I have a rental home in which tenants signed a 7 month lease. They moved in June 1st in which they paid June rent of $1800 as well as a security deposit of also $1800.
July comes around and no payment. I assume that they think their security deposit makes all well and can just get up and leave.
What legal advantage do I have and should I take? I think I am entitled to more. This is my first rental so any other advice would be appreciated.
You can hold them to the lease as long as you materially mitigated your loss. If not, you are entitled to nothing, but physical damage. Depending on your state, you may also be entitled only to physical damage if you served a notice to pay or quit. Collecting on the judgment is another matter.
Chalk it up to a learned lesson. Get 3 months rent, ( 1st, last, sec).
Honestly going after them will cost you more money then it is worth and collecting…well good luck. You will have to go for wage garnishment and that is never easy and you will need a lawyer. A lawyer alone will run you thousands…
Better tenant screening will help.
If this is your first rental, focus your efforts on finding a new, qualified tenant to fill your vacancy. You’re not really out any money in your example. Learn to focus on the right things in your real estate investing business and good things will come.