Tenant Moved Out, Someone Else Finishing Lease; What Do I Do?

Tenant Moved Out, Someone Else Finishing Lease; What Do I Do?

If a tenant moved out and another one finishes the lease, then what should you do is the question for Ask Landlord Hank this week.

Dear Landlord Hank:

What should a landlord do and how should it be handled if you find out your tenant moved out and someone else moved in to finish the lease? The six-month lease is up Oct 31, 2020, and I’m unsure how to handle this. Any suggestions?  Lori

Dear Landlady Lori,

I would talk to the current tenant and ask them if they are planning to move out at the end of term or if they’d like to continue on (this assumes they’ve been a good tenant and you may want to keep them).

If they are moving, you have your answer. If they’d like to stay, I’d tell them they haven’t gone through the application process and they must proceed like a real tenant if they want to stay.

Then I would check the lease I’d had with the original tenant and see what it says about what happens if the tenant leaves early and what the consequences of subletting are. Then I’d call the original tenant and tell them the consequences.

Make sure you follow your state’s guidelines for handling security-deposit refunds and do so in a timely manner. It sounds like you have a good replacement tenant.

Good luck, Lori.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

Ask Landlord Hank - Tenant moves out and another finishes lease
Landlord Hank says, “I would check the lease I’d had with the original tenant and see what it says about what happens if the tenant leaves.”

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Hank Rossi
I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.