Hi BP,

Looking for some guidance here.  I rent to a blended family when I first screened them I gave them the green light because one spouse had good credit the lady and the other spouse had good income the guy. They both signed the lease.

Everything started out well how ever things started to take a turn for the worst this summer.  The guy really wanted to put up a pool... its one of those DIY above ground pools easy to assemble/disassemble.  I said I need to look into my liability issues.  Trying to accommodate the family I agreed... and I added a pool addendum (only one tenant the guy signed addendum)  to a new lease with a higher rent and made them sign a 2 year lease with annual rent hikes.

I thought I was getting a good deal.  Well the guy never followed the addendum which outlined the tenants responsibility to take care of permits and all associated costs.  I didn't follow up.  Ended up being hit with violations from the building department and had to go to court to resolve.  Tenant apologized and covered the court fees but not my lost time.  I told him I want this permit closed out ASAP. A month goes by and I follow up.  No response.  Rents on time... I assume know he is avoiding the conversation.  Now we are in winter and I figure I will just turn a blind eye to it... the money keeps rolling in.  Permits open so building department is off my back.  I figured I would get on top of them come spring time.

Shortly after the January rent payment.  I get a text from the guy:

"i get in fight with women, i leave, she pay rent, you keep my deposit"

After that message I contacted the other tenant and sat down with her to talk about the options.   I told her the best way for her to mitigate damages to allow me to start showing the property to get new tenants in to get them off the hook ASAP.  She agreed.

I start running my ads and just about to schedule showings I get a call from the guy that they are going to reconcile.  I don't really believe this guy so I contact the women who is still in the house.  She asks for a few days to figure things out.  I delay my showings.  After a couple days she says show the house she is going to be out asap.

I show the property and have very good feedback except for the yard is full of the guys debris, broken jet ski, broken down jeep in driveway, pool, trampoline... etc all the guys possessions.  Plus the guy put up an wall in my basement and is using it as a nursery (just furring strips and hard board but a partition none the less)

I really do not want anything to do with this guy.  Obviously I need to try to get him to retrieve his stuff.  My questions are:

How much time should I give him to get his belongings?

If that time expires what do I do?

Should I change the locks the day the lady leaves?

Does the guy have any grounds to claim tenancy or push to continue with his lease?

If so what things can I do to refute this?

Should I have the lady sign any documents stating she is surrendering the property and terminating tenancy at will?

What should I do with the security?

Is the rent acceleration clause enforceable?

Hopefully this will be straight and forward since according to previous conversation already is renting another place.  It is getting close to the point where I need to contact him... I want to make sure I am prepared.  I have attached a section of the lease - Please advise. 

Thank You


6. CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH BY TENANT: If Tenant, by any act or omission, or by the act or omission of any of Tenant’s family or invitees, licensees, and/or guests, violates any of the terms or conditions of this Lease or any other documents made a part hereof by reference or attachment, Tenant shall be considered in breach of this Lease (breach by one tenant shall be considered breach by all tenants where Tenant is more than one person).

In case of such breach, Landlord may deliver a written notice to the Tenant in breach specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the Lease Agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied within a reasonable time not in excess of thirty (30) days; and the Lease Agreement shall terminate and the Tenant shall surrender possession as provided in the notice subject to the following:

(a) If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of damages, or otherwise, and the Tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the Lease Agreement shall not terminate;

(b) In the absence of a showing of due care by the Tenant, if substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six (6) months, the Landlord party may terminate the Lease Agreement upon at least fourteen (14) days written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the Lease Agreement;

If the Lease Agreement is terminated, Landlord shall return all prepaid and unearned rent, and any amount of the security deposit recoverable by the Tenant.

However, if the breach by the Tenant is nonpayment of rent, the Landlord shall not be required to deliver thirty (30) days' written notice as provided above. In such event, the Landlord may serve Tenant with a seven (7) day written notice of termination, whereupon the Tenant must pay the unpaid rent in full or surrender possession of the premises by the expiration of the seven (7) day notice period.

Furthermore, the Tenant may be terminated with three (3) days notice if the Tenant has committed a substantial violation of the Lease Agreement or applicable law that materially affects health and safety, and the violation is not cured prior to the expiration of the three day notice period.

Tenant expressly agrees and understands that upon Landlord’s termination of this Lease, the entire remaining balance of unpaid rent for the remaining term of this Lease shall ACCELERATE, whereby the entire sum shall become immediately due, payable, and collectable. Landlord may hold the portion of Tenant’s security deposit remaining after reasonable cleaning and repairs as a partial offset to satisfaction of the accelerated rent.

7. DELIVERY OF NOTICES: Any giving of notice under this Lease or applicable New York law shall be made by Tenant in writing and delivered to the address noted above for the payment of rent, either by hand delivery or by mail. Certified or registered mail is recommended. Delivery by mail shall not be considered complete until actual receipt by Landlord or Landlord’s agent.

Any notices from Landlord to Tenant shall be in writing and shall be deemed sufficiently served upon Tenant when deposited in the mail addressed to the leased premises, or addressed to Tenant’s last known post office address, or hand delivered, or placed in Tenant’s mailbox. If Tenant is more than one person, then notice to one shall be sufficient as notice to all.