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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 numerous tenants who rent single-family homes pick out long-term leases? But on the flip side, life can indeed be unpredictable and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always a perfect idea to have a plan in place, just in case.

The usual reasons for breaking a lease may include job relocations, home buying, changing familial status, or military duty. It’s pivotal to handle the situation capably and suitably follow legal protocols.

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s very important to be reminded 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 completely make sure that both you and your tenant are treated fairly. As an illustration, in a lot of states, landlords are responsible for completely making certain that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant in preparation for entering the property.

Failing to observe landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in many different 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 profitable practice for any landlord, even if it is not absolutely required. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. Typically, this includes extending a certain amount of advance notice, frequently 30 days, and 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 offers your tenant a way out if necessary and guarantees that you do not run into financial hardship because of the broken lease.

After a Tenant Breaks a Lease

As a landlord, it’s salient 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 appropriately well and amicably is important. In such cases, it’s well-advised to document the problem and initiate a dialogue with the tenant to resolve the matter and collect any outstanding dues.

It’s an excellent decision to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they go forth. This will help you identify any repairs that the tenant may be culpable of 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 crucial to keep full 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 conform to them. It’s wise to send this notice by certified mail to produce a paper trail of your actions.

If you come upon 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 encompasses filing a civil lawsuit with your local court. You need to reveal to the court that you have acted in a lawful and fair manner throughout the process, including all the steps you took to re-rent the property.

Hire a Professional Property Manager

One effective way to ensure that your rental business is completed 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 make it a point that your rental property is managed perfectly well and transparently.

At Real Property Management Delta, we work on your behalf in Beebe and nearby to nurture the most advantageous tenant relations and set right any setback caused by unexpected changes. Contact us online or call us at 501-404-0674 to figure out more about this and our other quality services.

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