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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Law Expert
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I had a tenant who had a years lease. After 6 months they

Customer Question

I had a tenant who had a years lease. After 6 months they cancelled the lease saying they couldn't afford it, she was pregnant, and her husband had to be closer to his job. They gave me a 3 month notice but they were vauge. It was the end of December , then January 1, then finally January 17.
When they applied for the house, I reduced the rent from $1585 to $1425, held the house for one month free and provided a home warranty. All the reasons above were lies. They purchased a "New Home for $186,000.
I allowed them to advertise the house and they sent me one person who was not financially qualified and suggestion of others but no other applications. I did have one couple but they didn't want to pay the deposit, so that was a no no.
My questions is this: Can I take them to small claims court for the month that I held the house for them, damages in the house and the rent difference I will be getting form the rental? Not being able to find a family to rent the house to and not being able to pay my house note as well, I advertised my bedrooms for rent to graduate and seniors at William and Mary college. At present, I have 2 rooms rented that are co-signed by a professor at the college @ $550 per room. The house was advertised at $1585.
My claim would be $485 for , Feb, March and April=$1395
The month of April 2015 (house held) $1585 orginial price
Scrub replacement $450
Fence repair $125
Discarding of Brass Hardware/labor $280
Unorthorzied painting in home ??
This equals approx $3835
In giving notice, they gave me the deposit of $1000 and said to keep it for breaking the lease
They signed the Lease in March , 2015, rec'd the deposit on April 10 and took possession on May 1, 2015.
The lease ran from May 1, thru April 2016. They moved out on January 17, 2016
They purchased a "New" Home in West Point, VA for $186,000.
Can I claim the above as "damages".
Thank you for your response. Would you respond to *******@***.*** Thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Loren replied 10 months ago.

Good day. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you today.

Expert:  Loren replied 10 months ago.

Did you release them in writing from the lease?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, I did not. I did gave them permission to find another tenant at the original rental price of $1585. They did not have much luck.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I also held the property for a full month, with out rent. The lease was signed March 13, 2015 and they moved in on May 1, 2015. The Lease was to end on April 31, 2016.Can I go to Small claims court and request the rent from March, the items destroyed, unapproved painting and the difference between renting the rooms and what I would have received, if the house had been rented.I've rented 2 rooms at $550 to Graduate student attending William and Mary College as of February 1. I'm 79 years old and I can not afford to pay my own rent and my property as well, which is $1486. I live in a senior facility.
Expert:  Loren replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

Your tenants remain liable to you for the difference between the rent you are collecting and the rent they promised to pay.

In other words, they are liable for rent until the lease expires but they are credited for any partial rent which mitigates your damages.

Expert:  Loren replied 10 months ago.

Additionally, they are, of course, liable for damages to the premises which exceed reasonable wear and tear.

You can sue for any damages in excess of the security deposit.

Expert:  Loren replied 10 months ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?