New landlords are often unsure about what they are supposed to do or permitted to do when their tenants break the lease. Today we’ll tell you what we do at Progressive Property Management in order to protect your property and your financial interests.
Educate Your Tenants
First, educate your tenants. A lot of tenants for one reason or another think they can sign a lease and then just move out whenever they want, even if it’s two or three months after moving in. Explain the consequences of breaking a lease. Your tenants need to know that if they do that, they will be responsible for the damages to the owner. These are financial costs such as commission that may need to be paid to the next Realtor, a tenant acquisition fee that’s paid to the property management company, and loss of rent.
Mitigating the Tenant Damages
By law, landlords and property management companies are required to make their best efforts to secure a new tenant and get the highest rent they possibly can. This is required so the tenant who is breaking the lease isn’t responsible for nine months of rental payments. So, make those efforts. However, the tenants need to know that even the best efforts can still take time. That means the damages can be quite high.
Following a Process
To recover those financial losses, you can charge the tenant’s full security deposit and then go after them personally if the costs to you are more than what the security deposit will cover. If a tenant needs to break a lease, we immediately begin to show the home with that tenant’s permission. We ask them to keep the place clean so we can get a new tenant in there as soon as possible. This will minimize the damages to the tenant who may be breaking the lease for legitimate reasons.
The best thing you can do is to work with your tenants, minimize the damages, and hold them accountable for the contract. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at Progressive Property Management.