Landlord Terminated My Lease

Managing Real Estate Broker with Woodruff Real Estate and Property Management

I get the phone call at least once a month from the tenant that is being replaced by the family member and they will need to be moving out in 30 days. Typically the conversation starts with my landlord is terminating my lease so a family member can move in, then it is followed up with the question "can they do that?" and more often than not, "what can I/we do?".

My response and advice are always the same. First and foremost I am not an attorney so as far as a legal position you would have to have an attorney advise you. However do you have a copy of the lease you signed and what does it address as far as a landlord notification to terminate? More often than not the lease paragraph itself will answer any questions you may have for an attorney.

The frustrating notification does certainly put you in an unexpected position. Financially this situation puts a strain on the pocket book with moving expense, additional deposits and any pre-paid rents.

What do you do?

Most importantly don't burn the bridge you may need the reference. Depending on your lease this just may put you in a bargaining position. Due to the short notice you may be able to negotiate a lower last months rent, a buyout, a grace period to move, and quicker return of your security deposit. You can ask for a pre-walk through inspection of the property to possibly release a large portion of your security deposit so you can secure a replacement property. You don't know until you ask and the very worst they can say is no.

Get it in writing! I always recommend and require a termination agreement when terminating a lease early. Be sure the terms are defined in detail and there is a very clear release and termination of the lease with specific dates and any financial agreements and signatures of all parties.

In closing when you find your replacement property take the time to review the entire lease before you sign it.



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