant accommodate you without issue or complaint? Chances are about 100% not! And you don’t have the right to make them move legally.
So what ‘should’ you do? Know your lease and stand your ground.
Does your lease provide for a specific monetary ‘buy out’ of the lease as remedy for this common issue? If it doesn’t, then your tenants are responsible for the lease until you can locate and place qualified replacement tenants in the home. That’s right you don’t have to accommodate; you should calmly explain that they have signed a contract (their lease) and that in order to alleviate them of their responsibility, you will gladly market the home for rent and once the home is re rented, they will be relieved of their duty to the contract.
If you don’t want to have to deal with this type of ‘awkward’ situation, remember we’re here as your Property Management Professionals, and can help you by handling this transition from beginning to end. Contact us to discuss your options!
Click Here for Part 13 in this series – My Tenants are Vacating, Now What?