Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

16 Replies

In Lake Charles, LA single family home. My dilemma: My tenants(not married) signed a 12-month lease in August. By November the female moved out for a job opportunity in a different state. By December they were broke up and she wanted off the lease. Through research I did on BP forums I concluded it is smarter to keep her on even though the remaining tenant was paying everything without problems. It is a binding contract and it is better to have the two of them liable in case something happens to the property. Fast forward to last night...  "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." LOL She came back into town to visit family and apparently drove by her ex-boyfriend's house. My property! She noticed he had company of the opposite sex visiting and decided to let herself in at 11 at night. Long story short the police were called and she was asked to leave. I received a phone call from her again today asking to be removed from the lease stating that she is willing to forfeit her portion of the deposit. Does anyone on this thread have any advice on such a situation? Legally isn't she entitled to entry of the property if she is on the lease? Should I just let her off the lease like she is requesting and save myself the drama? If so, what is the best way to go about doing it? Thanks in advance.

I have to add a "funny in hindsight" story from a few years back.  My property manager calls me on Monday morning to let me know that one of my rentals was being condemned by neighborhood code.  I said: "OK, why?"

A car had crashed into the front of my rental.  Fortunately no one was injured.

How did this happen?

Car driver's former boyfriend was being entertained by my female tenant and she decided that driving through the front of my rental was an appropriate response.

Go figure.

@David Mathews   You already did your research and learned that there is really no advantage to you to let her out of the obligation of the lease she signed.  That being said, if you both agree to it, you can.  However, I'm not sure her being "willing to forfeit her portion of the deposit" should be the deciding factor, or even one you consider.  How is she going to forfeit something that may not even be hers to forfeit?  Typically when one tenant in a joint tenancy situation moves out, the deposit stays with the property and continues to be held by the landlord in trust in case there are any damages or money owed when the property is ultimately returned.  How exactly is she going to forfeit her deposit when the other half of the tenancy is still occupying the property?  What if when he finally moves out, there are damages or money owed not entirely covered by the deposit?  Or what if he leaves no damage or money owed and makes claim to the full deposit?  Lots to consider.

The security deposit isnt split in halves . Thats between the 2 tenants . If he qualifies on his own write up a new lease . Make her sign off with the old lease . 

Yes I shouldn't have worded it like  she is entitled to half of the  deposit.  Originally when she moved out she asked how I would return the deposit at the end of the lease if  they are owed such. I told her I would issue a check  that required them both to sign so that way they could work that out amongst themselves. Today she quoted from our lease agreement that if they break the lease they're not entitled to the deposit. So she said she is willing to forfeit that in order to get out of the lease.

@Chris L.

That's a wild story! Hopefully her insurance allowed for some forced appreciation through new renovations. LOL

@Alexander Felice :

I'm sorry you feel that is sexist. It certainly wasn't meant in that way but I suppose we are all entitled to our own opinion.

And no, I did not want her gone . This couple beat out some strong applicants for this property. What I really would have liked to happen is for them to stick around for 5 or 20 years 😁 but I would settle for at least the lease agreement.

@David Mathews

Car driver was uninsured so I add to file it through my insurance.  House was much nicer after the renovations but I was out my deductible for the repairs.

Hold her to the lease and advise the ex to get a restraining order, problem solved.

Bottom line is that by her leaving the lease is not legally broken unless he leaves as well.

@David Mathews you have been given horrible advice by people on BP that told you to hold them both to the lease. If her name is on the lease (and she has a key) she has legal rights to enter the property. Knowing that she moved out and he is paying all the rent, why would you let her keep rights to the property? You are just enabling trouble for no good reason. 

In a situation like this I handle it one of two ways, tenants choice:

1. They break the lease. They both leave. They pay rent up until I have it rerented and pay a rerenting fee.

2. One of them stays in the property. We rewrite a lease for only the person staying. I verify their income is sufficient to pay the bills. Locks are changed at the tenants expense. 

Keeping both people liable when they are broken up is just trouble waiting to happen. Although you shouldn't be put in the middle of their domestic situation, you are because it is your property. You can either avoid it or deal with it. You are lucky she didn't trash your house.

Not sexist. Just a story with some useful information. Alexander. Relax. I am trying to soak up knowledge and Your critical comments are annoying.

She's offering you the deposit AND giving you a way to minimize future drama?

I'm not sure what you're gaining if you were to keep her, other than additional drama/headache for the same exact amount of money.

And if she feels so strongly that she is offering to break lease so you can keep the deposit, is that a tenant you really want to force locked in your lease?

Understand if you are going to let her off the lease she has no right to the deposit from the landlord. The deposit stays with the the landlord and if she wanted it back she would have to get it from the boyfriend not the landlord. She has nothing to offer since she has no claim on the deposit. It is not a bargaining tool for her.

I would sign a new lease with the boyfriend since he is still paying and have the locks changed. It will hopefully eliminate a lot of drama with your property.

This is a legal question.  These are some pretty entertaining answers from all over the country.  LA law is what applies in Lake Charles, LA.  Taking legal advice from the Internet is a questionable business practice.  As much as I like this place, we are still on the Internet.  I’ll private message you a local attorney recommendation.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.