Damage and breaking a lease

3 Replies

Our tenants of 7 years are moving out next. They have asked to break the lease with 11 months remaining. When I went over to prepare for a showing I noticed there was water damage on the ceiling and a bunch of tiles are busted in the kitchen. None of the damage was reported to me. I know from previous damage that no one sells replacement titles that match. They have pictures everywhere including all the way up the stairwell. My questions are:

1) should I charge them anything to break the lease?

2) are they responsible for the damage due to negligence?

3) since I cannot replace the broken tiles can I charge them to fully replace the kitchen floor?,

4) can I charge them for the nail hole fixes?

5) What is customary for painting, etc before a new tenant moves in? Is it just understood that the new renters will have walls with holes or is there an expectation that all of that is fixed?

I believe the damages will be more than the security deposit. Do I just need to notify them of the additional charges as part of their checkout? Property is in VA if that matters.


What did you end up doing? I'm going to be in a similar situation soon and am curious how you handled it and how they responded.

I charged them one and a half months rent to break the lease. Other than that everything was by the contract. The repairs were determined to be their fault and we took it out of their deposit. For the tiles specifically I charged them for a portion of the expense. I am still fighting with them as they do not see any of the damage as their fault. They also reported water damage the night they moved out which ran another $8k or so. But the best part is they closed their bank account down before I could cash one of their checks so I am out $1,100. Be careful and good luck!