This is something we deal with a lot. It has come up quite a bit this last year in particular. Tenants will sign a lease, and six months into that lease, they’ll buy a house or decide to move. They often don’t understand that they are obligated to their contract through the entire term of that lease.
Terminating Lease: Holding Tenants Accountable
As a landlord, if this happens to you, the first thing you need to do is educate your tenants. Show them their lease, and point out the terms of the lease, and the penalties for breaking it. In our lease, we have a clause that holds tenants responsible for the full amount of rent through the remainder of the term of the lease.
Early Termination Lease: Re-Renting the Unit
We will do what we can to re-rent the property, but any damages incurred by the landlord will be the responsibility of the tenant. These are financial damages. If we have to pay another real estate broker to bring us a new tenant or if we have to cover the utilities after the tenants move out, those costs will become the responsibility of the tenant. The tenant is responsible for anything that costs the landlord more money as a result of the lease termination.
Reston Property Management: Work with Your Tenants
As a landlord, you are required to re-rent your property for the best possible rent. We work with the tenants who are leaving to make that happen. We’ll immediately put the property on the market
and ask them to keep it neat, clean, and accessible. They have as much incentive to get it rented as we do. They don’t want to keep paying for the costs associated with this home. With the tenant’s cooperation, we can usually rent it again within 30 to 60 days, depending on the time of year.
Work with your tenant, and do the best you can. If you are nice and work together, they will be cooperative. Sometimes, things happen, and breaking a lease is the tenant’s only option. Other times, they just don’t realize the consequences. If you communicate and cooperate, you can resolve a lot of the stress and conflict that can come with early lease terminations.