When you place a tenant in your rental property, you expect that tenant to pay rent on time, take care of your property, and follow the terms of your lease agreement.

But, what if that tenant doesn’t even complete the lease term?

At California Pacific Realty, we manage rental homes throughout Oakland and the Bay area. Today, we’re talking about lease breakage.

Even Good Tenants Break Leases

It’s easy to panic when your tenant notifies you that he or she is moving out before the end of the lease term. You might question your screening process and wonder how this can happen. But, you shouldn’t stress about it too much. It’s something that does happen every so often, even when you have good, well-screened tenants in place. There are some very good reasons for why a tenant might need to break the lease.

You don’t know what’s happening with your tenant’s personal life, so it’s a good idea to work with tenants in a situation like this to protect the relationship and your property. You may lose some money, but if you’re prepared to act quickly and you have the cooperation of the tenant who is leaving, this doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Establish and Maintain Clear Communication

It is extremely important to have an open line of communication with the tenant.

Figure out together what the best way is to manage the situation. Talk to your tenant about the details of their move. You’ll need to know how long they expect to be in the home so you can begin to prepare your marketing and make plans to have the property turned around quickly. You want to work out a situation that will help both you and your tenant.

If you have a strong lease agreement in place, your tenant will be responsible for following that lease and paying rent until the end of the term. Depending on the situation, that might not be realistic. We like to have a plan in place when tenants leave early that will save us both time and money.

Finding a Temporary Tenant

Give your tenants the opportunity to find someone to take their place until the end of the lease so you don’t have a vacancy concern. If someone takes over the current tenant’s lease, you can still collect the same rental amount until that lease period ends. Your tenant might have someone in mind already, or maybe together you can advertise for a resident who is interested in finishing out the lease term.

When you’re able to work together with your tenant to find someone else to move in, you’re saving your tenant the cost of paying out the lease term, and you’re saving yourself the time and money it takes to find a new tenant. Everyone wins.

Tenant who breaks the leaseIf you have any questions regarding how to handle a tenant who breaks the lease, please contact us at California Pacific Realty. We’d be happy to talk about your own situation.