Tenant wants to back down after signing lease

9 Replies


I have a tenant who wants to back away from lease after signing it just after two days.

Do they have any grounds?


_ Alvin

(In AZ)

do you really want to have people in your house if they dont want to be there? just let them go, but keep some cash for the hassle.

I agree with @George P. . If they don't want to be there, don't try to force them to stay.

If you collected a deposit with the lease signing (which you should ALWAYS do) then just inform them you'll have to keep a portion of the deposit for any time you've wasted and time the property was not on the market. You should try to be fair with the tenant, but also not give them any freebies.

Thanks @George and @Michael.

I am in agreement with this. I don't want unhappy tenants either. I offered them initially that I will keep $200 for inconvenience as well as cost of turning away other renters These guys turned up to harassment and threatened they will call lawsuit on me etc. When I asked to send me a letter that they wanted to cancel their lease, they won't do that either, despite offering multiple ways in which they could send the letter.

So at this point, they want nothing but full deposit and I am not sure what grounds they may have to get their money back. So I want to ascertain that if legally I am obligated to.

I have also send letter of abandonment by certified mail. I want to pay them back due amount if I can get a new tenant, as long they are willing to cooperate. I believe after 5 days of sending letter of abandonment, I am entitled to re-rent the place, regardless of how I settle with them.

Again, greatly appreciate your responses.

Make sure your lease agreement has a non-refundable clause in it next time.

This would be a great question to ask your RE attorney. You do have one, right?

They signed a lease correct? they gave a security deposit. They sent you a notice they don't want to go through with it and their lease term has started correct? If all of that is correct then start looking for another tenant and consult your lawyer. Depending on when you get another tenant that would dictate the amount I would refund them based on my lease terms. you can't charge two people for rent.

As far as I'm concerned sigining the lease involves three steps:

1) They hand me one full months rent plus the full security deposit in cash or money order

2) I hand them the keys.

3) We both sign the lease.

Once its signed, they're tenants. I only do month to month leases, so as far as I'm concerned they can give notice the next day. They're still a tenant for the next month and they're not getting that month's rent back. At the end of the month we'll do a move out and they will get whatever part of the deposit back I don't keep. If they never move in, that should be all of it. They will get that back after the "moveout".

Now, in this sitaution, I'd tell them I will immediately start marketing for a new tenant and I will try to get someone in ASAP. If I get someone, say, a week into the month, I'll give them back everything except that one week. If it takes all month, they will get back only their deposit. They can threaten to sue or sue if they wish, but we have a legally bind agreement that makes them the tenant and that specifices the process for moving out.

Thanks all, @Jon's - your reply is terrific. That is the purpose of lease as it is a binding agreement.

I will do this and notify the tenant once it is rented.

Thanks to all others.


That's why we now have a buy out clause (60 days notice and 2 months fee). Now when this happens we get the whole deposit . We tell them that if they right us on this we will to after them for the rest! Has saved us a lot of heartache and stress.

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