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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34788
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I own a town house in Manassas, I have a renter that wants

Customer Question

I own a town house in Manassas Virginia, I have a renter that wants to break the lease and move out 2 months early. I have some one that wants to rent the house but can I keep the security deposit of the renters moving out for breaking the lease?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Will there be any down time where you are losing rent?

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Or will the new tenant be moving in the day the old one moves out?

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Are there any damages to the property?

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Does the old tenant know you have someone interested in renting?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
They know I have some one interested. There will not be down time or lost rent as long as they pay me this moth. There is damage to the carpet. I think it just need to be re stretched but not sure and there was a big ding in the wall unless they fixed it.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

Ok, then you can't penalize the tenant for breaking the lease if you have no actual damages. The security deposit is to compensate you for any actual physical damages, cleaning costs, late fees, and delinquent rent. So if you have no damages, then you can't keep the deposit. If they damaged the carpet, you can hold them liable for the depreciated value of the carpet.

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With that said, you could always tell them that you will agree in writing to release them from the lease early if they agree in writing to forfeit the deposit. That would be a binding "buy out" agreement that would allow you to retain the deposit.

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But if they won't go for it, you can only charge them for actual damages and the other things..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Great thank you so much for the help!
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks much

Barrister

Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

Did you have any further questions I can help with?

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thanks

Barrister