The human aspect would be to help her. But I've heard every story in the book. In truth, she is bringing her economic and personal problems to you. Your relationship with this tenant is a transaction, nothing more.
I'd let her out of her lease, if she leaves. The lease is in full force, and payment is expected, unless she vacates within 30 days.
Two scenarios will happen. Your tenant will solve her own problems and stay. Or they will start to default on the full rental payment. My advice above is just to proactively get rid of a problem tenant.
@Brian Ploszay Thank you Brian. She’s been a great tenant up until this point. Always has paid on time & gives us no problems at all. Extremely respectful. However, I agree with you.
The first thing I would do is ask the tenant what she proposes. She is the one with the problem so I would make her come up with at least a proposed solution. Nothing says you have to accept it, but I would at least want her to put some more thought into the solution.
From what I can tell, all you have at this point is a long rambling email with the only mention of anything remotely resembling a solution is the mention of the word “subletting”.
With all that being said, at the end of the day I’d be inclined to let her out of the lease if you believe she can no longer afford to stay there for whatever reason. The worse thing you can do is force a non-paying tenant to remain in your property.
Evictions in my city are very expensive, so I always look for solutions. I'd probably do nothing until the payments stop coming.
Tough one. I would reply with something along these lines:
"Dear Misty, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's health. It's a good thing she went to the doctor and caught the issue early on. It sounds like she has a good doctor and is in the best hands. Thank you for being straight forward and informing us of the situation regarding not being able to sustain the monthly rent for this unit. There are charity organizations that you may be able to apply to in order to get assistance on rent, and we would be happy to accept rent from such an organization (insert charity names and contact info if you know of any, in my area there are several grant programs that help single women specifically). Or, if you need a few weeks to find a less expensive place, we will let you out of the lease agreement with 30 days notice. Unfortunately we have our own expenses such as bank payments, taxes, insurance and maintenance that require us to rent the apartment at the set price. Wishing the best for you and your mother during this difficult time. Our prayers are with you that the surgery goes well and she recovers quickly."
It's especially sad when evictions are due to health issues. 100% of the evictions I've had to execute had some type of health issue component, either real or made up. I'd wager that a high percentage of evictions are due to health issues. Everyone gets sick or injured eventually, and it's expensive to deal with. As a landlord you can't act as a charity, you have your own financial obligations to your lender, your investors, your reserve funds, your other tenants, your family, your goals for growing the business, your own health issues, etc.
Also as an aside, she should have told you from the beginning that her mom was subsidizing her rent, and you should have screened her to make sure her individual income was 2-3 times rent.
Sorry about your mothers and your problems . We have a strict rule of " No pay No Stay " . Let us know of your decision . Please read your lease to see what the ramifications of your actions are .
I would write her back and let her know you are sorry to hear about her mother’s situation. Let her know that due to this unfortunate situation that if she moves out by July 31 and leaves the apartment in good condition, you will let her out of the lease without any lease breaking fees or court record.
Then find a new tenant ASAP and replace her. And only accept a tenant whom can pay the rent without a co-signer. Hopefully she will write back and agree to it and move out. If she does not agree let her know that if she does not pay the August rent on time you will be forced to file for eviction which will damage her rental history. Hopefully this will encourage her to take your deal. If not then follow thru with the eviction the day after the August rent is due. She has already let u know that she can’t afford the rent so no need to drag it out and lose more rent.
@Joshua D. I know everyone says to not get personally involved, but when a tenant tells you the will not have money to pay rent, you need to get involved. Why on earth would you wait until she was shorting you rent to take action? She wants to work with you now, so I would suggest to her that she moves out. Get her out of the property as fast as possible before she runs out of money. Get someone in that has money to pay. Take part or all her deposit as a re-rental or lease break fee (or don't depending on how hard it was to rerent). Keeping tenants in your property who don't have ability to pay is bad business.
Good advice above. I would also take a moment to clarify to the tenant your policy on subletting and roommates.