Keeping A Key
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Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 25, 2022 4:48 PM
       Keeping A Key (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 25, 2022 6:03 PM
       Keeping A Key (by myob [GA]) Jan 25, 2022 8:03 PM
       Keeping A Key (by Sparky [PA]) Jan 25, 2022 9:04 PM
       Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 12:00 AM
       Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 12:23 AM
       Keeping A Key (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jan 26, 2022 12:33 AM
       Keeping A Key (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jan 26, 2022 12:33 AM
       Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 8:44 AM
       Keeping A Key (by Busy [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 10:58 AM
       Keeping A Key (by Barb [MO]) Jan 26, 2022 11:54 AM
       Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 12:29 PM
       Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 12:39 PM
       Keeping A Key (by myob [GA]) Jan 26, 2022 4:09 PM
       Keeping A Key (by MC [PA]) Jan 26, 2022 7:38 PM
       Keeping A Key (by DeeAnn [WI]) Jan 26, 2022 8:18 PM
       Keeping A Key (by MC [PA]) Jan 28, 2022 1:44 PM

Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 25, 2022 4:48 PM

Tenant notified me she purchased a home, ELT as lease expires July 31. I tell her to follow the lease for her responsibilities. She has someone who is interested in moving in. The last I hear "maybe it is ok for her interested "someone" to move in sometime in January. Her someone hasn't contacted me, nor Gives me her information asking if I would consider her. I said I would, along with others. I immediately place an ad to mitigate her damages. I have someone to show it to and when can I show (she works at home all day at home) Home purchase falls through. Not to show as she doubts they will find another house as the market is very competitive, and not disappoint her. She finds another house, I place ad again with new dates, given by her. I hear closing is postponed twice. A few requests for showings, I notify that I'd like to know best times to show (due to her working at home)..."there's boxes everywhere". Closing showings, "I'm moving things over to the garage/basement of the house as we are having flooring done". I go to check out her appliances as we may buy them. Basement is so full of new stuff they purchased for new home. Can't even walk through basement. She's also encroaching on neighbor's private basement area, neighbor says it is ok. She gives me one Saturday to finally show her place, I don't have anyone qualifying at that time. I reach out to her "someone to take her place" to find my tenant showed her unit to her 6 months ago, but is now considering purchasing where she lives, high rise condo.

I could care less if I got to show it; I was following the law in order to mitigate her damages- advertising and showing so someone would take over her lease.

Boyfriend is cleaning the house today as she is out of town on family emergency. She asked if she needed to keep the heat on through February. I told her yes, and pay the rent until it is rerented.

She texted me that her boyfriend will leave the key on the counter and she will keep her key until it is rerented. I have no idea if she will pay the rent. We may or may not need to do some painting. She had oodles of candles, even tho lease said no burning of candles. When I came to do inspection as A/C's were taken out, she was burning one in the kitchen. I called her on it and pointed out the soot on the walls. She said it was from cooking, that she always had to open windows. Huh, my kitchen doesn't look like that from cooking...

Last night the wind chill was -7. Husband noticed 5+ storm windows open when he went over to shovel snow yesterday so I texted her to have her boyfriend close them. I went today to check and 2 were still open. Boiler heat and all pipesf are along the outside walls of the house, stone exterior.

Whenever other tenants made a home purchase, they gave me carte blanche to show. All January, "I'm working at home at night als." I don't get I suppose she'll hound me why it's not getting rented.

Thoughts... --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 25, 2022 6:03 PM

I have many thoughts, sucker comes to mind. Even though a landlord needs to mitigate damages, does not mean you have to show your "property" until the tenant is out, you complete repairs and THEN YOU ADVERTISE FOR "RENT" -- AND NOT A SECOND BEFORE!

I've had many court cases where a TENANT breaks their leave, leaves the place dirty and junk behind. Then sues me for the prorated deductions against their deposit. The tenant presents their case, "I moved out and the landlord refuses to refund my deposit, I want triple damages"! Judge says, "Shame on your landlord for cheating your tenant out of their own money -- the deposit"! I then correct a few facts:

I purchased this rental while I was still going to college with my hard earned money working a full job at 19. The tenants did not "move", he broke the lease! And because they wanted out of their lease, they agreed I could keep their full deposit. I still quickly fixed up the place and re-rented this home before their 30 day notice expired and I did refund their pro-rated rent. I kept the deposit because they agreed I could for all of the work I had to do fixing and re-renting. I spent $600 repainting the house. I spent around $90 advertising the home. I had to meet applicants at the property for showings, run background checks, change the utilities, etc.

The Judge asked my tenants if that was true. Before they could open their mouths and lie, I had a written agreement that I wrote out and had them all sign when they told me the bad new they were moving. Why? Because they were buying a home. So they were not the poor tenants trying to get by, but rich equals buying a home and reneging on our agreement of early termination.

I won that case like most of my tenant landlord cases.

Keeping A Key (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jan 25, 2022 8:03 PM

I don't see it that way Robert. Maybe I'm wrong but when the ELT is accepted by LL. THOSE are the damages and there mitigated.

If they don't move NOW you can use the Tenant At Sufference. The LL has taken payment and accepted the conditions of the skipping tenant.

Keeping A Key (by Sparky [PA]) Posted on: Jan 25, 2022 9:04 PM

myob, I think the OP is stating that the Tenant gave notice of an Early Lease Termihation (ELT), rather than that Tenant was paying an Early Termination Fee (ETF).

Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:00 AM

ROBT (CA) You make a good point. Altho she signed the lease regarding early terminations, like many, it either wasn't read or thought it didn't apply to them.

If I thought 3 months of my efforts and time would have been wasted (altho all calls went to voicemail :)thanks to those who taught this lesson well) I would have taken my time.

To clarify, the first notice given was a short one, that tenant she bought a house and hoped I would accept someone who didn't once contact to say she was interested, who was on her own lease and expected her landlord would let her leave with a month's notice mid winter. Tenant wouldn't let me show unit and didn't tell me she had already shown it to someone last summer who was interested, which my lease prohibits. Why? My first LL seminar I met a landlord whose tenant did the same, without permission. That's known as acting as the LL's agent. The LL got sued due to something the tenant said during the showing that was against the Fair Housing Law. --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:23 AM

MYOB: Are you saying that I can use the Tenant Sufference regarding them keeping a key until I rerent the place? Saying they are moving or surrendering the place, but not really because they kept a key? She said if she didn't drop it off once the place was rerented, she would mail it.

If we need to paint (due to the burned candle soot, don't think my painters wouldn't take kindly to being interrupted or interrogated.

What would you do at this point. None of my former moving-to-buy-a-house tenants breaking a lease early have done 40 years. What am I missing? --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:33 AM

Dee Ann,

Let it go. Kinda in one ear and out the other. "I'll believe it when I see it".

When people tell me they are buying I listen and put them on our WATCH list but I don't get excited or anxious.

Even MY closings are delayed.

My position? When they are out they are out, not before.

YEs we want to try to re-rent witout losig a single day but in the last 1000 leases I have not been able to do that. Either the home is dirty, or the people are cranky, or repairs, or the closing is dealyed and I have a new person waiting...

We post a sign as soon as we know it's coming, we post the ads as COMING SOON and start taking apps.

We don't sign a new lease until the current res is totally out and the home is cleaned.

She needs to pay the ELT Fee, which covers some of your lost rent-days and extra effort to re-rent.


Keeping A Key (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:33 AM

too quick...

the rent continues until all keys are returned and the home its totally empty.


Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 8:44 AM

Thanks voice of wisdom...we were going in to inspect today; late last night go a text that they will be coming in to move the item off the back porch so I'm not going in or touching the paperwork left on the counter that she was supposed to return to me. --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 10:58 AM

I don't have tenants return the key to me, as they cannot lock the door without the key ( deadbolt only) . I ask them to send a verification text that ' They have returned possession. Any remaining items may be disposed of at my discretion.' I ask them to toss the key in a recycling bin NOT AT THAT HOUSE.

Have not had this court tested.

As soon as they text they are fully out, I go swap locks. Unless it was an unpleasant move; then I may wait a day or so.

I'm not certain early termination fee is accepted in our city ( by the courts) BUT keep in mind, I don't pay attention to stuff that pertains to lease for term during bootcamp as I ONLY do month to month periodic tenancies. This might be good question for at the end of AASEW's LL bootcamp.

The idea of having someone else move in same day as someone else moved out would NEVER happen for me. I admire the teams that can do that, but, I am a one woman team, and I have other obligations. For me, trying to finesse all the ups and downs about this move-out date, or that move-out date is too, too tedious. Simple works best for me. MTM, and I wish you well when you move. YMMV.

Keeping A Key (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 11:54 AM

My last one that broke a lease told me in Nov she wanted to break, but didn't get moved out until early January. Meanwhile, because she could not tell me an actual date she would be out, I had not way to tell prospects an available date.

If they can't give me a firm date, I can't show it. Just one more reason the ELT is the right thing.

I charged her Jan rent, plus the ELT. She didn't argue. She new she was in the wrong.

Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:29 PM

All good advice here! My move out instructions were clear, to return all paperwork and keys to my mailbox. She informed me, via text, as she's out of town, that her boyfriend I've never met was doing the cleaning and leaving the keys/paperwork on the kitchen counter.

I had a showing today, and cancelled the appointment.

...I woke up to a text titled "Extreme alert" sent to my phone to shelter in place. Fleeing Suspect armed and dangerous as there was a manhunt for person(s) shooting sheriff after traffic stop.

Start to go about my day, BRAD's response comforting. Began to freak out with panic attack, couldn't think or move, not by this but a combination of overload, how the world,etc. is going. Called for mental health help just to talk to someone no help there, said to call 911, of course who is busy, I did and they wanted to know where live so declined.

Just calming myself now.Sorry everyone. No one else available. --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 12:39 PM

BARB, very similar dates to mine. Put in ad "Please understand, no showings without proper notice", and no qualifying responses...and they push, and push, and push to see the place.

Luckily, all calls go to voicemail. Again, best suggestion EVER! --75.11.xx.xx

Keeping A Key (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 4:09 PM

Look ELT is a term used and a paragraph in your lease. That paragraph explains step by step what has to happen.

You don't have an ELT without the steps. #1 being proper 30 days notice# ELT fee paid # 3 home in show condition when key returned.

It appears that you are missing not just 1 of these items but several. YOU HAVE NO ELT-- you have a tenant holding over. Had they done the ELT with no key returned you have sufference.

You can't have anything with out all the steps. Other than court????

The noise this tenant has created is just that noise. AND no we don't want any of their recommendations for tenants. we want the keys-- we want notice I have left the keys on the counter and have voluntarily surrendered the property to you. If you get the key but they didn't do what was required they get billed for damages - billed for contract until re-rented.

Heres my forwarding address.

Keeping A Key (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 7:38 PM

When did she say she would be out? No- she can not keep her key until it is rented. Only if she is still paying rent. Would you want someone to "surprise" you while you are in there? I am guessing BF has a key also. Change locks as soon as you get possession. If she doesn't pay-do the eviction-it will at least be on her record. You can tell her in writing that she needs to give a date to give up possession.

I would rethink anyone who says they "have someone". Rarely will it work out.

Keeping A Key (by DeeAnn [WI]) Posted on: Jan 26, 2022 8:18 PM

Thanks MYOB...your explanation is crystal clear, and I'm calmed down with a clear head. I have all of what is mentioned other than the keys be returned to me (a mile away) so that the unit and house would be left locked, and an inspection of how the unit has been left.

Since January's rent is paid and she texted that she and boyfriend are coming in tomorrow to get something on the porch and from the garage, I decided not to show or go in today.

I will be going in on Friday, with a member of this group (Plan B - witness), to determine if the place is in showing condition, to review the paperwork to see if they are indicating they have surrendered it, and whether all the keys are there, with the exception of the one she texted she is keeping.

If place is in showing condition, I'll again begin the process of taking the pictures I was unable to and adding them to the ads I previously had up, with new dates on them. When it is rerented I will change the locks, like I always do. And I will NEVER again put up with the noise created by these departing.

Thanks for all the helpful advice.


Keeping A Key (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2022 1:44 PM

I still standby if they are gone to change locks. You do not want any surprises. If they don't pay February, ask if they are gone. I really have no idea who else my tenants have given keys to so lock change is very important to me. I don't want SO in the unit working and having someone just walk in. Not cool.

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