Non-renewing Lease and No Rent

14 Replies

Hi All,

I recently sent out a non-renewal lease notice to a month to month tenant on 9/29, saying their final day was 10/31.  They texted me and confirmed that they had received the notice on 10/1.  In that notice I also mentioned that rent was due for October.  The 5th came and went without any rent payments and I have posted a 5 day notice now to pay or quit.  My question now is do I go through with the eviction or just wait until they move out on 10/31 and deduct from the security deposit.  My security deposit is equal to the rent so the late fee wouldn't be included or any other deductions.

If they don't move out on 10/31, then I file immediately.  



I almost had this happen to me in August.  We'd given her a notice to vacate no later than 8/31.  But was late on August's rent.  She finally got me the rent on the morning AFTER the Pay or Quit notice expired.  Luckily for her, it was before my H had gone to City Hall to file for an eviction.  But she didn't leave on 8/31 and we still ended up having to evict her.

Don't hesitate to file an eviction for non-payment of rent!  There is no reason not to.  It doesn't matter they're "supposed to" move out on Oct. 31st.  They may not.  And at least you get the ball rolling early.

You're already out October's rent.  That is not what the security deposit is for.  And if they don't move in Oct. and you have to file for an eviction after that?  You will probably be out at least Nov.'s rent also.

Welcome to BP. 

I don’t know Wisconsin Landlord Tenant Law.

In Illinois, if a tenant doesn’t pay rent and 5 days has elapsed, lessor can file foricible entry detainer (eviction), even though you have already given them a 30 day notice. 

Also, in Illinois, you can’t just simply “post” the 5 day notice on the door, you have to serve the tenant. 

Hope it helps. 

Please refer to Wisconsin way. LL/ tenant handbook.

But if it were me. It expect a non pay last month as I'm sure they are saving up for new place (rent/ sec dep). Depending how long they occupied your home they maybe looking at a rent increase in new place as well. 

As for issuing a 5 day. I am not an attorney nor play one on tv. This does not constitute as legal advice. But I'd issue 5 day to push the issue. Then you need to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze. If you file after 5 days and tenant doesnt have new place, it will be harder for them to find a place and maybe carryover into Nov. But if you feel they will carry over into nov anyway this gives you an option to speed up process. There are many ways to handle this. 

@Brandon V. start the eviction immediately, even if they were already given 30 days. If they don't move out after the 30 days, you could lose another month of rent (possibly more) while trying to start the eviction process.

Starting now puts them on notice that you're not playing around.

This may be a silly question, but have you tried contacting the tenant in any other way? Texting, calling, stopping by the house? Explain the situation, and let them know that if you don't receive rent you will have to file for eviction, which you really, really don't want to do, for both of your sake. If you are going to stop by the house, go ahead and serve them notice personally and explain what it means.  You might as well record the conversation while you're at it, Wisconsin is a one-party consent state so you can legally do that.

If the next contact doesn't go well then I would go ahead and file for eviction and let them know it is being processed and will move forward unless they pay rent immediately. Also, it is up to you, but if the suggestion comes up, I wouldn't accept partial payment, even though it appears Wisconsin Statues appear to allow for this and still continue with eviction (Wis Statute Sec 799.40(1m) - (contact a lawyer, I am not a lawyer and none of this is legal advise). 

Hi all,

Thanks for the great replies.  I did end up texting and calling the tenant again and their response was they would be out or pay by Saturday and that is within the 5 days so we’ll wait until tomorrow and see what happens.  Otherwise it’s off to file on Tuesday.  Thanks again guys!

@Jennifer T. @James Syed @Chad Nagel @Nathan G. @Joe Arida

Ok here's the updates guys with some questions.   So I sent out the 5 day notice on Monday to Pay rent for October or vacant the unit.  The tenant since then has contacted me and said that they have moved out over the weekend.  It is now Tuesday so since I gave them the five day, and they are gone, I can legally go in now and reclaim the property correct?  Also, I can still deduct the entire month of October from the security deposit as well even though they moved out voluntarily before the end of the month correct?  I should now just send a certified mailing of the disposition of deposit to my rental address and keep it unopened for my records and keep the security deposit.  



Yes, go rekey unit, they have vacated. Since they are on a M2M, charge them for all days up to the move out point and any damage and water bills. You have 21 days after move out to return deposit or explain where deposit went. Get the unit cleaned up asap and on market as to not lose rent. 

@Brandon V. the moment they notified you they were out, you can take possession of the unit. It's always best to get that in writing, even a text or email. Go change the locks and take control.

You can still hold them liable for rent up until the 30-day period (10/31) or until a replacement tenant is found. They are also liable for cleaning and repairs in accordance with the law.

@Brandon V. You can take possession now. Rekey all the locks, and get a new garage door opener if they had one too. Any PIN pad locks (like for the garage or keybox) change the codes for. As far as deductions, make sure to deduct all the items done above. You can also deduct for unpaid rent for the month of October, but must make reasonable efforts to try to find a new tenant during that time. So if you found a new tenant the can move in next week, you only deduct for the vacancy period. As far as the disposition if deposit, make sure to request a forwarding address frpm the tenant. If you can't get one then send it to the last known address. If they paid the $1 fee for USPS Move it will get forwarded to their new address anyway. If you can't get a new tenant in, it sounds like the whole deposit is gone and you're out some money to rekey and turn over the unit (assuming they did some damage during this stressful time). Glad they got out! Best of luck finding a new tenant. Always confirm advice on BP with a lawyer, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice :)
@Brandon V. Sorry dor the lack of paragraphs. For spme reason posting through the apl it removes all my line breaks and makes one giant paragraph :( I put a ticket in so hopefully it can be reaolved soon!

If you do deduct the last month rent from the security deposit, make sure you abide by the rules of the contract. You probably have to send them an itemized list of deductions. You should also include any damage (if there is any beyond normal wear and tear) and send them a bill for that. You're probably not going to get anything but they might be less likely to arugue about the last month rent.

Not sure what you ended up doing here and it is the 17th now but I recommend reminding them that they cannot use their security deposit as the last months rent (this should be clearly written in your lease if it isn't) and if you get no response or no rent in short order I would start the eviction process. 

Been through this situation in CT a number of times and the law can vary state to state, but in most cases the tenants think for some reason they can use their security for last months rent and once reminded the situation resolves itself if otherwise the tenant has been good about paying throughout their lease term.