Replacing tenants on lease- room mate drama

6 Replies

(Texas) I rented a 3/2 to two sisters and a couple who looked just fine on paper.  Everything was quiet for three months until the couple started blowing up my phone wanting off the lease. After speaking with the sisters, I decided my best course of action would be to screen two other women who the sisters said would like to replace the couple on the lease. They have passed screening, but the couple got angry and left before I could get them screened and now are ignoring me. They told me they are just breaking the lease. I guess since they said they are breaking the lease, they think they don't have to do anything else. I only need them to sign the paperwork removing them from the lease so I can add their replacements. If they refuse to sign anything, what the heck do I do? I can't just add people to the lease without their permission if they are still on the lease. I don't know if I can just end the lease and start a new one with the new tenants... I keep reading and can not figure out a clear solution that keeps me covered legally. I have been assured that the next month's rent will be paid by the sisters. I thought I had most scenarios planned for, but this one is throwing me. Any help? Thanks so much!!!

If the couple is going to move out and didn't do any damage, let them go. Sign a new lease with the old and new tenants. I just don't understand why/how you are renting a 3/2 to 4 different people? Just make all the tenants pay in one payment so they figure out the splits, you just collect one check. Seems like a stressful situation for one house. I wouldn't rent separate rooms in a house to people who did now know each other. I also put lease break fees into my lease for situations like this but if the sisters are willing to cover the whole month, you may luck out and not lose any money or have to go to court at all. 

Did you send them a simple termination of lease  form and they won't sign?  If that   is the case send a written communication terminating the lease and giving they x days to return form or reply . Outline what happens with possessions and deposits.  This creates a written record for you if they don't reply this is what you will do....   Apparently from a deposit and money standpoint you are satisfied?  What you do with the new group is up to you. New lease or append them to existing but the security deposit is for the current lease so I would do a revision. 

I didn't rent separate rooms to separate people. They came to me together, wanted to rent a house. So they all went on the lease. I don't think that's uncommon. Three rooms, one sister in two and the couple in a third. My husband and I certainly lived that way in our younger years with friends.

I sent a termination form, have called and texted, and they will not respond. I wasn't sure how to proceed without putting myself in a bad place. The sisters will pay up, but by themselves do not make enough money to afford the house and I want the other two ladies on the lease before releasing the couple. I will do what you said Colleen and give so many day to comply, starting my paper trail. Thank you!

@Jessica Gilbert . Be sure you send any Termination Of Lease Notices via Registered Mail - Return Receipt Requested. By sending this way you fulfill the Requirements for Notification regardless of whether people accept the Notification, don't send the Notification back, etc. 

After the deadline to send the Signed Termination Notice has passed - I would think you would be on firm Legal Grounds to proceed with your new folks. Not An Attorney and Not Legal Advice.    

@Jessica Gilbert . Your way of doing business seems like a big hassle. Why not just rent to one family whom can afford the rent and pass your qualifications? If you plan to ren tryout property the early you are I would do month to month leases so that if things go bad you can get them out easier with a non renewal of their lease instead of having to evict them.

@Amy Beth This house is walking distance from one of several universities/colleges in the town. The majority of interest we have is going to be room mate situations. That is typically what I have rented to I have never had an issue. Families break up, too. If you don't have anything helpful to say about the current issue, I don't understand why you felt the need to comment.

@Jim Cummings Thank you!