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A Brief Guide Regarding Early Termination for Landlords

If your tenants want to break the lease early then what landlord should do? Both parties had signed an agreement that binds them to the terms. This includes payment of rent through move-out date. It is important to note that as much as lease protects the landlord there are laws that protect tenants when they want to move out. If you are a property owner, then you should know how to handle the situation to ensure that all the procedures will be done.

If you are not able to do this on your own, then you should avail the property management Cape Cod MA services from Real Property Management Associates. The professional managers are aware of the rules and state laws so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Before we move to the blog let’s first get the answer to a common question, what is a lease termination agreement? It is a simple contract that you can sign with a landlord when they agree to terminate the lease early and release you from all the obligations. In conditions like medical issues, job change, and etc. You can ask the landlord to let you break the lease.

In the following blog, we will be looking at the different things that the landlord should know regarding early termination:

Reasons Tenant Terminate Lease Early

Tenants can break the lease due to a number of different reasons. It can be professional, personal, or sometimes the landlord breaches the lease. According to the reason, a landlord might be legally bound to release the tenant without damages. In addition to this, in other situations, this makes sense to compassionate and work with the tenant to find a solution. Such conditions can be:

Domestic Violence: In some states, landlord-tenant allow survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, unlawful harassment to break the lease and leave the rental unit if necessary. Furthermore, if tenants send an early termination due to the above reasons, then landlord should check state’s laws to see what his duties are in this condition.

Military Deployment: If your tenant is called for military or active duty, then the Service members Civil Relief Act enable the individuals of armed forces like NOAA, National Guard, and US Public Health that they can terminate the lease early to start their duty. But remember that tenant should give a one month notice that will be effective 30 days after the following rent payment is due. This means that when a soldier will give notice on July 17, then he should be responsible for paying August’s rent. After 8/31 they are free to go.

Uninhabitability: It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide a safe and habitable place to tenants. This means that landlords should ensure that electricity, plumbing system, heating system, and other things are working properly. If the rental unit is not livable, then tenants can legally break the lease and walk away.

Job Loss: If your tenant is no longer able to pay the rent due to the financial problem, then there is no reason to live in a rental unit. It is better to allow them to exit the lease because it will be less time consuming, arduous, and expensive in comparison to eviction or getting a debt collector involved.

Divorce/Illness: Just like the job loss, divorce or serious illness can create a financial problem for the renters. A landlord is not legally obligated to release the tenant in this situation but doing so you will get out of the tough situation for all parties involved.

Intrusiveness: Although the property is owned by the landlord still, they are not having the right to enter property without permission. You should give your tenants a notice 24 hours prior before visiting the rental unit. Tenants are having the rights of privacy. But in some cases, landlords are not taking care of this element and tenants may break the lease. But as per the law, tenants must give a formal written warning to the landlord about the behavior.

Job Transfer: No one is having control on the job transfer. So, some of the state laws allow a tenant to break the lease for this reason.

Searching New Tenants

When tenants send a notice of early termination lease agreement and plan to vacate the rental unit before, then in most of the states, landlord is having the right to search for new tenants. Legally, you can’t force the tenant to pay rent while the unit is vacant through the end of the lease.

If your tenant is leaving the rental unit in offseason, then you should look for the new tenants. You should follow the same procedure that includes marketing of unit, showing the unit to prospective renters, and more to bring in new tenants. It is important for the landlord to complete all the screening to avoid the problem later. As a landlord, you should not be collecting the double rent of a same-unit because that’s illegal.

Things to Include in Early Termination Clause and Fee

It is better to work with a lawyer to develop solid early termination of a lease clause. Some of the things that you should address are as follows:

  • The notice should be written and signed by tenants involved in the termination.
  • The minimum duration notice for a tenant to request early termination of the lease is 30 to 60 days.
  • Cost of an early termination fee. It is usually 1 to 2 months or rent.
  • The lease will be considered officially terminated once the landlord gets the receipt of signed notice and early termination fee.
  • All rent of prior months or charges should be paid prior to the tenant vacating.
  • If tenants are not following the process and vacate the property before the agreed date, does not pay termination, pay other incurred charges or any other dues, then the early termination will become invalid and every other aspect of a lease will apply.

It is important to note that nothing is official until it is written. You need to ensure that the tenant has written a notice to terminate the lease and signs it. Furthermore, confirm that you have received the payment you requested before leaving the rental unit. This will include unpaid rent, termination fees, other charges, etc.

Hope this guide will help you to follow the process to get rid of problems. It is better for the landlord to know about all the rules and regulations. If you are having the vacation property and looking to hire the professional property managers for Cape Cod vacation rental property management services, then connect with Real Property Management Associates for satisfactory results.

To know more about the services, you can call us at (508) 509-4485.

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