Mutual lease term between landlord and tenant

4 Replies

I'm curious if others have a tenant sign something when terming a lease early? In my situation, I have a tenant who moved out and said they couldn't afford rent thus breaking their lease. Obviously, they will not be getting their SD back but they did leave the place in great condition and cleaned. So I don't want to take any further action against the tenant other than to move on. Do you all have them sign paperwork stating the lease is terming early?

You make it sound as though they did this suddenly. Was there communication back and forth on this before hand? FWIW, I added a clause to allow a tenant to leave early with a 2 month rent 'penalty'. This allows a tenant not to be stuck in a long term lease if life happens, but also allows me a safety cushion for cleaning, posting, and filling the vacancy.

If it were me i would open the communication with them a bit and let them know they are liable for the full lease term, but due to their excellent rental history and care of the unit you'd like to work with them on their needs. And yes, i would say you would be happy to send them the form releasing them from their lease under the requirements of XYZ, etc.

You know your tenants better than we do, so you'll know what you're looking for or willing to accept. But if it were me and you thought they were good tenants then I'd offer them the out, with a signed addendum, and let them know if they can use you for a future rental reference.

Just my .02

@Keith Smith I prefer something in writing but sometimes you just don't get it from the tenant. Do you have any text messages that you could screen shot and print to keep in property folder?

If they were to complain they would have to prove that they kept paying the rent and since they will not be, they would have no proof. So I don't see a big issue if you can't get them to sign something.

From my experience the only time I get something in writing is when they don't want to renew the lease, leave the place in good condition so they can get their deposit back. Which seems to happen infrequently.

I would fill out and send the Security Deposit Disposition letter which would account for you keeping the SD. This is the final step to a move out and if he gave you the keys he has given up legal possession.

Yes, you should use a written agreement any time you make changes to the written lease. If they terminate early, a simple hand-written note, signed by both parties, will suffice. However, I recommend creating a simple form so you're ready the next time this happens.

Are you reducing the tenant's rent $200 for Christmas or letting them pay 15 days late in June without a penalty? Put it in writing.

Letting them break their lease and move out? Put it in writing.

Agreeing to let the Tenant paint the living room walls? Put it in writing.

Even when the Tenant seems as honest as the day is long, protect yourself by putting it in writing.