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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 many tenants who rent single-family homes get long-term leases? But in fact, life can be erratic and unpredictable, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always suitable to have a plan in place, just in case.

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

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s beneficial to 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 nail down that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. Take one example, in multiple states, landlords are responsible for warranting that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant ahead of you entering the property.

Failing to fulfill landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in particular 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 helpful practice for any landlord, while it is a matter of fact that it is not required. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. In nearly all cases, this includes giving a certain amount of advance notice, normally 30 days, and mostly paying an early termination fee. By having this clause in place, both the tenant and the landlord can avoid any confusion or conflict if the tenant needs to terminate the lease early.

A clause in your lease documents provides your tenant a way out, if needed, and assures that you do not bear financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

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

It’s a very good idea to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they depart. 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 principally important to keep a detailed 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 suitable to send this notice by certified mail to set up a paper trail of your actions.

If you face 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 takes into account filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. It is very important for you to show 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 efficient way to make certain that your rental business is undertaken in a professional and legally compliant manner is by getting the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you appropriately navigate the complexities of property management and ascertain that your rental property is managed suitably and transparently.

At Real Property Management Dade, we competently work on your behalf in Miami and nearby to develop beneficial tenant relations and manage unanticipated changes. Contact us online or call us at 305-501-1511 to figure out more regarding this and our other quality services.

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