Rent refund
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Rent refund (by Chris Carlson [MN]) Sep 21, 2008 7:26 AM
       Rent refund (by Andrew,Canada [ON]) Sep 21, 2008 8:00 AM
       Rent refund (by Smokowna [MD]) Sep 21, 2008 8:01 AM
       Rent refund (by Akilah [NJ]) Sep 21, 2008 8:07 AM
       Rent refund (by Minnesota John [MN]) Sep 21, 2008 8:09 AM
       Rent refund (by Akilah [NJ]) Sep 21, 2008 8:11 AM
       Rent refund (by AllyM [NJ]) Sep 21, 2008 10:12 AM
       Rent refund (by Liz [NV]) Sep 21, 2008 12:11 PM
       Rent refund (by Mac [OH]) Sep 21, 2008 1:39 PM
       Rent refund (by Josh [CA]) Sep 21, 2008 9:27 PM

Rent refund (by Chris Carlson [MN]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 7:26 AM

State Specific Question About: MINNESOTA (MN)

A renter signed a 12 month lease and paid 6 months rent in advance. He has now decided to move out after 5 months. He gave verbal notification of less than 30 days and no written notification yet of his intent to move. He has moved out all of his belongings as of the 20th of the month. Upon inspection, the apartment was left very clean but there are nail holes all along the upper living room wall close to the ceiling and again down the sides of the wall close to the windows. He had blackened cardboard nailed up to cover all the windows on that wall.

The renter insists that we must repay his last month's rent since he will not be there and that the issue of the nail holes should be overlooked because he left the apartment so clean. We indicated that, since he broke his lease, we will not be returning the last month's rent and that we will be deducting some money from his security deposit to repair the holes in the wall. Now he says that he will just move back in and just won't pay rent. He is also threatening to take us to court.

Q1: Are we obligated to repay rent that was prepaid even though the renter breaks the lease? Also, in this case, the prepaid rent covers only 1 month and 30 days notification of leaving was not given.

Q2: Can we change the locks to avoid this person reentering the premises and either causing damage or moving back in?

Rent refund (by Andrew,Canada [ON]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 8:00 AM

I dont know the specifics regarding the laws for your area but generally:

If the tenant does not give proper notice, they are responsible for the rent for the period of which notice was required. If they should have given 60 days notice, they are responsible for 60 days rent (and any related utility costs).

In your case the tenant signed a 12 month lease and then broke it. Generally they are responsible for ANY lost rent until you get place re-rented. (upto the end of the 12 month, lease, period)

You may have to show proof of attempts to rent it during this period (at a hearing). (newspapers ads, internet ads ect)

The tenant would also be responsible for ALL costs asociated with re-renting the apt.

advertising, credit checks, milage, faxes, ect.

No you can not change the locks till the tenant has actually vacated the apt (even if they are staying in the apt and are not paying rent)

He can move back in and not pay you rent. He has not given you written notice of his intent to vacate and it will be your word against his.

I would say that since he has not given proper advance notice or a written notice that he intends to leave, should he leave, he is responsible for the costs listed above.

Did you collect a security deposit?

At this point, I would want him to go. He does not want to live there and will be problems to you if he stays.

I would tell (dont put in writing as it may be used against you latter),him that if he leaves now (sept 21), even though he has not given you proper notice and legally owes you money, I would use his last months rent to cover some of these costs and release him from his legal responsibilities.

That means you use the last months rent to pay for October.

I would also let him know in writing that if he chooses to stay on, his rent is due on the first of the month and failure to pay it will result in eviction, a negative credit history and additional related eviction and legal costs.

His choice.

Please keep in mind that I dont have ALL the facts and you should seek other advice.

Rent refund (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 8:01 AM

What is written in the lease about his breaking the lease?

How is the conversation going? You are not asking for much money to repair the nail holes, so why is he upset? Is it your tone or is he desperate for the money?

The windows were blackened to hide drug activity? What is going on there?

I do not believe you can change the locks, the whole matter is in limbo. That said, I would change the locks because 1) I was told by the renter that he had moved out 2) I had to secure the property, as implied by the renter moving out.

I would do this just to have control over the situation.

It should be understood that you are going to advertise the place at the renter's cost, and as soon as you find a suitable replacement tenant you will release the original renter from the lease.

Tell us more if there is more to the story.

Rent refund (by Akilah [NJ]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 8:07 AM

Rent refund (by Minnesota John [MN]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 8:09 AM

At the top of this page is a link for "landlord/tenant" state laws. Go there and review the MN law page.

Rent refund (by Akilah [NJ]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 8:11 AM

When he moved out did he turn in his keys? Did you do a check out walk through and have him sign. If either of these happened then he turned over possesion so you do not have to let him move back in. In the future the minute sometells you they are moving ask for it in writing. In NJ you can not make someone move even if they have given notice but if they have turned over possesion (i.e.i handed in keys) then you don't have to let them back in.

In terms of money like everyone said he is responsible until the end of the lease and you don't have to give him back anything if it's not rerented

Rent refund (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 10:12 AM

Here we can put up a notice of abandonment and change locks in three days.

Since the tenant has obviously moved out, get a witness and take some photos and change the locks.

He actually owes you that month plus six months more rent because he signed a twelve month lease! In your next contact, tell him that he owes you that much until you re-rent the apartment. Tell him that you will let him out of the lease for only one month's rent instead of the 12 months he owes you. You are doing him a favor!

Rent refund (by Liz [NV]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 12:11 PM

Like Ally said. Take pictures showing the unit is vacant. Make sure you have a newspaper showing the date. Take a video camera and do the same. Maybe you can find out if he forwarded his mail. Did he leave the electric, water , cable, what else does he have to pay for ? on? You have just showed me a valuable lesson..always get the notice in writing.

He paid 6 months in advance and blocked the window...serial killer , drugs, that's scary. Liz

Rent refund (by Mac [OH]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 1:39 PM

Give me your forwarding address. Then wait. Easy one. He'll most likely just fade away.

Rent refund (by Josh [CA]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2008 9:27 PM

Just wondering.... how was the six months of pre-paid rent handled? In one check? In checks post dated for each month? My guess is in one check. I also have the feeling that no credit check/ background check or screening was done.

The responses to this thread are all right on the mark. How you handle this sitch is up to you. It's too late to have a screening do you much good. I suggest you do a bit of research on this guy so you have a better idea of what you are dealing with. Pick your battles. What do you want out of this sitch. If it gets ugly it could cost you lots. Sometimes it makes more sense to midigate =YOUR= the landlords damages. If you catch my drift.

On the LL legal side of this the info posted is correct. I would be checking out the current status of the utilities in his name.

The post office mail forwarding status etc.

Off the cuff what I would do is to explain that octobers rent is spent on the 30 day notice. That he owes you for re-renting fees and damages from the security deposit. That you will return what is left of the security deposit in exchange for the keys and his signature on a release. (I would take just the keys if the truth be told) I also would not charge for the nail holes as it would take me little effort to fix. I would rather

close this chapter and move on.

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