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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 lean toward long-term leases? But at the same time, life can be really changeable, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always prime to have a plan in place, just in case.

Customary reasons for breaking a lease may include job relocations, home buying, changing familial status, or military duty. It’s pertinent to handle the situation skillfully and aptly follow legal protocols.

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s important to point out that it’s a legally binding agreement. This indicates you both have certain rights and responsibilities governed by state landlord-tenant and other federal laws. These laws are in place to make sure that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. For instance, in almost any state, landlords are responsible for really making sure that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant just before entering the property.

Failing to respect landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in major 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 an exemplary practice for any landlord, granting that it is not necessary. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. As a general rule, this includes giving a certain amount of advance notice, most often 30 days, and certainly 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 effectively provides your tenant a way out if needed, and determines that you do not struggle financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

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

It’s a brilliant idea to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they change house. 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 basic to keep in-depth documentation of everything.

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

If you deal with 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 comprises filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. You need to depict 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 incredible way to see to it that your rental business is executed in a professional and legally compliant manner is by contracting the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you appropriately navigate the complexities of property management and completely make sure that your rental property is managed superbly and transparently.

At Real Property Management of the Triad, we skillfully work on your behalf in Greensboro and nearby to try to develop optimum tenant relations and fix problems brought about by sudden changes. Contact us online or call us at 336-355-6666 to get more info about this and our other quality services.

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