Author Topic: Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate  (Read 2007 times)

PencilThinStache

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Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate
« on: August 03, 2015, 09:37:49 PM »
Greetings, all -
I have owned my home for a little over a year, and I took on a roommate/tenant in one of the bedrooms in February. Upon move-in, he signed a 12-month lease agreement. Unfortunately, I was just ordered to move out of town for work at the end of the year, and so I'll need to rent out the house in its entirety. The way I see it, my options are as follows:

 1) help my roommate find another tenant to take my room, then allow them both to stay on one lease. The benefits of this are that I'm renting to someone I know (current roommate), and I'm honoring the 12 month lease agreement we both signed when he moved in. On the negative end, his dog has occasional accidents in the house, and he's a professional brass musician who practices quite a bit. I could see either/both creating issues with a new roommate/tenant, and I run the risk of that person not being down with accomodating those issues, moving out, leaving him high and dry, etc...

2) tell him that I'm sorry, but that I need to end the lease. He has 90 days to find a new place to live. the negative here is obviously that I'm forcing him to move a second time in less than a year, after telling him I expected to be in the area at least through the spring (which was true when I told him..)

3) allow him to live out the 12 months, and put my own bedroom up on airbnb until we hit the 12-month mark.


Does anyone have any thoughts? Of note, both he and I are in the military, and are thus afforded some protections under the SCRA. I haven't seen anything in the SCRA which protects military personnel as landlords, only as tenants.

Given the concerns mentioned in option 1, I think the cleanest arrangement would be to get an entirely new renter who would take on the whole house. He definitely can't afford to rent the whole house himself, and I'm worried that if I let him stay, I'll get in a messy situation.

I am not certain as to the legality of ending the lease agreement inside 12 months, though. Are my military orders sufficient justification to tell him, "sorry, but we're both moving out" even if he would prefer to stay?

-PTS

Zamboni

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Re: Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 09:42:45 PM »
Does your lease have a clause that clearly spells out the cost of breaking the lease? Usually either party can break the lease and pay the amount in the contract.

You could go with a different option entirely and ask him to find a roommate himself to sign a new lease and cover the expenses (perhaps another musician who will be down with his practicing?) He might prefer that to moving.

Cathy

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Re: Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 09:38:32 AM »
I am not certain as to the legality of ending the lease agreement inside 12 months, though. ...

The entire point of a lease is that the owner of the leasehold estate (the "tenant") has some measure of security that they will not have to move for 12 months (or whatever) so long as they comply with the covenants of the lease, such as paying rent. The general rule is that you certainly cannot evict the lessee just because you no longer want to deal with them living in the house. Even if you sell the property, the new owner will take title "subject to" the lease.

That said, various jurisdictions may have exceptions to the above rules for special circumstances. You will have to research the law to see if such an exception exists. Or you could sell the property.

lizzzi

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Re: Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 02:53:54 PM »
When I was in the military, I remember clauses in the leases saying the lease could be broken if tenant or landlord got orders. (I guess you don't have anything like that in your lease, though, or you wouldn't be raising the above questions.)

Sibley

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Re: Moving out: What to do with my tenant/roommate
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 01:08:00 PM »
Well, you need to talk to the guy. Explain the situation. A reasonable person will understand you're not doing this on a whim.