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What Should I Do If My Tenant Breaks Their Lease?

Frustrated rental property tenants sitting on couch with cardboard boxes
Did you know quite a lot of tenants who rent single-family homes consider and actually prefer long-term leases? Still, life can be volatile and unpredictable, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always preferable and profitable to have a plan in place, just in case.

Typical reasons for breaking a lease comprise job relocations, home buying, changing familial status, or military duty. It’s salient to handle the situation expertly and suitably follow legal protocols.

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s basic to always keep in mind that it’s a legally binding agreement. This denotes you both have certain rights and responsibilities governed by state landlord-tenant and other federal laws. These laws are in place to ascertain that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. Such as, for example, in most states, landlords are responsible for securing that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant prior to entering the property.

Failing to keep landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in quite a lot of states. Other reasons include military service, domestic violence, or uninhabitable property.

Lease Termination Clause

Including an early lease termination clause in your lease documents is a positive practice for any landlord, even though it is not required at all. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. Generally, this includes guaranteeing a certain amount of advance notice, normally 30 days, and most probably paying an early termination fee. By having this clause in place, both the tenant and the landlord can avoid any confusion or dispute if the tenant needs to terminate the lease early.

A clause in your lease documents furnishes your tenant a way out if needed and affirms that you do not encounter financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

As a landlord, it’s beneficial to maintain cordial and respectful relationships with tenants, even if they happen to break the lease agreement. While it can be terrible when a tenant leaves before fulfilling their lease term, handling the situation competently and amicably is great. In such cases, it’s favorable to document the problem and initiate a dialogue with the tenant to resolve the matter and collect any outstanding dues.

It’s favorable to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they evacuate. This will help you identify any repairs that the tenant may be held responsible for and what you need to do to get the property ready for a new tenant. As with any tenant, you should calculate any unpaid rent and the cost of repairs and deduct them from their security deposit. It is so important to keep a complete documentation of everything.

Send your tenant a written reminder plainly explaining their legal obligations under the terms of your lease agreement and what will happen if they don’t fulfill them. It’s better to send this notice by certified mail to have a paper trail of your actions.

If you experience a situation where your tenant is not paying the rent, you might have to go through a legal process to collect the owed rent and associated fees. This could entail filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. It is vital for you to prove to the court that you have acted in a lawful and fair manner throughout the process, including all the approaches you took to re-rent the property.

Hire a Professional Property Manager

One excellent way to always make sure that your rental business is operated in a professional and legally compliant manner is by procuring the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you appropriately navigate the complexities of property management and establish that your rental property is managed competently and transparently.

At Real Property Management Qualified, we expertly work on your behalf in Naples and nearby to establish mutually advantageous tenant relations and efficiently work on unexpected changes. Contact us online or call us at 239-344-9842 to find out more about this and our other quality services.

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