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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 a lot of tenants who rent single-family homes most often choose long-term leases? But of course, life can be extremely changeable and unpredictable, and tenants may have to leave earlier than expected. It’s always appropriate to have a plan in place, just in case.

Generally, the reasons for breaking a lease are mostly job relocations, home buying, changing familial status, or military duty. It’s very important to handle the situation competently and compliantly follow legal protocols.

Know and Follow the Law

When you and your tenant sign a lease, it’s noteworthy to recognize that it’s a legally binding agreement. Take note, 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 a vast number of states, landlords are responsible for guaranteeing that the rental property is in good condition and must give notice to the tenant prior to entering the property.

Failing to obey landlord-entry regulations or respecting your tenant’s privacy can be legal grounds for lease termination in lots of 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 the best practice for any landlord, though conceding it is not a requisite. Such a clause can help clarify the process a tenant may follow to break their lease agreement. As a whole, this includes granting a certain amount of advance notice, regularly 30 days, and also paying an early termination fee. By having this clause in place, both the tenant and the landlord can avoid any confusion or animosities if the tenant needs to terminate the lease early.

A clause in your lease documents presents your tenant a way out, if needed, and secures that you do not come upon 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 dispiriting when a tenant leaves before fulfilling their lease term, handling the situation brilliantly and understandingly is principally important. In such cases, it’s right to document the problem and initiate a dialogue with the tenant to resolve the matter and collect any outstanding dues.

It’s an excellent course of action to ask your tenant if you can inspect the property before they relocate. This will help you identify any repairs that the tenant may be chargeable 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 a detailed documentation of everything.

Send your tenant a written reminder putting into no uncertain words their legal obligations under the terms of your lease agreement and what will happen if they don’t comply with them. It’s sensible to send this notice by certified mail to put in proper place a paper trail of your actions.

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

Hire a Professional Property Manager

One great thing to ascertain that your rental business is carried out in a professional and legally compliant manner is by delegating and hiring the services of a reliable property management company. Such a company can help you successfully navigate the complexities of property management and warrant that your rental property is managed competently well and transparently.

At Real Property Management NW Chicago Suburbs, we efficiently work on your behalf in Crystal Lake and nearby to foster the right tenant relations and troubleshoot overwhelming changes. Contact us online or call us at 847-737-4800 to know more with regards to this and our other quality services.

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