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Tenant is breaking lease

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by newjob, Aug 4, 2005.

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  1. newjob

    newjob Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My tenants are getting divorced and are breaking their lease. I found this out initially from a bank that called me checking their credit. I then called them and the wife admitted that they will be gone by the end of August, so they are not even giving me 30 days notice. The lease goes until April, 2006. Are they responsible for paying for the full lease, or am I just out of luck?

    Also, they have several junk cars on the property and I told them that they must remove them. What can I do if they do not remove the cars? It will cost me to have the cars removed by the junk yard.
     
  2. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    it depends on your state law. Generally a landlord has three possibilities, but they can be limited by specific state law:

    1-keep the apartment vacant until the end of the lease and sue the tenants for the rent

    2-rent the apartment on behalf of the tenant and sue the tenant for the difference

    3-accept their surrender, that terminates the lease, and re-lease on your own behalf. In that case you can only recover past rent due up to the point you accept the surrender.

    Option 1) often is abolished or severely limited by state law. Usually you have the duty to mitigate, that means you have to try to keep damage down by finding a new tenant as soon as possible.

    Any costs in connection with removal of their property can be included in the damages when you sue them.
     
  3. Duranie

    Duranie Moderator

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    I agree, you have to mitigate your damages which means you have to attempt you find new tenants. You could also sue then for the difference.
     
  4. newjob

    newjob Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Update

    We did a walk thru of the house and it seems that one of the tenants has stolen some things. A pool table, a jukebox and a pool table light are missing. The wife says that her soon to be ex husband took them and that we "gave" them to him by leaving them in the basement of the house when we rented it to them. We did leave the stuff for them to use, not to take with them when they left. She refuses to give us the husband's new phone number.

    What would you advise in this case? They are paid til the end of August, but both parties are living elsewhere. They have left a ton of junk, and I'm assuming they will leave it for us to dispose of. Can we legally evict them immediately? We have several other things of value in the house--antique light fixtures and a very expensive commercial stove and I don't want to have these stolen also.
     

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