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Thread: Tenant wants to break lease early, what are my options?

  1. #1
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    Default Tenant wants to break lease early, what are my options?

    Crisis Averted
    Last edited by dj_patm; 11-27-2018 at 03:41 PM.

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    I've never been in the position of a landlord but from my limited understanding, a lease is a contract and she can move out if she wants but still owes the full rent for December.
    "Masked Bandit is a gateway drug for frugal spending." - Unknown303

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    She needs to give you the applicable notice per your lease. If she fails to do so, hold her deposit for non-payment of rent.

    Outside of holding the deposit, there isn't much of a mechanism if a tenant just leaves. You can only sue for realized damages and will also require to make a reasonable amount of effort to rent the place and avoid said damages.

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    Just to be clear you are a year lease? And it hasn't been over a year, unless your lease agreement has a full year renewal built in?

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    You cannot withhold damage deposit in-lieu of collecting rent. Tenants don't usually know this and most landlords don't either. Thing is, the tenant has legal basis for getting their DD back when they do the walk-out and you don't find thousands-worth of justifiable damages.

    Regarding notice, the tenant does not need to give you 30 days if they are in an X-month long contract. If the contract rolls into month-to-month, either formally or informally (as in you just keep collecting rent), then yes they are required to give 30 days.

    You basically need to tell them what long and short of it is. They're in a legal contract that is good to X-day and they need to honour that.

    Just pray to God they do because it's likely not worth chasing them down or if you go to the courts, anything could happen and doesn't guarantee shit. As a landlord, despite not having issues (thank god), tenants can rule the roost -- especially in this market. Thankfully most people are decent and understanding.
    Ultracrepidarian

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    Are they just moving out 28 days early? I'm a little confused based on the OP.

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    Seems like they're signed to Dec 31 but want to move out Dec 3 and only pay 3 days worth of rent?
    Ultracrepidarian

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    Sounds like they only want to pay 3 days of Dec rent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msommers View Post
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    Seems like they're signed to Dec 31 but want to move out Dec 3 and only pay 3 days worth of rent?
    This is what the note implied.

    I responded saying that regrettably she is still responsible for the last rent payment unless she can find a tenant to take over the lease. Will see what she gets back with.

    Edit: Turns out they're cool with the full month. Crisis Averted. I'm going to miss them lol
    Last edited by dj_patm; 11-27-2018 at 03:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msommers View Post
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    You cannot withhold damage deposit in-lieu of collecting rent. Tenants don't usually know this and most landlords don't either. Thing is, the tenant has legal basis for getting their DD back when they do the walk-out and you don't find thousands-worth of justifiable damages.


    Link of source, for Alberta. https://www.landlordandtenant.org/security-deposits/

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    Quote Originally Posted by dj_patm View Post
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    This is what the note implied.

    I responded saying that regrettably she is still responsible for the last rent payment unless she can find a tenant to take over the lease. Will see what she gets back with.

    Edit: Turns out they're cool with the full month. Crisis Averted. I'm going to miss them lol
    Nice tenants giving you notice of when they are leaving so you have the option to double dip in December... And you message back demanding full pay?!?! Haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by lasimmon View Post
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    Nice tenants giving you notice of when they are leaving so you have the option to double dip in December... And you message back demanding full pay?!?! Haha
    I’m not reading that impression from OP at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcoPDR View Post
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    My mistake.

    I had the wording wrong in my head.

    "If there is any rent due and owing at the end of the tenancy, that amount can also be deducted from the security deposit. Some tenants “fail” to pay the rent for the last month of the tenancy, reasoning that the landlord “can use the security deposit to cover the last month’s rent”. This reasoning is incorrect and will almost always lead to additional cost and expense for both the landlord and the tenant if the matter ends up in court or RTDRS."
    Ultracrepidarian

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    Thanks. Ok this makes more sense. Same page.

    Quote Originally Posted by msommers View Post
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    My mistake.

    I had the wording wrong in my head.

    "If there is any rent due and owing at the end of the tenancy, that amount can also be deducted from the security deposit. Some tenants “fail” to pay the rent for the last month of the tenancy, reasoning that the landlord “can use the security deposit to cover the last month’s rent”. This reasoning is incorrect and will almost always lead to additional cost and expense for both the landlord and the tenant if the matter ends up in court or RTDRS."

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    Quote Originally Posted by lasimmon View Post
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    Nice tenants giving you notice of when they are leaving so you have the option to double dip in December... And you message back demanding full pay?!?! Haha
    What do you mean? They gave me 3 days notice before the last rent payment in their agreement was due. I told her she's responsible for that payment unless she has someone lined up to take it over.

    Now I have the opportunity to double dip if I somehow manage to get a tenant quickly in this market before the holidays which I doubt is likely. If I did find someone I'd probably reimburse my current tenant.

    They were amazing tenants so I do feel bad about the whole thing but I mean, not my fault they're choosing to leave early. They apparently have the money to move back home before their lease is up without worrying about the last payment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dj_patm View Post
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    Crisis Averted
    Why do people do this?

    "Hey guys, I need your help with something. And now that you've helped me, I'm going to delete the post so nobody else can benefit from this information as long as I got what I needed."

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    Agreed.

    Giant WTF here.
    Ultracrepidarian

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    Quote Originally Posted by dj_patm View Post
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    What do you mean? They gave me 3 days notice before the last rent payment in their agreement was due. I told her she's responsible for that payment unless she has someone lined up to take it over.

    Now I have the opportunity to double dip if I somehow manage to get a tenant quickly in this market before the holidays which I doubt is likely. If I did find someone I'd probably reimburse my current tenant.

    They were amazing tenants so I do feel bad about the whole thing but I mean, not my fault they're choosing to leave early. They apparently have the money to move back home before their lease is up without worrying about the last payment.
    Yea, no idea what lasimmon is getting at. It's their fault they think they can leave without giving the proper contractually obligated notice.

    Trust me, I'd much rather have a tenant say on Jan 31st, "I am moving out Feb 28".

    VS

    Tenant Jan 21st, "I'm moving out Feb 10th"

    Yes, in theory, I could double dip, but in this market, good luck getting a tenant in that quick, especially if your current ones have wrecked or damaged anything. Current tenant owes what they owe.

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