early lease termination
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early lease termination (by OHLL [OH]) Sep 21, 2022 10:07 PM
       early lease termination (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Sep 22, 2022 8:17 AM
       early lease termination (by S i d [MO]) Sep 22, 2022 8:44 AM

early lease termination (by OHLL [OH]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2022 10:07 PM

We are about 7 weeks into a lease with a new tenant that has a dog. About a week ago the tenant told us her apartment has fleas. She claimed that the fleas were there when she first moved in even though she did not notify us until 6 weeks into the lease, plus my wife and I spent two weeks before she moved in doing some renovations and never saw any fleas or got bitten. After she notified us, we immediately had an exterminator treat the apartment, but she insisted that none of her furniture be sprayed so of course a week later she is complaining that there are still fleas.

We are going to let her out of her lease as she has been very abusive towards us and has caused other issues before the fleas came up. Does anyone have a suggested wording I could use for a termination agreement? Once she is out our plan is to sign a termination agreement and give the security deposit back less damages within 30 days of termination. Also, to cover ourselves should I have the agreement state that she did not inform us until 6 weeks until the lease and she did not have her furniture treated. We do not have an ELT in the lease as I think we are in an area where they are not allowed.

We have 14 units and have been doing this part time for 10+ years but this is the first time we have dealt with fleas.


early lease termination (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2022 8:17 AM

Going forward, make sure your move in/move out paperwork has a section that says "no insect/vermin infestation noted"

Also make sure you take extermination fees out of the sec dep which can be pretty extensive for fleas. --72.231.xxx.xx

early lease termination (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2022 8:44 AM

Hmmm... an abusive tenant? My first question I would ask myself (and have MANY times in the past!) is "How did I let this happen?"

Abusive people don't just turn abusive. There's a patter. There are clues. The times I've let it happen to me, I either skipped a screening step or I wasn't paying attention or I was rushed and let someone in knowing better.

So step 1... fix your screening. This shouldn't happen again.

Step 2: Definitely have a signed agreement that she's moving out on such-n-such date. Add a clause that once you receive notice, it cannot be taken back. Add that to your lease as well for future tenants. The minute they say, "I want out" then I want them out too....no take backs when they realize how expensive the market has gotten and what a good deal they are leaving.

Step 3: Find out the truth about ELTs. You don't know. You say you think you know. Now is the time to KNOW, for certain, what is allowed.

Step 4: Amend your lease to cover this issue so it never happens again. Here's my bug language. Feel free to copy and amend as needed:

"Pests / Extermination. If pests or vermin are reported during the first 30 days of this lease agreement, except as excluded, LANDLORD will provide ONE treatment at LANDLORD's expense. Additional treatments will be at TENANTís expense. In all cases, TENANT agrees to take the steps necessary to help reduce or eliminate an infestation, including cleaning and laundering personal property items, encasing mattresses, allowing access for treatments at recommended intervals, and proper storage of food, drink, and chemical items that may be attractive to pests. Treatment for bed bugs at LANDLORD's expense is excluded under terms of this paragraph. LANDLORD has conducted tests by placing bed bug monitoring devices in the dwelling and/or having an inspection performed by a professional exterminator prior to occupancy. TENANT agrees property has been inspected and no presence of bed bugs detected prior to move in."

The bottom line in this situation is you have an unhappy tenant, so she needs to go. I would absolutely bill her deposit for the flea treatment you did the first time and any subsequent follow ups. But I also absolutely would not say one word to her about when or how much of her deposit she will get back. Get her forwarding address (in case you need it for more damages later) and respond, "Your deposit will be returned in accordance with OH LL/Tenant statutes."

We call it the "Happy Clause". It goes something like this: "Ms Tenant, I can see you are not happy here. We want all of our residents to be happy, so I am offering you a one-time only chance to terminate your lease early, with no penalty, so you can be happy somewhere else. This offer expires in 24 hours. If you want to take advantage of it, we will need your written, signed notice. Otherwise, the lease continues as is and we will not be discussing these issues any further. Thanks, The Management"


Subject: RE: early lease termination
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