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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37830
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Situation: My tenant viewed the vacant apartment before it

Customer Question

Situation: My tenant viewed the vacant apartment before it was cleaned up. She signed a one year lease which has no early termination clause on 7/11/15. The entire lease was explained in detail before it was signed. I promised to her that the place will be painted if need be however my cleaners removed all the marks from the walls. I informed her the place will not painted since all the marks came off.
The Issue: Tenant receives the keys at a starbucks on Friday 7/17/15. She informs me that she is unhappy with the condition of the place. We meet the following morning at 9am at her place. All her concerns will be addressed immediately (touch up paint ceiling, wall, change blind and tighten towel rack). Handyman showed up same day.
I had introduced myself as the property manager but she wants to speak with the owner. When I tell her I am the owner she feels deceived and now wants to terminate the lease. Property management and ownership are two separate functions which has nothing to do with her lease. This is a 4 year old apartment in excellent condition.
I have been very flexible waiving the pet rent of 20/month. Since she hasn't received a paycheck from her new high paying job, I even said I was willing to work with her on the security deposit.
July prorated rent: 336 paid
Pet fee: 164 paid 36 remaining
Pet rent: 20/month waived for entire lease
Security deposit: 0 of 695 paid
Monthly rent 695
Total paid: 500
I want her to complete the lease. If not I am planning on evicting her. Can I get a money judgement for the unpaid balance for the duration of the lease? Can I submit the account to collection agency even if I don't the a money judgement?
Phenix City, AL
Mil S. (###) ###-####
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
The tenant would have agreed to take the property in the condition that it was in when she signed the lease, excepting any code or housing violations. So the minor problems wouldn't give her legal grounds to avoid the lease or terminate early.
If she breaches the lease, then you as landlord have a duty to try to rent it again as soon as possible to mitigate your damages. However, you have the right to sue her for any lost rent for the property until you do so. So if it takes you 2 months to rent it again, you can go after her for 2 month's rent plus any advertising costs.
And yes, you don't need a formal court judgment against the tenant in order to submit the amounts to a collection agency to have them pursue payment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How long should I wait to re rent the apartment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.
You would have to wait until she actually breaches the lease and moves out. However, if she doesn't pay the rent when due, you can evict her through the courts after you give her a 7 day written notice to pay or vacate. If she moves out, you have to start trying to rent it again and can then sue her for any lost rent once you re-rent it.
But you have no obligation to try and rent it again while she is still living there.