While landlords out there always want to work with excellent tenants who are willing to stay in the long term, the story doesn't always go that way. Many tenants end up terminating their lease earlier than what they've agreed on. As a landlord, what do you do?
After all, the document is supposed to tell you and the tenant how long he or she should be staying and how much rent they should be paying. While you have your own right to have the rent paid on time for a specified length of time, the tenant has their own sets of rights.
If you ever find that one of your tenants wants to terminate the lease early, it helps to know how you should handle the situation. Understanding the many reasons behind early termination allows you to decide whether to stick with protocol and release the tenant or work together with the individual to find a solution.
That said, here are four reasons tenants terminate their leases early and what you or your property manager can do:
1. Invasion of Privacy
While you own the property, you don't have the right to enter it as you see fit. When there's a situation that requires you to enter the property, you need to give your tenants a heads-up of at least a day ahead, notifying them of your arrival.
In other words, tenants have the right to privacy, allowing them to cancel the lease if you break it. However, the tenants will have to write an official warning to you, telling you that you shouldn't show up whenever you please. Only that way, can they legally terminate their lease due to privacy concerns.
2. Losing a Job
Losing a job is a harsh hit on anyone. Without a job, a tenant won't be able to supply for their own needs, let alone pay off the rent. Of course, this leaves them with the decision to leave your rental, even if it is far earlier than the length of time agreed.
As a landlord, you should understand tenants in this kind of situation. By simply allowing them to terminate the lease, you're saving plenty of time and headache over opting for eviction. If you work closely with your tenant, you'll find a solution quickly and still meet your bottom line.
Just like losing a job, a divorce can impact a tenant's financial health. Of course, even if you're not obligated, legally speaking, to let go of your tenants from the lease, allowing them to leave makes the entire situation for you and everyone else involved a lot easier.
In other words, compassion plays a considerable role here. In the end, you don't become the villain, and you build a better reputation for yourself—priceless when it comes to finding new tenants.
In some states, laws allow the surviving victims of violent acts, such as sexual assault and even stalking, the right to break the lease agreement.
If you ever receive a complaint from your tenant concerning this issue, letting you know that they want to terminate the lease because of it, consult your state laws. Sometimes, state laws might have something to say about it. Even if there is nothing that clearly states that the tenant can legally leave, it might still be in your best interest to let them ago. After all, keeping them in an unsafe situation is never a good idea.
While there might be rules and laws stating when you can or cannot let tenants break leases earlier than agreed upon, you might need to allow them to do so anyway. Of course, this should be so if their reasons are genuine and truthful. That said, follow the laws and be considerate. That way, all the parties involved in such situations will end up with less trouble, and you give yourself a better chance at meeting your bottom lines.
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