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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 various tenants who rent single-family homes single out and choose long-term leases? Nevertheless, life can be truly unexpected, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always good to have a plan in place, just in case.

Normally, most reasons for breaking a lease encompass job relocations, home buying, changing familial status, or military duty. It’s critical to handle the situation competently and follow legal protocols.

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s critical to be mindful that it’s a legally binding agreement. Therefore, you both have certain rights and responsibilities governed by state landlord-tenant and other federal laws. These laws are in place to see to it that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. As an example, in most states, landlords are responsible for making certain that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant before ever entering the property.

Failing to obey or comply with landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in 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 great practice for any landlord, even though it is not really required. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. In many situations, this includes offering a certain amount of advance notice, typically 30 days, and most likely paying an early termination fee. By having this clause in place, both the tenant and the landlord can avoid any confusion or discord if the tenant needs to terminate the lease early.

A clause in your lease documents grants your tenant a way out if needed and secures that you do not run into financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

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

It’s very advisable and always a worthwhile idea to ask your tenants if you can inspect the property before they evacuate. This will help you identify any repairs that the tenant may be 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 critical to keep complete documentation of everything.

Send your tenant a written reminder clearly spelling out their legal obligations under the terms of your lease agreement and what will happen if they don’t comply with them. It’s necessary to send this notice by certified mail to provide paper trail of your actions.

If you are experiencing 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 entails filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. It is salient for you to indicate to the court that you have acted in a lawful and fair manner throughout the process, including all the actions you took to re-rent the property.

Hire a Professional Property Manager

One efficient way to give importance that your rental business is always handled in a professional and legally compliant manner is by recruiting the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you navigate the complexities of property management and check that your rental property is managed excellently and transparently.

At Real Property Management Deluxe, we work efficiently on your behalf in Pillager and nearby to develop great tenant relations and properly address unfortunate and unexpected changes. Contact us online or call us at 218-454-7368 to beneficially know more about this and our other quality services.


Originally Published on April 1, 2022

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