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Early Termination Guide

Job Change? 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, the ETP may help.

The following steps must be taken to participate in the Early Termination Program:

  1. The tenant must provide written notice of intent to terminate early, including a move-out date.
  2. The written termination notice must include the re-letting fee payment listed in the Early Termination Program policy.
  3. You must continue paying rent each month on the first until a replacement tenant is found and starts paying rent in your place.
  4. You must keep utility services in your name after vacating until a new tenant moves in.
  5. You must arrange for lawn service after vacating until a new tenant moves in. If you want us to arrange lawn service for you, there is a $25/month service fee. You are responsible for paying in advance for the service.
  6. Other costs you must incur are turnover expenses, which include, but are not limited to, rekeying the door locks, any damages during your stay, any items that have to be addressed to lease the property, including painting.
  7. All other terms and conditions of the rental contract must still be met.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I wait until you find a tenant to provide notice?

No. We will not initiate any efforts to locate a replacement tenant until/unless we have written notice to vacate with a move-out date. Understand that we do not even have the legal right to promise the property to a new tenant if we have not 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 not market a property without a defined availability date for move-in.

I don’t want to pay the re-letting fee. Do I really have to, or can I pay it later?

You already agreed to pay it when you signed your lease. You are merely keeping an agreement you already made. It must be paid upfront, as agreed in the lease.

If I know someone who wants to rent the house, can I refer them to you?

Yes. The person you refer must apply and qualify the same as any new tenant. You may not “market” the house, though, once we begin our marketing efforts. You can tell your friends and co-workers about it and try to help find a tenant, but you cannot, for example, put your sign in the yard.

Why should I have to keep paying rent after I move out?

That is the agreement you made when signing the lease. Failure to pay rent will represent a default of the lease contract. Continuing to pay rent allows us to keep sending the owner their 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.

How long will it take to find a new tenant?

We usually 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.

What if I only have 2 months remaining on my lease? Can I avoid the Early Termination fees?

Yes. If you have less than 3 months remaining on your lease, you will probably be 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 provides written notification, they will depart 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 your lease. Nevertheless, if a new tenant is located and moves in before the end of your lease term, you will receive a rent rebate and will have completed your lease term without having to pay a re-letting fee.
If you have more than three months remaining on your lease term, you are most likely better off paying the re-letting fee and letting us find a replacement tenant.

Why do I have to pay the turnover costs?

The landlord has a lease contract in place with you until the end of the term. They are not responsible for turnover costs until that time. When you default on a contract early, you must be accountable for these costs.

I guess I should give a lot of thought to ending my lease contract early?

Yes, sometimes, it is unavoidable, and we are here to help you. However, if you are buying a house or have some other control over your timing, you should consider timing it toward the last three months of your lease term.

Do I have access to the property after I move-out and before a new tenant moves in?

Yes, tenants who are still local may choose to store a lawnmower or other items in the garage. Once we have a new tenant, we will rekey the door during the change-over period, and there might be a time you will no longer have access. You will be able to remove any final items before this period.

Have any more questions or want to talk through your situation? Give us a call and we’ll try to assist you in your decision process!