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Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #1 
Good morning,

My tenants are moving out before the end of the lease.  They are going to pay rent thru the term or until I find a new tenant.  I am going to hold the security deposit till either I find a new tenant or the lease expires.  Is this the correct procedure?  Thanks . . .

Posts: 442
Reply with quote  #2 
Probably. It may depend on when they actually give back the keys. If they are paying rent, it's their unit and you have to treat it as such, so you would not need to give it back. Once they stop and you have the keys, it depends on the state (in Virginia, we have 45 days from that point).

Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #3 
In Mass, you have a duty to mitigate the damages which it seems like you are doing by seeking a new tenant. Remember they signed a contract with you and are breaching it. You definitely should hold the security until your state law allows (In Mass its' 30 days after tenancy is over). Tenancy is over on the last day of their lease or the first day someone new you approve MOVES in & is paying rent as of that day. Mass is heavily for tenants and you get that 30 days for a reason- its' to inspect for damages which can take over a week... literally the way the natural light hits something can show you damage at 2pm you could not see at 7am, etc.. PLus in MA you need to provide receipts and or estimates- you dont actually have to do the repair(s) but if they lowered say your fridge by 10% take 10% of the fridge off of it etc.. does not mean you need to pony up for a new fridge. ALWAYS hang onto the security until you have to let it go. They should not have signed a contract with you if they could not live it out and you are not penalizing them as you provided them a place to stay based on that contract. If you take any advise from me it is that, plus take a last month with new tenant and even if you dont have it in the lease that under no circumstance can they use security as last month's rent.. I know a lot of small time (1 or 2 rental property landlords who get very screwed that way). You contracted with an adult and held up your end- they breached so its' their problem... you are trying to get someone new but you have zero obligation to take just anyone- you can be just as picky as you normally would be. My advise always have in lease- security is for damages and can't be used towards a month's rent... ultimately if they end up owing you rent you take the security of course, but its best to word it that they can't do that so they dont think they dont have to pay you last month. We all get feelings about people but remember as landlords they are on their best behavior in front of us- you likely pay a mortgage and def property tax and insurance- you should never give up the security bc that is what it is your security that stuff like tenants breaching will not happen. Good luck and I am speaking from Mass point of view, which is usually heavily for tenant so I hope & think it would apply to your state
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