How to Deal With Early Lease Terminations
Hi this is Tanya with Envy Property Management. One thing housing providers never want to deal with is early lease terminations, but the truth is, life circumstances change and it is inevitable that somewhere down the road you’ll have to face an early lease termination. The more important thing is to educate yourself on why it happens and to be adequately prepared for it when it does happen. By being well prepared, it’s also possible to even prevent early lease termination altogether. Today I’m going to talk about 8 reasons for early lease termination, and 4 ways to mitigate early lease termination.
8 Reasons for Early Lease Termination:
Unexpected life events such as divorce can be a valid reason someone must terminate their lease agreement early. In a case such as a divorce, allowing an early lease termination can save you more time and money than an eviction. If accommodations are not provided in these circumstances, then the tenants may take their frustration out on you, your reputation, or even worse, your property.
Illness is another unexpected life event that may require tenants to find accommodations elsewhere. Being sensitive to their untimely circumstances and open to allowing them to terminate their lease early is something you must consider as a housing provider.
3. Job Transfer
Job transfers are also a common reason for tenants to terminate their lease early. Some may not know if or when a job transfer will be in their future.
4. Active Duty Military
According to the War and National Service Members Civil Relief Act, tenants are permitted to break their lease early if they’re going into active military duty in one of many services.
In these cases, tenants are required to give 30-days notice of early termination, after which they aren’t obligated to make any more rent payments.
- NOAA Corps
- National Guard
- Armed forces more than 50 miles away
- Public Health Service
5. New Home Purchase
While most tenants are aware of when a new home purchase is in the near future, sometimes this can come up unexpectedly. Be mindful of unexpected changes such as a new home and offer your residents your congratulations. After all, you too are a homeowner.
6. Loss of Employment
If your tenant is unable to pay their rent because of reduced hours, wages, or layoffs, it may be easier and cost you less money to allow them to terminate their lease early rather than going through the eviction process.
7. Lease Agreement Violations
Tenants aren’t the only ones who can terminate a lease early, housing providers can also terminate a lease early if the tenant violates any part of the lease agreement.
The most common lease violation is failure to pay rent, which makes knowing how to evict a tenant who doesn’t pay rent a skill every landlord must know how to do.
Other lease violations include:
- Unauthorized tenants
- Unauthorized pets
- Noise violations
- Intentional damages
8. Domestic Violence
Resident’s involved in domestic violence, stalking, abuse, or sexual assault are all permitted to break their lease early so long as they have the necessary paperwork. After providing the early termination notice, the tenant will not be required to pay any rent. Check your local and state laws for the time frame for when rent will no longer be due.
4 Ways to Mitigate Early Lease Termination:
1. Review the Lease With Your Resident
Communication at the beginning of a tenancy can oftentimes deter tenants from even attempting to terminate their lease early. Tenants often don’t read over their leases closely or even house rules concerning serious matters like emergencies. It’s always a good idea to go over the lease with your residents so that you know they’ve at least been informed of the important details.
2. Write an Early Lease Termination Clause
With your attorney’s help, include an early termination clause in your rental agreement to ensure tenants are aware ahead of time of what their obligations are when terminating their lease agreement early. Include items like minimum notice, termination fees, and required written notice.
3. Require an Early Lease Termination Contract
Once your resident agrees they will be terminating their lease agreement early, have them sign a contract stating they agree to all the terms, conditions, and fees associated with terminating their lease early. Don’t forget to include things like the rekey fee, remarketing fee, and the actual lease termination fee.
4. Don’t Use the Security Deposit for Rent
Early termination doesn’t mean you should use the security deposit to pay any portion of rent or of the lease termination fees. Be very clear that the security deposit will be processed completely separately after the tenant moves out and that none of the security deposit will be used for any of the lease termination fees.
The bottom line is that early lease terminations can be messy and demand a lot from landlords. Knowing how to professionally handle them is yet another reason to use a property management company like Envy Property Management. You can always ask us for valuable tips and extra resources to make the choice simple and painless. Give us a call today, 801-337-4337 or visit our website at envypm.com where you can easily view our three-tiered pricing plan, so you can choose the package that best fits you and your needs.