Landlord Q & A: late rent payments and breaking leases
November 1, 2010
Can Tenant Move Out on Lease?
Q: I am renting a house to a family of three and they still have three more months on the lease. They called to say that they may be moving on Nov. 3. They called me on Oct. 24. We have a lease that will expire in February.
My question is since they are breaking the lease. Do I have to return their deposit? They also have a dog and paid an extra deposit for damages the dog may do. What do I owe them if anything. We are in Texas.
Thank You, Betty
A: Not only don’t you have to return the deposit, they may owe you even more money. They are obligated for the lease until you re-rent the property or until the end of the lease. In addition, they are obligated for your costs of re-renting the property, such as all advertising. Their security deposit may cover their obligation and it may not. A lease is a contract, tenants have to pay if they break it.
The dog deposit, though, may be used only to cure damages the dog did.
Tenant Always Late with Rent
Q: We have a five year lease on a home and the tenants are at least ten days late every month. When we try to contact them they don’t return our calls. This is the fifth month out of seven months this has happened. Can we evict them for not paying on time? They don’t seem to mind the late charges we make them pay every month. We are tired of this and would like to know what we can legally do about it
A: Whether late payments constitute a breach of the lease sufficient to evict is spelled out in the terms of the lease. Read it carefully to see if you have the right to boot them out. If you have any question about it, have an attorney tell you exactly what your rights are.
Whether late payments constitute a breach of the lease sufficient to evict is spelled out in the terms of the lease. Read it carefully to see if you have the right to boot them out. If you have any question about it, have an attorney tell you exactly what your rights are.