Planning for your estate is not the most enjoyable task, but it is essential. Having a will and estate plans in place will save your heirs the difficult task of deciding how to divide your assets. Creating your will Read more…
No landlord wants to get the call that their tenants no longer want to live together. Whether they are romantic partners or not, these conversations are rarely easy. One tenant may want something from you, such as releasing them or the other tenant from the lease. Maybe they want you to take care of kicking the other person out of the unit for them.
Although you place a tenant with the hopes that they will remain in your property for the full term, many factors can change that destiny. The tenants may have decided to buy their own home. Maybe a new job will take them to a new location. Their family situation might change. Or there could be many other reasons. (If they are a member of the military, remember that servicemembers have special protections allowing them to leave a rental agreement without a penalty.) No matter the reason, knowing that a tenant plans to leave can be frustrating and emotional. It is important to keep these things in mind:
When you set up your lease, you put in every last detail about your requirements to live in your rental. When your tenant signed that lease, they were agreeing to all of those rules. So what should you do when a tenant no longer wants to follow your rules? Maybe they have snuck a pet into the unit, despite a prohibition against it. Or perhaps you have found out that an unauthorized guest has been residing in your rental? If your tenant has not been paying the rent as agreed, then you know you have a problem.
We had been landlords for years before we had to appear in court for the first time this fall. After losing, and being sued for another $10,000, we went to court again. In addition to these two cases on the East Coast, we experienced one more in California. These are the lessons we learned – the hard way – so that you can learn from our mistakes when you have your day in court!
Your lease is the legal contract governing the landlord-tenant relationship. Over the course of that relationship, it is unfortunately not uncommon for the tenant’s actions to fall outside of the rules set out in the lease. Some infractions may be minor, such as a failure to bring the trash can up to the building after trash day. Unfortunately, sometimes the offense is major, such as failing to pay rent or damaging your property. While it is very easy to say, “I will see you in court,” the question is whether you really want to commit to taking legal action against your tenant.
Modern technology can make it easier than ever to landlord from a distance. However, traveling to a court appearance can still be difficult and expensive. It makes sense to think carefully about whether it is worth the cost, the time taken away from another job or other responsibilities, and the inconveniences of modern travel to make an in-person court appearance.