Had a vacant rental that we put online, a great applicant paid the deposit, prorated rent and was excited about moving in. Then, about 30 minutes later she called and said that her current landlord had changed their mind about selling the house she was renting and wanted her to stay while they dealt with wife's health issues.
Long story short, she needed to break her brand new 30 minute old lease. We bit the bullet and gave her all her money back, minus the background check fees. We could have kept more, but the house will rent pretty quick again, but I'll be losing several days rent at least.
I would have done the same.
@Roger S. You did the right thing.
I've done the same with folks that had something happen out of their control. Kudos to you for being nice, but this was her CHOICE.
Choices have consequences and I would have kept at least a portion of her deposit, probably all. It costs us time and money to hold things vacant and go through all this. I have been merciful tons of times but this kind of crap makes me mad.
When her current LL decides to sell again next month... I wouldn't entertain a repeat experience. Glad there are still some nice LLs out there though!
I'm an "evil" land lord. I expect adults to act like adults and honor their word, especially in a situation like this where the person who broke their word is the one who is reaping all the benefits. Our lease has an Early Termination Fee built into it. The amount is usually equal to about 6 weeks worth of rent. Once the docs are signed, they can buy out at any time, 1 minute later up to 364 days, 11 hours, 59 minutes.
My time is valuable. It is the only resource I will never get more of. If I have to re-post my ads, re-show the unit, re-screen new applicants, and all the while eating vacancy and utilities, then I wish to be compensated for it.
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