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pheal

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 

I am a new landlord in Az.   I rented a home to a tenant in October 2007 with a 1-year lease.    Now in December, she is 16 days late on her rent and when she finally brought it to me after I had served her with a notice to pay rent or quit, she told me she needs to break the lease because she cant "afford" it.  she said she will be moved out this weekend and will pay the rent for January if I let her break the lease.   I told her I would have to think about it but whatever she does, she needs to send it to me in writing and the rent for January needs to be in my hands on the 1st of the month regardless.  What are my options.    She also had a guarantor for payment on her lease.  Can I go after him for the remainder of the lease amount or should I just try to rent the property out again and cut my losses? 

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,794
Reply with quote  #2 

Her lease is still valid.  (She should have considered her finances before she signed a lease.  This often happens.)  Don't allow her out of the lease or sign any paper ending her lease obligations.  When she moves out, calculate the rent up to the date she returns the keys as current rent, then calculate the rent up to the end of her notice period.  I assume she needs to give 30 days notice per lease clause (December 16 to January 15).  So she owes 1/2 month in January for the notice period rent.  Start advertising and showing the unit ASAP.  Keep track of the advertising costs.  She owes you for these as well.  Additionally, she will owe you for the rent until you re-rent the unit, utilities if she was to be responsible for them, and any other costs you incur because of her early termination (such as agent fees, unreimbursed credit checks on the next tenant, etc.)  Keep track of these costs and send her a statement within your state's timelimit (14 days after move-out) showing that you used the deposit to cover advertising, unpaid rent and utilities, damages to the unit, etc.  Then send her a bill each month for the unpaid rent if it is not rented.  When you get it rented, send her a final bill for any monies she owes.  Remember to keep copies of everything for court later.  If she fails to pay, file against her in small claims court for a judgment.  The judgment will automatically be garnished from her wages until you are paid (lucky you with this law in AZ!!!).  Keep in mind that most judges (at least around here) will only allow you to collect 1 - 2 months of unpaid rent while you are advertising for a new tenant, but that you can charge them with all advertising costs, agent fees, utilities they were to pay, damages to the unit, and late fees if listed in your lease.  My state also allows me to charge interest on the unpaid judgment until I am paid in full.

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