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What to Know About Early Lease Terminations

By January 20, 2021 No Comments

Whether it’s you as a landlord that wants to terminate the lease or the tenant, there are some things you should know. Sometimes, situations come up where it makes sense to let a tenant out of the lease. Let’s look at a few of those types of situations and a few tips to handle them.

3 Situations Where Early Lease Termination Might Happen

1. Military Deployment or Reassignment

One of the most common times when you might need to terminate a lease early is with tenants in the military. If they are called for active duty, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows for the breaking of their lease, if they will be deployed at least 50 miles away.

Tenants still have to provide a 30-day notice, however.

2. Divorce

Another common time when you might have to allow for early lease termination is during a divorce. If a couple divorces, it can cause a big issue to the finances of the renter in your property.

3. Job Loss

While some tenants might be able to figure out how to pay rent after losing a job, some might not be able to handle it. This might be a time for a landlord to show compassion and let the tenant out of the lease if they no longer have the income to handle the rent payments.

There are other situations where early lease termination might be necessary, too, such as:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Serious illness or death
  • An Uninhabitable property

If you’re faced with any of these situations, it’s best to follow a few tips.

4 Tips for Dealing with Early Lease Termination

1. Be Understanding

While there are some circumstances where the laws will dictate what you need to do, such as with military deployment, others should be handled on a case-by-case basis. As a landlord, you should be understanding and work out the best deal for both you and the tenant.

2. Search for a New Tenant

You will be obligated to search for a new tenant if you receive a formal early termination letter from a tenant. Make sure you follow the laws in your area for this specific process.

3. Offer Options, if Possible

It’s possible you could offer to find a new tenant early or you might be able to offer a buy-out option. There are ways to make early lease termination work for both parties without causing major issues.

4. Communicate

The best thing you can do with a tenant needing to break a lease early is to communicate. If you are open and honest with each other, a deal can be reached to ensure you end up with the best possible situation for both parties.

Even with a property management company helping you, it’s likely; you will have the final say over how to deal with early lease termination. There are many possibilities and this does happen, in some cases. Be understanding, especially with tenants dealing with emotionally charged issues, such as death, illness, or divorce.