Tenants that want out of their lease early - Posted by Tim

Posted by Bob Smith on March 08, 2009 at 20:37:27:

I’ve heard Florida requires 2 witnesses of the landlord’s signature for
leases > 1 year.

Tenants that want out of their lease early - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on March 02, 2009 at 07:30:39:

I have a tenant that wants out of their lease 5 months early. The tenant got a DUI and will be on house arrest. She wants to move close to her parents so her parents can help out with the kids/ getting her to work etc. They have been great tenants. My question is: Do I try to enforce the lease, and get five more months rent out of them, or just maybe try to make a deal with them for a month or two month’s rent. (to cover some vacancy) I’m just wondering how others have dealt with this, and what the outcome was?

Re: Tenants that want out of their lease early - Posted by camgere

Posted by camgere on March 03, 2009 at 07:26:35:

Local laws always apply. Check with an attorney. In general you are expected to mitigate damages by re-renting to another tenant. Handle any claims against the security deposit normally (in 2 - 3 weeks). You can then go to court to get a judgment for any lost rent, advertising and expenses you have. You can’t leave the place empty for 5 months and charge rent. Or put in a renter and get double rent till the end of the lease.

Leases protect renters against rent increases and evictions without proving cause more than protecting the landlord.

If it’s really a legal LT lease - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on March 02, 2009 at 08:14:49:

First I’d check to confirm you do have a legal Long Term lease that can be enforced.

In WA State unless such a “lease” is signed AND NOTARIZED it’s NOT a LTL and is only a MTM rental agreement that requires only 30 day notice to vacate and termminate.

If it is legal LTL, tell the tenant it’s her problem unless you do find a substitute tenant and you’ll start advertising if she’ll pay for it.

That’s horrible, but I can understand it - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on March 02, 2009 at 10:19:32:

The notary requirement. First I heard of it. Good idea if tenants start claiming they didn’t sign stuff in court. Does not apply in AZ, CA, CO or TX. In these states its a lease if it has a fixed end date at which it expires.

I’ve won bets w this - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on March 02, 2009 at 11:21:54:

WA is, so far as I know, the only state that requires by statute that a LTL be notarized.

It makes a lot of sense inasmuch as a LTL is a serious conveyance of the property and as such is recordable. But not w/o it’s having been notarized as all recordable docs must be.

I learned this fotuitously as a property I bought cheap several years ago (basically just took over the 1st pmts subject-to)and gave smallish 2d note to Seller, had a 3 or 4 yr tenant who claimed she had 10 yr LTL at a ridiculously low rent.

When I saw it it somehow occurred to me to wonder if there were any WA law requiring such be witnessed*, and when I briefed that point I was astounded to find the NP requirement…which was missing on this particular agreement.

I then gave mailed the tenant notice to vacate as she had only a M to M rental agreement. She immediately responded with the LTL stuff and telling me that she was taking this to her lawyer and I’d be hearing from him.

As you might expect I never did and T was gone by end of next month.

*several things of interest happened on this property.

First the seller was elderly very ill woman who just wanted off her note so she could walk conscience-free.

Secondly, she soon died and 2 younger women notified me they now had claims on the RE since they were S’s heirs and since the S wasn’t legally competent I didn’t have valid deed. I told them to prove it and I’d deal with them and I never heard from them again.