Tenants vacating 60 days before lease is up

6 Replies

I have clients who are closing on their home in 10 days.  Their lease isn't up until April 30th.  They wanted a later closing date, but when it came down to it, they wanted the house more :)

They are prepared (and legally obligated) to pay both rent and their mortgage for April.  I have the feeling they'll be moved into their new home by the end of February.  

Is there any chance they could negotiate handing over the keys much earlier than April 30th in exchange for a partial discount on the months rent?  Give the PM 45-60 days head start at getting the place rent ready in exchange for a 25% or so discount on what are obligated to pay?  Would that be attractive to the landlord at all?

They are in a large apartment complex with a property management company.  I'm sure this lessens the chances greatly.  But is there a chance?  

Hi Heather,

I'm not aware of the laws in Maryland so you'll need to check with a R.E. attorney but in many states, if a tenant breaks the lease by moving out early they are responsible for the remaining rent for the duration of the lease, however, the landlord has to make a true effort to re-lease the property and if they are successful then the tenant is only responsible for the period when the property was vacant. 

Again, check the laws in your area but this could be a possibility. 

Best of luck.


Sam & Heather Jones 

While your tenant is contractually obligated to pay rent through to the end of the lease, what we do in your situation is work with the tenant to start advertising and showing the unit as soon as possible .... this includes coming in to affect the repairs we can with the Tenant still in the unit.   If we are able to re-rent the unit before the end of the lease, then the departing tenant is released from their obligations.

We have never had a tenant not cooperate with attempts to re-rent the unit early.

I wouldn't take the keys. If they are paying the rent, they remain in possession of the apartment and have the right to enter.

But if they have moved out and all of their personal property is gone, I'm sure they wouldn't have a problem with your showing the apartment to prospective tenants. Just make sure you have something in writing that says you may enter the apartment without notice at any time.

It really depends on the lease! If the lease has a break lease clause or other clause they might be out of luck.Most states require the landlord to put effort into rerenting a house. At the same time a large corporation must follow all rules equally so, they often have stricter policies. 

the apartment complexes I worked for, would not have allowed this and would have required the full payment. That being said, if you don't try.....

Good luck

Thanks all..  they're certainly prepared to fulfill their obligations but I figure for them, it's worth a shot :)

How are vacancies in the complex?  If they are low, I think the complex is more likely to be flexible.

I would start by offering a move-out date of March 15th and 50% of the remaining rent balance and see what the response was from management.  If there is no flexibility from management, I would focus on getting the place ready for showing as soon as possible.  If a new tenant moves in during April they are not obligated for whatever period the unit is re-rented.  

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