1 year lease tenant moving out 6 months into it

8 Replies

Tenant signed 1 year lease and is moving out now into 6 months of the lease. She got laid off work but now was hired back and thinks its still best if she moves out.

I have last month rent and security deposit. She is cooperative with showings and keeps the place is fairly good shape. Although I did discover a pet rabbit which she is NOT allowed to have.

She is moving out oct 1st and I should have a new renter October 15th. I have spend alot of time posting the ad, 10 showings and other things that really add up for my time.

What would you do with last month rent and security deposit? Keep it all or give mabay half back? I want to be reimbursed for my time and not to mention im allowing her to terminate the lease. Lease states she will forfeit last months rent and security deposit but really dont think I should keep $2200 if I have a new renter as soon as she moves out. 

What would you do?

I'd look at PA property law for guidance on the max you could do. Personally, I'd deduct for damages, and may consider 1/2 the monthly rent as you've got someone lined up on the 15th. Assuming the place isn't a wreck, I'd probably chalk up the time invested in finding new tenants as part of the gig.

I agree w/ Matt.  Get what you can out of the security deposit and prorate the last month's rent depending on the exact date of your new tenant moving in.  You don't want the old tenant to file a complaint if they drive by later and see a new tenant in the home and you kept the full amount of the last month's rent.  Definitely verify what the PA laws are in this case.

If it were me: if legal, I would keep deposit and last months rent and let tenant move out, and have her give me a forwarding address. Once I was sure I had a good tenant, and everything was going good, I would add up my reasonable costs for rerenting the unit, subtract that from the amount and send her the difference with a "good luck, here's what I didn't require to get the place filled' note. But I would not let her believe she had any money coming back at all until everything was going good. Her job loss and leaving early caused you to do double work, and no one should work for free involuntarily.

Originally posted by @JD Martin :

If it were me: if legal, I would keep deposit and last months rent and let tenant move out, and have her give me a forwarding address. Once I was sure I had a good tenant, and everything was going good, I would add up my reasonable costs for rerenting the unit, subtract that from the amount and send her the difference with a "good luck, here's what I didn't require to get the place filled' note. But I would not let her believe she had any money coming back at all until everything was going good. Her job loss and leaving early caused you to do double work, and no one should work for free involuntarily.

 thanks jd for the advice, thats exactly what I was thinking. I already have about 10 or 15 hours in this for showings, phone calls, and advertising not to mention all the gas money lol driving back and forth for all the showings.

you are certainly entitled to something, but if she fell on hard times and has been communicating with you all along, I'd definitely reciprocate and get something back in her hands. You'll be the person who helped her out through a difficult time. Sounds like a referral to me...

Medium avellino white copy  jpg Brandon Ingegneri, Avellino Const. & Property Mgmt. | [email protected] | 401‑301‑5528 | https://www.avellinocpm.com | RI Contractor # 41301

If she has been cooperative in every way I would be willing to work with her.  This is assuming she actually moves out on the 1st and doesn't string this along.

In this case I would definitely keep her security deposit and any rent you missed out on, but be willing to give back some of the last months rent based on how she leaves the unit and how cooperative she is going forward.

Medium rzt hc 6483Michael Noto, SalCal Real Estate Connections | [email protected] | 860‑384‑7570 | https://www.zillow.com/profile/Mike-Noto/ | CT Agent # RES.0799665

Originally posted by @JD Martin :
 ... Her job loss and leaving early caused you to do double work, and no one should work for free involuntarily.

I don't know why posters on this thread see this as "double work" - it's the same amount of work that the OP would have to do, but just moved earlier by six months. When that year lease would have been up, everything the OP is doing now would still have to be done then anyway. 

Most states seem to have the same law about double dipping. So my suggestion would be to check on that first and then you'll know what your options really are.  The tenant may already know and if they catch you doing something illegal, you may really end up paying.

Here in Illinois, the law is simple. If a tenant breaks the lease, I am entitled to continue charging them rent until the house is occupied or the lease runs out. If they move out month 6 on a 1 year lease, I could technically go after them for 6 months of rent.

However, if I get a new renter in by the 16th of that first month, then I am only entitled to keep half a month's rent.  So the best I could do would be to keep a portion of their security deposit to cover that half a month of rent and, obviously, any damages.

You can't keep any time/energy/effort costs for having to do showings. That wouldn't fly with a judge - at least not here.

Ultimately, while I understand it sucks to get stuck with the effort, you're not actually going to miss out on a single day of rent. So I'm not sure why you'd want to stick the tenant with any additional deductions.

Sounds like she was above and beyond reasonable with allowing showings. And if she's having trouble with the rent, you're actually very lucky you didn't get stuck with missed payments and then having to pay for the eviction process - not to mention the likelihood of her leaving a bunch of junk in the house that you have to clean up.

This is the perfect scenario. You're not missing out on any rent as you can deduct the half a month's rent from her deposit. But there's still some money there for her to get back so she has an incentive to clean up well. 

If it were me, even if the law said I could, I would not keep the entire deposit. You got stuck with some additional showings and thats about the extent of it. I know that can be a paid, but ultimately it was far better than most of the outcomes we typically see.

And yes, I literally just had something similar happen to me on the Meghan Ct house. Four months in to the year lease, the guy got hit with a massive child support increase. Had to break the lease and move out. Only he actually felt he should get the entire deposit back. I got the house rented in a month and I actually only dinged him for half a month. I was just happy that they cleaned the place as close to perfect as you can get and I didn't get stuck eating a non payment and an eviction process.

If they're fair with me, I figure I'll be fair with them - even moreso.  That kind of thing gets around too. Not that I want to encourage people to break the lease. But I'd rather they break it and move out than force me to evict - which is far more costly.