On 02/10/12 my tenant signed a six month extension on their lease agreement. The extension expires 08/01/12. They just advised me via email that they plan on moving out of my townhome by 05/01/12. Tenant is claiming his/her mom is having difficult walking up and down stairs.
Is tenant legally required to pay me rent through 08/01/12? Should I have them sign and notarize an agreement stating that I will keep their security deposit with two month rent in allowing them to break contract?
Without seeing the lease and lease agreement, it is not possible to say for sure. However, generally speaking, the tenant would be liable to pay you all of the rent under the lease extension, less whatever damages you as the landlord are able to mitigate by finding a replacement tenant.
You could enter into a lease termination agreement wherein the tenant agrees to release the full security deposit to you in consideration for a full release of all claims. However, the tenant is not required to agree to such a proposal.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
Attorney Chen is correct. Please be aware that you have a duty to mitigate your damages.
No information you obtain from this answer is legal advice, nor is it intended to be. No attorney-client relationship is intended or formed between the questioner and answerer. You should consult an attorney for individualized advice regarding your specific situation.
The tenant would be responsible for the entire term. You would be entitled to apply the security deposit towards the unpaid rent, but make sure you make that clear to them. If you agree to accept that amount in lieu of the balance, and the tenant agrees to that, make sure you put it in writing and have the tenant sign.
You are required to make good faith attempts to rent out the unit to a new tenant, and if you do, then the prior tenant is entitled to a reduction for rent paid by others.
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