5 tenants, 1 wants out of lease

7 Replies

I have 5 college guys in my rental.  So far they have been good tenants.  1 of the tenants wants to move out to move in with his girlfriend.  He has a replacement tenant that I am going to screen.  The tenants moving out had his dad co-sign. The tenant moving in will have his father co-sign for him.  I am looking for lease suggestion/ proper way to make the switch? How should I move forward assuming screening goes well?  My main concern is how I handle lease, do I create new one? edit existing one? Do I need all tenants to sign whatever I do? etc

I would do a new lease, which effectively releases the existing tenant and gets the new one added.  Make some reference to the original deposit walk through, note that deposits are not returned until all parties move out.  So  the new tenant should buy out the existing tenant for the deposit if needed, not your issue.

We do amendments to the existing lease when someone is leaving or when someone is being added as an authorized occupant, but do new paperwork when there is a new tenant.  Treat them all to coffee to get new signatures, insist on none of them dragging their feet to have the new lease completely valid from the get-go.

I would do a new lease with all of them to be clean.

@Michele Fischer .... excellent response!

@Shawn M. .... you may want to consider securing a larger security deposit instead of having co-signers. When renting to young people who perhaps lack rental history and/or credit history, or may depend on other people's money to pay rent, you are taking on higher risk, so a larger security deposit can be justified. Just make sure the landlord-tenant law for your jurisdiction allows the amount you need. With co-signers it gets more complicated and can be harder to go after them. We like having the security funds in the hand in case of any trouble. We also charge for damages as we discover them, so the security deposit money is less likely to run out and will be there when the tenancy ends.

@Michele Fischer new lease appears to be the simplest way to handle this. I also wanted to add a few things to existing lease so now would be a good time to do so. Thank you

We just do an addendum and have the new tenant and thier cosigner sign as well as the old tenant. joe replaces jim and have all the tenants but not the cosigners sign an acknowlegement/agreement to the change. you can do a new lease but it is a pain chasing all the cosigners. We would not be changing the end date.

You do a roommate off lease agreement, all people on lease agree to release "john doe" as of xxx date.. the security deposit remains on account and is not refunded until the place is actually vacant and then is paid in one check to everyone listed on lease. The roommates figure out deposit between themselves for anyone moving in/out during tenancy.

For new tenant you just add him to existing lease with date following his name. 

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.