Tenants Moving Out Early in Calgary

Millions

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
Hey all,

I've dealt with this situation so many times, you'd think I have more than one property. It's crazy how many times I've gone to court for this sort of stuff, but the last time I went, I was shocked. My old tenants moved out with three months left on the lease. When they told me in advance, I said I'll try to rent it out but if not, you're still responsible. I ended up "suing" them for two months rent as I did rent it out after two months vacancy. Should be an easy win with a lease, BUT instead the judge decided to make them only pay one month rent. Why? Simply because they told her that I said they could move out when they want when they signed the lease. Defeats the purpose of a lease and there's no proof I said that (I didn't), but judge went with them anyways. Totally shocked.

So now I'm about to deal with this again. My new tenants after 1.7 years have broken up. Girlfriend Boyfriend situation. the girl said he is taking over the lease. He said he isn't.

The lease is until April 30th.

She wants to "talk to me about the lease". I just want to make sure I get rent until then.

What should I do?

Should I tell her that the best I can do is try to rent it out, and if no one rents it, they are responsible?

OR

Should I just say, no. I'm not going to try to rent it out as the lease is until April 30th and your responsible.
 

Brad Redekopp

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
You may need to mitigate your losses(ie trying to rent it out) read the tenancy laws. Start advertising as soon as you can


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Millions

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
Yeah, I can always start trying to rent it out. From what I've read in the tenancy laws though, it's not required. The lease is the lease. If it doesn't get rented out, they "technically" need to pay.
 

Martin1968

Frequent Forum Member
Registered
It’s frustrating when that happens no question. Only word of advice I can give is to have all correspondence by email or written form. When a tenant gives notice verbally or even by text I do ask for a written notice and will respond accordingly In written (email) form.

I recently had 2 tenants in different units break the lease early and after receiving the written notice, I responded via email correspondence. Just so you have a paper trail to fall back on.
In my response I then give them 3 options, 1) continue to occupy the premises and continue to pay all cost (rent and utilities) until re-rented. 2) move out but continuing to pay all cost (rent and utilities) until re-rented.
3) Pay a penalty of 2 months rent and forfeit of the damage deposit With full release of mutual obligations

In case of number 3, this offer would depend on number of months left on lease, and also time of year. Winter is just a tad harder to rent out then spring/summer.

One tenant had 9 months left and gave an unclear reason of why breaking the lease and another had 6 months and had a valid reason. They both took the buy out. I netted $6600, had one unit empty for the month of December and re-rented for Jan 1, the other unit sits empty at current. Needless to say I will likely get ahead.
In the past I have also had tenants choose one of the other options. And that’s their good right of course.

By the way, you can’t refuse a tenant to break the lease, you have an obligation to re-advertise and re-lease, and they will be of the hook the moment you have re-leased. They will be responsible for all rent and cost until that time. Make sure you have a releasing fee in your lease, I would advice no less then $500.00, to cover the extra costs you have.

I hope I have given you a few ideas on how you can possibly solve it, without having to take tenants on.
I have a standard letter that I send out in cases like this, if interested pm me.
 

dpeacock

Frequent Forum Member
REIN Member
We’ve had this happen many times in Calgary. The tenant can move out before the lease is over, but are legally responsible for the rent until the lease ends. The landlord is required to start looking for another tenant as soon as the tenant gives you notice. We charge an 800 re-rental fee and tell the tenant they must continue to pay rent until we have it re-rented. If you end up renting it out for less than the current tenant is paying, they are also responsible for difference for however many months are left. Just part of the business.


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Millions

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
We’ve had this happen many times in Calgary. The tenant can move out before the lease is over, but are legally responsible for the rent until the lease ends. The landlord is required to start looking for another tenant as soon as the tenant gives you notice. We charge an 800 re-rental fee and tell the tenant they must continue to pay rent until we have it re-rented. If you end up renting it out for less than the current tenant is paying, they are also responsible for difference for however many months are left. Just part of the business.


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Yes, we have a $300 fee in the lease. However, having been to court a lot, I've learned that if they challenge this, it's not allowed. Weird, since it's signed for in a lease, but the judge never applies it. That's if you end up in court though.
 

Thomas Beyer

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Yes, we have a $300 fee in the lease. However, having been to court a lot, I've learned that if they challenge this, it's not allowed. Weird, since it's signed for in a lease, but the judge never applies it. That's if you end up in court though.

If you can find them after they leave. Some tenants just disappear.

How do you know their next address if they don’t give it to you?


Thomas Beyer, Asset Manager, Investor, Community Improver, Author, Father, Mentor www.prestprop.com
 

RizG

New Forum Member
REIN Member
Good tips Martin.

I got an excellent tip from Jared Hope years ago in one of his presentations. He said that he made his tenants initial every clause in his lease, because he had a similar situation with a court case, where the tenant said "I didn't know that". With initialed clauses, you can prove that the tenant read and agreed to the clause.

I've been using this in every lease I've done since, and I've only had tenants leave early twice, touch wood. Once was because of some sort of allergic reaction, so we simply let her go, but fortunately filled the suite in under a month.

The second time (in Calgary) was just 3 months ago. The tenant moved out, but it's been a challenge re-filling the suite. Fortunately the previous tenant has been paying the rent, plus the $200 re-leasing fee) which is going to $500 (thanks Martin).

But I feel pretty bad for them in this tough economy, so I'll just let them off the hook for the last 3 months, and hopefully Karma will be on my side.

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