Can We End a Lease Before the Tenant Moves In

5 Replies

Hi BiggerPockets,

We have a tenant that will be moving into one of our properties tomorrow and some things came up that make him not a good fit for our property. If we refund his first, last, and security deposit, can we end the lease? What else needs to be done?

Looking forward to your help as soon as possible! Thank you in advance!

What came up that make him not a good fit? Why wasn't this found during the background/credit check?

He's moving in tomorrow and already has a signed lease, so it's quite last minute. You could offer this refund and see how he responds, but I doubt this is going to start things off in a good light because right now I'm not sure how you could just break the lease without potentially being in hot water. I think we might need more details.

What exactly came up. That's very important. If he straight up lied on income, felonies, etc. you probably have a case.

if its some abstract reason, you could easily get sued for discrimination.

Odds are he has moving trucks all setup, people to help etc. Not to mention he most likely needs to find a place to stay starting tomorrow. Was there incorrect information on the application that you now found out about?

if tenant lied about anything, you should be in the clear to deny him.

if there is some material thing that you found, but tenant did not lie you are likely in a difficult decision. turning him away would probably be viewed as breach of contract. however, I would much rather be in breach of contract for denying him entry, than to let a bad tenant move in who may destroy my property or not pay rent. the choice is yours and will depend on what you found out about him. perhaps if you tell us  more details we can be of better help.

no legal advice given. pursue at your own caution.

Please provide more details as to what was discovered so late in the process. This would be an unfit time to deny him seeing he is already set to move in and already put out money to get ready for tomorrow. Doesn’t look good for you if it’s something that was overlooked or neglected on your part. How long is the contract for?