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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #1 

I have a tenant who moved in May 9, 2005 for a year's lease. Tenant gave notice this morning that he is moving out because his wife and kids just left him and is suing for divorce, i.e. he will not be able to afford the rent. I know he is liable for the whole year's rent, but what are my rights and what should I do?


Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #2 

Hector, I don't know what state you are in.  (There's no location info on your profile.)  The lease says he is responsible for the rest of the rent for the full term; however, many states have laws that say you must make a reasonable effort to re-rent that unit during that time period or you cannot sue for the money.  He gave you notice today that he will be out on April 8th, right?  Has he paid the rent for tomorrow?  (Isn't it due March 9th?)  If he doesn't pay rent tomorrow, you need to start the procedure for your state.  Some states require a pay or quit notice, other require a 3 day notice to vacate, to be delivered a certain number of days after no rent is paid.  (Remember even though he says he is moving out, it doesn't mean he will.)  And if the wife's name is on the lease, make that notice (and any eviction papers) out to both of them.  Just because her marriage is over, doesn't release her from her financial obligations.  An eviction on their credit reports will hurt both of their scores.  If he does leave before you can file the eviction, take the place back and try to re-rent it.  Keep a record of all the decuctions you make from the SD for unpaid rent and damages and send him an accounting within your state's time limit.  Keep a record of any expenses you have from trying to re-rent (advertising, printing fliers, etc.)  Then if you cannot rent the unit before May 9th, file in small claims court against both of them for the rest of the unpaid rent.  You'll come to find out that a lease offers less protection from peole moving than what others lead you to believe.  It never stops people from moving out early.  And in some states, liquidated damage clauses (that say you have to pay $XXX from the SD because you break the lease) are actuall illegal.  Good luck.


Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #3 

Keep his deposit & last month's rent, I hope you have this but if you have not better do this next time. Just get a form called residential lease agreement for your new tenant. Get to work finding a new tenant ASAP, and sue for any rent money you lose by having it vacant that isn't covered by his deposit. Remember, the bank does not accept excuses for nonpayment/breach of contract (no matter how sad or creative) and neither should you. You are running a business, not a charity! If you need the forms for this. There is a site which contains all type of forms. I think it’s

Hope this helps.


Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #4 

If you need forms, check this book out of the local library:

Every Landlord's Legal Guide by Stewart, Warner, and Portman    8th edition


It comes with a CD that you can download into your computer that has 35 different forms on it.  Customize it for the laws in your state.


Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #5 
There are also some pretty good forms, thought limited in number, at
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