Terminating a Lease Early

2 Replies

Hi BP Community-

I have a rental property in Houston, Texas and I have a question about terminating a lease early in order to sell. When terminating a lease early to sell a house, is an early termination clause required in the lease agreement? What is the worst that could happen if it's not? The tenants lease is up in a few months, but I'd like to sell before that if possible. The property manager is moving, so not looking to go through that process again. I would give 30 days or whatever the requirement and probably pay him as well for the inconvenience.

In addition - I don't really want to sell to another landlord because the return most likely won't be as high.

Any advice is much appreciated! 



@Joel S.  You cannot terminate the lease early without the tenants agreeing too it.  The worst that can happen is a very long, drawn out, expensive legal issue you don't want to deal with.  Most likely what will happen is that you will turn good paying tenants into pissed off nonpaying tenants (that are stilling living there) and then have to pay for lawyer fees (theirs and yours).   I think the best thing to do is call the tenant and have an honest conversation with them.  Tell them that the lease will not be renewing at the end of the term and that for whatever reason you will be selling the property.  Tell them that they should start looking for a new place to stay and then throw in there than if they find a place soon, you will pay them xxxx number of dollars to break the lease early and leave the place clean.  If they know that 3 months from now they have to move but if they move in a month they get an extra $1000 (or whatever you decide based on your situation) I don't see why they would not want the extra cash.  Plus that way you do the responsible thing and give them as much heads up as possible so they have time to plan.