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Jacko5

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
So I have a bit of a weird predicament -

Let’s say my former tenants bought a house in June and their lease agreement goes till July 31st. They pack ALL their stuff (vacant house) and shut off all utilities and move out in June and pay for July’s rent. We do a move out walkthrough on July 15th and all keys are returned. I find new tenants and sign a lease agreement with them to start on August 1st., but end up giving them the keys 2 - 3 days early. Former tenants find out I gave new tenants the keys early and now want prorated rent returned for the month of July. Note, I Did not collect any double rent for any day.

Former tenants are saying it was still their rental till July 31st although we did the move out walkthrough on July 15th.

Need help on how to best handle this situation and what is the proper law to “move out” / lease termination?


LLinVA

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Posts: 404
Reply with quote  #2 
How did they find out? Are they friends with the new tenants or something?

Someone else had possession for 2-3 days, so there is a legitimate complaint there, but it's for those few days, not the whole month. Doing the walkthrough early also helps their case (although you aren't legally required to pro-rate until you have actually found a new tenant), but it does show that they did not have access to the property. 

I would give them a check for the 2-3 days. Have they already received their security deposit refund? 
Jacko5

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
The former tenants had a package delivered to the property and saw someone moving in stuff. I did the walkthrough and returned the security deposit on 7/15/18 (same day). They also gave me back possession of the property on 7/15/18 by returning the keys.
LLinVA

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Posts: 404
Reply with quote  #4 
The payment counts as possession more than the keys do, so I would explain to them that the other tenants weren't formally moving in yet, their lease doesn't start until the 1st, they were just getting a headstart on moving some things. If the old tenant still throws a fit, refund the few days difference. They are not entitled to the whole month, not even from when they gave you the keys, just the few days the new tenant actually had access. 
AccidentalRental

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Posts: 120
Reply with quote  #5 
Agree.  You need to refund at minimum the days of overlapping "possession." 

Even if you didn't collect prorated rent from the new tenant, it looks like double dipping (trying to collect double rent).  It sounds like you were just trying to be nice and accommodate the new tenant.  Unfortunately, you can't be a nice guy in this business.  You have to apply the rules consistently and fairly.  

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