Author Topic: Tenant wants to back out --  (Read 3809 times)

thedayisbrave

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Tenant wants to back out --
« on: June 26, 2015, 06:03:46 PM »
I have a tenant who is scheduled to move in August 15th, and he has already signed a lease for August 15 - January 15.  He sent me an e-mail today saying he "could no longer take the space and that he was sorry for the inconvenience."

Upon more digging, he told me he had been volunteering at the ASPCA and adopted a dog but the lease doesn't allow for a dog, and while he is living at my apartment he doesn't want a host family to have to take her right after he adopted her (gee, shouldn't you have thought about this before you adopted a dog?!).

Now... I could easily get this place rented to someone else.  But a lease agreement is a lease agreement - and legally binding.  I told him that he will either need to pay the agreed upon rent for the period he was intending to stay, or find another tenant who is qualified enough to pass a credit/background check and I'll work with him and allow him to sublet. 

Also, I want to teach him that certain decisions require a little more forethought - aka adopting a dog when you signed a lease for an apartment that doesn't allow dogs is probably not a choice that will work out in your favor. 

Sound about right?

Another Reader

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 06:09:14 PM »
Not in my state.  Once the tenant tells you they cannot fulfill the lease, you have an obligation to find a new tenant and limit your damages.  You might be able to keep a portion of the deposit if you incur additional costs to rent the place.

You re probably lucky to lose this tenant before he moves in.  It sounds like he might be a problem tenant anyway.

tonysemail

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 06:15:53 PM »
agreed.  same in my state.  the tenant can break the lease and landlord needs to market the unit unsuccessfully before seeking claims.

you don't want this person finding your next tenant anyway. 


kathrynd

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 06:44:58 PM »
We are landlords, and we follow the RTA (Residential tenancy act).
We have this happen all the time...currently actually.



Do you have a tenancy act for your area?
If you are going to be a LL, you really do need to know the rules.

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 06:47:56 PM »
Sounds like leases are near worthless in a lot of states. Another argument for a month-to-month agreement.

I know it sucks to have a flake like this on your hands, and I'd want to teach him a lesson too, but I'm emotionally detached enough to realize that it is less headache for you to just replace him as easily as you can. Charge him a rent while you wait for a new tenant. That ought to teach him well enough. That is of course, if unlike the other posters, you are not bound to let him off the hook completely.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 06:49:27 PM by Bearded Man »

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 07:24:43 AM »
No problem.  Keep what ever money he gave you, and move on.  A lease is to protect the tenants, not the landlord.  Next time, get a holding fee with the application.  Do not sign a lease until you give up the keys.

A lease obligates the landlord, a holding fee obligates the tenant.

mooreprop

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 01:59:51 PM »
I agree with the other postings, and would like to add one more piece of advice.  Do not ever try to teach a tenant a "lesson".  Life will take care of that:)  The best thing to do is to keep your emotions out of being a landlord.  Rent the place out to someone else, keep enough money from the deposit to cover lost rent, and move on with your life.  Be nice even when you have to bite your tongue, and you will have much better luck with landlording.  I feel your pain and frustration, but I have cost myself many hours of my life trying to get dishonorable people to do the right thing.  The time is better spent trying to find honorable people to do business with.  Count yourself lucky that this dishonorable person did not move into your house.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 03:54:58 PM »
Now... I could easily get this place rented to someone else. 
Then do.

It's that simple.

Don't get hung up on trying to prove a point. Say your peace and move on.

kathrynd

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 12:14:02 PM »
Had this happen again today....tenants never believe a contract applies to them

aschmidt2930

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2015, 04:08:50 PM »
You have plenty of time to find a new tenant.  Be the adult and move on, it's not your place to teach this guy a lesson imo.

Fishingmn

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2015, 06:19:09 AM »
I agree with the other postings, and would like to add one more piece of advice.  Do not ever try to teach a tenant a "lesson".  Life will take care of that:)  The best thing to do is to keep your emotions out of being a landlord.  Rent the place out to someone else, keep enough money from the deposit to cover lost rent, and move on with your life.

I agree that you shouldn't worry about teaching a lesson. This is a business.

Hopefully, you have language in your lease that creates a penalty for breaking their lease early. Mine is $500. Basically, I would just inform them that it's no problem but that you will need to withhold whatever lease break penalty you have. I have a lease Termination of Lease document that they then sign to outline your agreement to end the lease and their agreement to pay the lease break fee. 

And you definitely don't want the tenant to find a new replacement. You should be the one finding someone that fully meets your application and screening process.

Letj

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2015, 06:41:41 AM »
Not in my state.  Once the tenant tells you they cannot fulfill the lease, you have an obligation to find a new tenant and limit your damages.  You might be able to keep a portion of the deposit if you incur additional costs to rent the place.

You re probably lucky to lose this tenant before he moves in.  It sounds like he might be a problem tenant anyway.
My state too and I suspect in the poster's state too but they are so bent on teaching a lesson because they are so pissed it, they chose not to research the law.

justajane

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Re: Tenant wants to back out --
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2015, 06:46:56 AM »
Now... I could easily get this place rented to someone else.  But a lease agreement is a lease agreement - and legally binding.  I told him that he will either need to pay the agreed upon rent for the period he was intending to stay, or find another tenant who is qualified enough to pass a credit/background check and I'll work with him and allow him to sublet. 

Also, I want to teach him that certain decisions require a little more forethought - aka adopting a dog when you signed a lease for an apartment that doesn't allow dogs is probably not a choice that will work out in your favor. 

Sound about right?

You're not his parent or his teacher. It's not your responsibility to teach him a lesson. It sounds more like you want to make him suffer because you are angry. Take the high road and let him out of the lease. Keep the deposit or charge him a fee or whatever, but it sounds pretty petty and counter to your own interests to do what you are suggesting.