Changing Lease term mid lease at Landlords decision

5 Replies

I have a unique situation that drives a need to reduce the term of the lease.  Tenant has not been paying on a timely basis and other significant factors (without elaborating..)  that drive the need to do a workout plan and get a different tenant.  An eviction proceeding was initiated to get their attention, but I don't like doing them if at all avoidable.

State is  Indiana in this case, so it is likely state specific....BUT has anyone done what I would describe as a "contract ammendment" with a tenant to adjust / reduce the term of the original lease?  I'm sure I can have my attorney do it, but if it is a common or acceptable trade practice to do a simple term change assuming both parties agree to the change.  I would prefer to do so myself.  If you have any direct experience with it or advice it is appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

I am not an attorney, but here is my take on the situation. You are correct in that if you have a lease in place, the only way you can modify that agreement is if both parties sign an addendum to that lease that in this case would move up the termination date of the lease. Provided your tenant was in good standing, and did not agree to the addendum, you wouldn't be able to modify the lease.

If your tenant is wiling to play ball, perhaps you could make a deal with them that would entail you not following through with the eviction, IF they agree to move out earlier and then actually do get out and leave the place in decent shape. You could explain to them that an eviction would result in an unlawful detainer and affect their credit and that you then would have a money judgement against them and that going your route would be a win win for both parties.

George,

I had a tenant who always paid late and had several couch surfing friends who I wanted to get out of my building without going to court if at all possible. One day a came by, unexpectedly, and found the tenant and his friends smoking marijuana. I saw this as the perfect opportunity. The next day I brought two notices; a Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity and a Conditional Release Amendment. He decided to sign the latter and move by the end of the month.

Now to answer your question, yes I have used an amendment to reduce the term of the original lease. After that tenant, I have actually found this form very useful. I have used it in similar situations to get rid of troublesome tenants. I have also used it when a tenant wants out of an agreement early (I usually require 1 month extra rent to terminate early).

I am in Alaska so I'm not sure about what's okay in Indiana, but I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any ideas to add to the amendment.


CONDITIONAL RELEASE AMENDMENT

THIS AMENDMENT is attached to, and forms a part of the original RENTAL AGREEMENT made and entered into on _________________ by and between _______________________________________________ (hereinafter referred to as "Landlord") and ______________________________________________ (hereinafter referred to as "Tenant").


Landlord and Tenant of said premises both agree by signing below that Tenant will be released from the above described RENTAL AGREEMENT on ___________________ following the execution of these required conditions:


1. Tenant will pay, in full, rent in the amount of $_______ for the month(s) of ____________________________ by ___________. If unit is re-rented, Landlord will prorate and return, as required by state law, rent received by Tenant.
2. Tenant will vacate said premises on _______________ by ________ pm.
3. Landlord will return Tenant’s refunded security deposit as per Line 3 of the original RENTAL AGREEMENT.
4. Landlord and Tenant will consider the RENTAL AGREEMENT null and void, relieving both parties of all rental obligations, only after Line 1 and 2 of this Addendum have been successfully executed. Landlord will not hold Tenant responsible for any additional rent after __________________ once this RENTAL AGREEMENT has been terminated.


The undersigned Tenant(s) hereby acknowledges that they have read this Amendment, and understand it, and agree to it in full. They further have been advised to seek professional legal, tax and financial counsel concerning this contract.

"1. Tenant will pay, in full, rent in the amount of $_______ for the month(s) of ____________________________ by ___________. If unit is re-rented, Landlord will prorate and return, as required by state law, rent received by Tenant."

@Tyson Cox   shouldn't that be 'rent received by from Tenant'?

Sylvia,

That does sound better. Thank you.

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