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Forums » Landlord & Rental Property Questions » Section 8 tenants wants to terminate the lease

Section 8 tenants wants to terminate the lease

16 posts by 5 users

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Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


Section 8 landlords, what's your take on this? The tenant in my first rental, on Section 8, just filled out an Agreement to Terminate form, which came from her caseworker.

I had told her a month ago I won't allow her to break the lease at this point. Her lease runs until January 30, 2011. She's a PITA but keeps the house very clean. I don't want to lose her for that reason, plus the S8 payment.

On the other hand, I can probably get more rent for the house....assuming it doesn't sit vacant for months at this time of year. If I tell her she can't leave, I wonder what kind of aggravation I'll be in for.

Better the devil I know than the devil I don't?

Thanks!



Real Estate Investor · Maryland


Aly, can you explain why she wants to break the lease? Is she the major complainer type or has something major happened?



Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


Hi Tracey,

She has been saying she wants to move to MA ever since she moved in, 2 years ago. She is generally belligerent and has had numerous lease violations (getting a pit bull, letting others move in, and according to the neighbor, selling drugs). My attorney has written to her several times and things eventually get resolved.

In between being belligerent, she is quiet and the house is well kept. I'm trying to see this as an opportunity to get market rent for the house, with a tenant as clean as she is. Or am I dreaming? :)



Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri


Amy, if she was (is) in the drug business, I wouldn't care how clean she kept the place! With you having knowledge of such activity, you can find yourself in legal problems!

You have Sept and Oct to find another tenant before you get into the dead period. Don't sign any release, I'd rather have HUD (the PHA) deal with her and remove her from the roles. Would a dog go wild if he were taken into that unit?


Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com


Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


I only have the neighbor's word that she's selling drugs. No police activity has ever been reported to me.

Without signing the release, she isn't going anywhere. Why would HUD remove her without a release? I've already had 3 calls about the house so I'm hoping to find a qualified tenant quickly while there's interest.



· OR


Can she come up with any lease breaking money? If she is dealing drugs, she must have access to some cash.

I'd be more than happy to get rid of her.



Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri


Hi, drug activity will get her disqualified under Sec. 8, like immediately and generally, in most states, you can et someone out that quick too, but you better be right if you do!

Why don't you tell the PHA that you will release her as soon as you find another qualified applicat. Tell her the same thing, find me someone qualified to take the place and I'll let you out of the lease!


Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com


Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


That's an interesting point...if I allow her to break the Section 8 lease, would I be entitled to keep her security deposit? I'm thinking no. And quite frankly, if I can get the place rented by the time she leaves, I'll be happy.

I'm looking for a peaceful exit, not a battle.



Residential Real Estate Agent · Camden, New Jersey


never make anyone stay that doesn't want to...just keep their deposit and move on



Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


That's my thinking exactly Michael, thanks.



Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


Originally posted by Financexaminer:


Why don't you tell the PHA that you will release her as soon as you find another qualified applicat. Tell her the same thing, find me someone qualified to take the place and I'll let you out of the lease!


Great idea, as this will hopefully ensure her cooperation in showing the house for the next month. Thanks!



Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri


Just a reminder, many states require that deposits be specified as to what monies may be applied to. Some deposits can not be applied to past rents, a deposit called a "damage deposit" for example will only be applied to damages! Good luck, Bill


Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com


Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


Thanks Bill. I'm not interested in her deposit for the lost rent, hopefully there won't be any. I'm sure there will be some deductions for damage though.



Residential Real Estate Agent · Camden, New Jersey


Originally posted by Financexaminer:
Just a reminder, many states require that deposits be specified as to what monies may be applied to. Some deposits can not be applied to past rents, a deposit called a "damage deposit" for example will only be applied to damages! Good luck, Bill


i had a tenant ask the judge for her deposit back, he snickered and told her "no, you owe $3000 in rent" so i guess in NJ its ok.



Real Estate Investor · Maryland


Aly, what I dont get is how section 8 can send that to you. Legally per their HAP contract, they have to keep paying the lease term unless the tenant moves out of the property in which case you could sue and get a judgment against them for the rest of the lease term. I have seen cases where section 8 will actually pay out the lease term too. But I like all the suggestions you already got which is tell her you will advertise the unit for rent and if someone is willing to move in before her lease expires, she can leave or else she has to finish her lease term. I would get the case worker on my side too and make her make the tenant understand that she has a legal obligation to stay but if she helps you find a tenant, you will let her go.



Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


Hi Tracey,

I need to clarify that she's on DCA, not exactly Section 8 but similar. My other tenant is on TANF/TRA, lots of fun acronyms going on here :)

Her caseworker said if I didn't sign the termination agreement, they would continue to pay her rent until the end of her lease. The tenant was cooperative on Friday, telling me she wants to move because I won't let her have pit bulls. Damn right I won't.

The house she had thought she was going to rent fell through. Her caseworker is an extremely burned out woman who said any issues with the lease are between the tenant and myself. She's made occasional attempts to talk sense into the tenant before, but the tenant listens to no one. And as of now, she has nowhere to go on Sept. 30.

As predicted, she became uncooperative after the first couple of showings. Then today she had another mood swing and agreed to allow 2 people in. She also said that she would like to stay, if she could have the dogs. I said no. I think she realizes what a good deal she has now, and trying to find a landlord willing to take multiple pit bulls will be a real challenge.

The house is in perfect condition and I told her I'd give her back her deposit on the spot if she is out by Sept. 30 or sooner.





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