Author Topic: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?  (Read 5971 times)

fidgiegirl

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Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« on: June 18, 2015, 07:10:47 PM »
Our tenants divorced.  The wife will stay in the rental for the remainder of the lease at the agreed-upon timeline and terms, and wants the ex-husband's name off the lease.  She made the request.  Doesn't seem right, but I don't know what the correct answer is.  Does anyone know, or have a good resource to find out?  Do we need to consult a lawyer or our screening agency?  As far as I know she has no changes to her employment, and she's been paying all the rent, always in a timely way, etc.  So I would like to get this resolved soon for her (and us).

kathrynd

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 07:42:48 PM »
I can't respond specifically to your case.

Our tenants also broke up this week, and the male wants to stay.
We prepared a paper, removing the female from the lease, as we all agreed.
Everyone signed, and received a copy.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 08:57:00 PM »
My concern is that the request is coming from her - the one who is staying - not the one who is going.  Seems like at some point he could come back and we'd be in trouble.  Also, what about security deposit?

Thanks for sharing!

Cpa Cat

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 09:09:28 PM »
My concern is that the request is coming from her - the one who is staying - not the one who is going.  Seems like at some point he could come back and we'd be in trouble.  Also, what about security deposit?

Thanks for sharing!

Maybe she wants him off the lease so that if he tries to enter the home, she can prove to the police that he has no right to do so.

Get him to sign something about the security deposit. I assume she hasn't banned you from speaking to him.

kathrynd

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 09:15:59 PM »
My concern is that the request is coming from her - the one who is staying - not the one who is going.  Seems like at some point he could come back and we'd be in trouble.  Also, what about security deposit?

Thanks for sharing!

It was the same in our situation. The one staying requested the other to be removed. If the other refused , she was still liable for any rental arrears, damages etc. She was happy to be released from the lease.

The security deposit had nothing to do with us...that was between them.
As far as we are concerned, the security deposit stayed.

KMMK

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 11:11:35 AM »
Ask for something in writing from him as well. That's what we'd have to do at the insurance company, with both parties on the original policy and one requesting the removal of the other. We'd need 2nd party's consent to remove them. And also from my own personal experience right now with the same type of thing. Best to always have both parties given written consent to everything.

And I agree about security deposit - if she wants to give him his share they can do so themselves. Deposit is per property, not per person.

tonysemail

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 11:17:40 AM »
yikes, this happened to us this week too!
i'm guessing it probably depends on the local laws and such?
DW searched online and talked to a property manager in the area.
he advised us to have the tenants sign a change of occupancy addendum.

nedwin

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2015, 02:31:59 PM »
I would require a copy of the final orders allocating their assets and debts that shows that the wife is to retain possession and is entitled to the benefit/use of the security deposit.  You will also need a release of the security deposit from the ex-husband.  Otherwise you can refund the deposit to the two of them and treat it like they broke the lease early, and simultaneously have the wife give you a new deposit from her only and sign a new lease.

electriceagle

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 10:20:53 AM »
Our tenants divorced.  The wife will stay in the rental for the remainder of the lease at the agreed-upon timeline and terms, and wants the ex-husband's name off the lease.  She made the request.  Doesn't seem right, but I don't know what the correct answer is.  Does anyone know, or have a good resource to find out?  Do we need to consult a lawyer or our screening agency?  As far as I know she has no changes to her employment, and she's been paying all the rent, always in a timely way, etc.  So I would like to get this resolved soon for her (and us).

Three questions:

1) Do you want to be involved?
2) Would the wife have the documented income to qualify for a new lease alone?
3) Do you really want to be involved?

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 08:27:54 PM »
To remove anyone from the lease, you need to have signatures of all the original signers of the lease.  She and you cannot do it alone.  Does she even have enough money to pay the rent? 

What was her credit score?  If hers was a low score, and her income is weak, offer to let them both out of the lease.  It will be trouble.

randymarsh

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 09:32:49 PM »
From a landlording legal perspective, I don't think the divorce matters. There's no difference between a married couple's lease and 2 friends' lease right?

I had friends in college that had a falling out. One wanted to move out. The other roommates found a replacement. They all met with our landlord, who allowed them to terminate the original lease and sign a new one with the replacement.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 12:46:09 PM »
From a landlording legal perspective, I don't think the divorce matters. There's no difference between a married couple's lease and 2 friends' lease right?
That'd be the case if they both wanted to stay in the house. She wants to stay, so naturally he needs to be off the lease. it's bad for both of them to leave it as is: he's still financially entangled with her (liable if she defaults), and she doesn't have the right to occupy and enjoy the property without him stopping in whenever he feels like it.
To remove anyone from the lease, you need to have signatures of all the original signers of the lease.  She and you cannot do it alone.  Does she even have enough money to pay the rent? 

What was her credit score?  If hers was a low score, and her income is weak, offer to let them both out of the lease.  It will be trouble.
^^Good thinking here.
Make sure she is qualified on her own as a tenant. Treat this just like you would a new prospect coming in.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 01:20:52 PM »
How would we not become involved?  Just refuse to address it?  We have to give her some kind of answer, and I prefer it to be correct, and I prefer it to be the one she wants, because she's an awesome tenant and I would love for her to stay as loooooong as she wants.

She qualifies on her own.

I have inquired with a lawyer, and will report the resolution here.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2015, 01:30:17 PM »
How would we not become involved?  Just refuse to address it?  We have to give her some kind of answer, and I prefer it to be correct, and I prefer it to be the one she wants, because she's an awesome tenant and I would love for her to stay as loooooong as she wants.

She qualifies on her own.

I have inquired with a lawyer, and will report the resolution here.
As long as the guy is cool with getting off the lease, and she's qualified on her own: just terminate the lease with written consent from both of them as soon as he's ready to leave, and sign a new lease with her. Problem solved.

This is just like most things in a divorce: really easy to accomplish as long as both parties are in agreement, and a potential nightmare otherwise.

mooreprop

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2015, 04:05:50 PM »
I had a married couple who got in a fight every 6 months or so and each wanted the other to move out because they both wanted to keep the apartment.  I told them to have the attorney let me know what the divorce decree specified and I would act on that.  I could not remove one person from the lease without their permission. 
They would always make-up and stay together.  This went on for 7 years until the guy just moved, leaving his stuff behind.  He called and let us know he was leaving, and that we could give her the full deposit when the lease ended.

Since then, I usually leave both people on the lease and tell them that they will have to have their attorney take care of the legalities since I am not an attorney.  Otherwise, you can get involved in their legal messes.  I don't want to take one person off the lease if I can avoid it since often divorce will lead to financial problems and bad decision-making for one or both people.  I want the ability to go after both of them if the rent is not paid until the end of the lease.  However, I will execute a new lease for the person staying if that person is the one with all of the income!

fidgiegirl

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2015, 07:29:36 PM »
My attorney will do an addendum stating that he will be off the lease and what they wish to do with the security deposit, then they will both sign.  However I let her know this and have heard nothing, so until then, it stands as is.

However now we suspect someone else to potentially be living there without being on the lease, so that's a whole 'nother can o' worms.  Sigh.

agent_clone

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2015, 07:28:08 PM »
I'm not sure where you are but in Australia there are standard forms for this that transfer the bond etc.  I think each state has a different one. The form for New South Wales is: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/About_us/Forms/change_shared_tenancy_arrangement.pdf .

Essentially it gets everyones names, and signatures then is lodged with the appropriate authorities.

Maybe wherever the tenancy is there are standard forms for tenancy transfers? It is essentially no different from change in occupancy for a share house.

chevelle57

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2015, 06:41:29 PM »

However now we suspect someone else to potentially be living there without being on the lease, so that's a whole 'nother can o' worms.  Sigh.

And this is why she wants her husbands name off the lease.  When he comes over and finds another man living with her she can call the cops and show that he isn't on the lease.  If she went radio silent when you mentioned bringing the husband in on it I bet he is in the dark on all this.  The lease is probably the last thing he would think about during a divorce.

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenants divorced - how to revise lease?
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2015, 06:52:25 PM »
I like the idea of having their attorney handle it and you abiding by the divorce decree. 
This is actually a good thread for any landlord, as I can imagine eventually running into this since all my units are 3+ bedrooms. In the case of people who are not married (none of my tenants are actually married, relationship only), I would also tell them that I will abide by whatever their attorney decree is. Transfer the risk and expense of THEIR legal issue back onto them. You shouldn't have to pay to deal with their relationship issues.