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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 that a lot of tenants who rent single-family homes have long-term leases? On the other hand, life events can be unforeseen, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always a perfect idea to have a plan in place, just in case.

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

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s vital to take into consideration that it’s a legally binding agreement. But, you both have certain rights and responsibilities governed by state landlord-tenant and other federal laws. These laws are in place to make it a point that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. For instance, in a lot of states, landlords are responsible for making sure that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant before entering the property.

Failing to comply with landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in various 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, although it is not compulsory. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. In most instances, this includes giving a certain amount of advance notice, typically 30 days, and probably paying an early termination fee. By having this clause in place, both the tenant and the landlord can avoid any confusion or misconceptions if the tenant needs to terminate the lease early.

A clause in your lease documents offers your tenant a way out, if needed, and makes certain that you do not face financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

As a landlord, it’s so important to maintain cordial and respectful relationships with tenants, even if they happen to break the lease agreement. While it can be unsatisfactory when a tenant leaves before fulfilling their lease term, handling the situation adroitly and agreeably is principal. In such cases, it’s desirable to document the problem and initiate a dialogue with the tenant to resolve the matter and collect any outstanding dues.

It’s the right idea to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they leave. This will help you identify any repairs that the tenant may be answerable 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 significant to keep thorough documentation of everything.

Send your tenant a written reminder describing their legal obligations under the terms of your lease agreement and what will happen if they don’t accomplish them. It’s tactical to send this notice by certified mail to bring about a paper trail of your actions.

If you meet 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 constitutes filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. You must display 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 appropriate way to always make sure that your rental business is carried about in a professional and legally adaptable manner is by employing the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you navigate the complexities of property management and guarantee that your rental property is managed effortlessly and transparently.

At Real Property Management Northern Arizona, we work on your behalf in Fort Mohave and nearby to produce appropriate tenant relations and solve overwhelming and unexpected changes. Contact us online or call us at 928-757-7368 to understand more with regards to this and our other quality services.


Originally Published on April 1, 2022

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