One of my tenants has a "family emergency" and is planning to move away permanently by the end of November (still has 6 months left on lease). They also want to leave the furniture because they don't have the money to ship it.
I told them they must find a way to get rid of the furniture, either sell or donate it.
The real problem is: this tenant has terrible credit and probably very little money saved (I inherited this tenant when I bought the building), so I won't be surprised if they just leave with no notice and leave everything behind.
--> Is there any way to gain leverage in this situation short of legal action? Technically they would owe one month's rent for breaking the lease early, and they still haven't paid for November. Deposit is only half of one month's rent, too.
Have them sign a paper that they have moved out , or you will be doing an eviction
Change your mindset to getting the property back in your possession as soon as possible. If they haven't paid November serve notice and try to get them to pay or get out now. Don't be concerned about the furniture. Have them sign that they are leaving it and give someone a 50% commission to get rid of it quickly. You won't recover anything beyond the deposit, but go through the steps and turn them into collections. But main thing is to get it re-rented to a better tenant as soon as you can.
You are going to be stuck with the furniture and you are not going to see Nov. rent. Tenants that break a lease don't give a dam about their landlords problems and very rarely pay their last month rent. Keep that in mind when you collect deposit and LMR from your next tenant.
If you can file to collect rent for November without a major cost I would do it just to get it on his rental record.
Get him out asap and do your best to find a new tenant.
Thanks everyone for the responses! Good advice all around
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