My girlfriend's friend's husband has been gone for a couple of months due to his gambling addiction and has left her with the kids and the rent. She is in no way capable of sustaining the rent from here on out and has been late ever since he left - what should she tell the landlord in order to achieve the most advantageous situation for everyone?
What should she do next? I'm assuming get a cheaper place to live?
Tell the landlord she and her husband have separated and she cannot afford the rent herself. Give proper notice and make sure the place is cleaned really well before she leaves.
Her #1 goal at this point should be to get out of the rental agreement without getting an eviction filed against her. I would talk to the landlord and explain the situation and try to negotiate an early termination. She should keep the place clean so that it can be shown to prospective new tenants.
She will obviously have to find a new place that she can afford.
+1 for @Stan Butler 's comment
If she leaves and voluntarily surrenders the property (i.e., hands over the keys) to the landlord then she won't have an eviction on her record. OTOH, the landlord might be a stickler and charge her a lease breaking fee and require rent to be paid until its re-rented. So, the goal should be to get agreement from the landlord that she can terminate the lease on a specific date without any lease breaking fees or additional rent after the agreed-upon move out date. I think that's a matter of having a discussion with the landlord and trying to get that agreement.
The issue here is if his name is on the lease, it will be extremely difficult as she likely cannot sign a release for him, so the landlord is almost forced to follow proper channels and evict in order to end the lease early unless she has poa to sign a release for him. Maybe she can get a roommate to help pay until lease end to avoid an eviction, if the landlord allows it.
Great responses, thanks for your help! I will pass this along.
Originally posted by @Jon Holdman :
the landlord might be a stickler and charge her a lease breaking fee and require rent to be paid until its re-rented. So, the goal should be to get agreement from the landlord that she can terminate the lease on a specific date without any lease breaking fees or additional rent after the agreed-upon move out date. I think that's a matter of having a discussion with the landlord and trying to get that agreement.
Or the Landlord might be a businessperson and realizes that they kept their end of the contract whereas the tenants did not. Labels like "stickler" are something I expect to see a landlord called on a tenant website certainly not a REI website.
OK, @Cal C. fair enough. Personally I only do month to month leases because stuff happens. Better to part on friendly terms than a midnight move out. Back when I used to do long term leases I had two tenant just disappear. Its a huge hassle. Since going with month to month I've only had one tenant leave in less than a year and she left the property in good shape and got most of her deposit back. Other tenants have been in place for multiple years.
So, if I was the landlord with a long term lease, had a tenant that had become a late payer, and she offered good notice that she would be leaving, I would work with her to make it work. But I do realize many would stick to the terms of the lease.
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