Lost Your Job? Need to Relocate? Can’t Stay until the End of your Lease?
One option is the Early Termination Program (ETP) and it is covered by paragraphs 16 in the rental contract regarding Defaults, whereby a tenant simply moves out and stops paying rent. Defaults results in legal action, damage to your credit report, and ultimately the account being placed for collection.
Early Termination on the other hand involves helping you locate a replacement tenant to take over the occupancy of the home and allows you to depart on good and LEGAL terms. In other words, if you have no other choice and need to move out early and wish to do so in a way that does not cause damage to your Credit Score and Court Records, all the costs of your decision to terminate early must be absorbed and paid by you, and not the property owner.
The following steps must be taken to participate in the Early Termination Program:
1) Tenant must provide written notice of intent to terminate early, including a move-out date.
2) Written termination notice must include the payment of the re-letting fee listed in the Early Termination Program policy.
3) Must continue paying rent each month on the first, until a replacement tenant is found and starts paying rent in your place.
4) Must keep utility services in your name after vacating, until a new tenant moves in.
5) Must arrange for lawn service after vacating, until a new tenant moves in. If you want us to arrange lawn service for you, you will be charged a $25/month service fee. We will provide you an estimated lawn service cost. You are responsible to pay in advance for the service.
6) All other terms and conditions of the rental contract must still be met.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can I wait until you find a tenant to provide notice?
A: No. We won’t initiate any efforts to locate a replacement tenant until/unless we have written notice to vacate with a move-out date. Understand that we don’t even have the legal right to promise the property to a new tenant if we haven’t received written notice from you, so your status is either one of 100% staying, or 100% leaving. There is no “maybe” or in between allowed. And we can’t market a property without a defined availability date for move-in.
Q: I don’t want to pay the re-letting fee. Do I really have to, or can I pay it later?
A: You already agreed to pay it when you signed your lease. You are simply keeping an agreement you already made. It must be paid up front, as agreed in the lease.
Q: If I know someone who wants to rent the house, can I refer them to you?
A: Yes, of course. They must submit an application and qualify the same as any tenant. You may not “market” the house though once we begin marketing efforts. You can tell your friends and co-workers about it and try to help find a tenant, but you can’t, for example, put your own sign in the yard.
Q: Why should I have to keep paying rent after I move out?
A: That’s the agreement you made when signing the lease. Failure to pay rent will represent a default of the lease. Continuing to pay rent allows us to keep sending the owner her monthly proceeds and it keeps you in compliance with your lease agreement and in good standing, which is the goal of paragraph 16 of your lease agreement.
Q: How long will it take to find a new tenant?
A: We normally locate a new tenant within 30 to 60 days, sometimes sooner. But it could also take longer depending on the time of year, market conditions, how well the house shows, and other variables.
Q: What if I only have 2 months remaining on my lease? Can I avoid the Early Termination fees?
A: Yes. If you have less than 3 months remaining on your lease, you’re probably better off finishing your lease or paying out your remaining rent in full rather than terminating early. When a tenant pays the final month of a lease term and also notifies us in writing they will be departing by a date sooner than the last day of the lease, we will market the property as available on the earlier date. You will still have to maintain utilities and yard care per your lease agreement through the final day of the lease, but if a new tenant is located and moves in prior to the end of your lease term, you’ll receive a rent rebate and will have successfully completed your lease term without having to pay a re-letting fee.
If you have more than 3 months remaining on your lease term, you’re probably better off paying the re-letting fee though and letting us find a replacement tenant.