Is there such a thing as forward rent?

Let’s say that someone signs a 12 month lease and leaves after 2 months…

Is there any way to sue them for the 10 months that they promised me?

I see all kinds of ways to sue someone for “back rent,” but is there such a thing as “forward rent?”

Also, has anyone had any luck using collection agencies to collect back rent or other damages?

Leases only protect the tenant, not landlords.

There’s so many reasons for a tenant to break a lease, that it’s impossible to enforce.

The only time a judge will award damages on a broken lease, is if the tenant doesn’t show up for court to defend himself, AND you have not leased up the unit in the meantime.

You cannot double-dip on the rents. At best a judge will award you rent for the vacant time period, but again, only if the tenant fails to show up to court.

Chasing rents on broken leases is a rabbit hole of wasted time and energy, especially if the tenant has half a brain to show up, and offers any half-baked reason to bail.

You mean that going after back rent is a waste of time? Why? Isn’t it cut and dry like it says on the lease?

The only reason I have ever had a lease “broken” is when the tenant didn’t pay…

A tenant has never broken a lease on me for anything I did.

What would happen if I won the judgement in a small claims court (if it came to that)?.. then he would have lost the lawsuit and a judgement would be placed against him… could a collection agency help me on this? At least to recover part of it?

I ran out on a lease when I was younger from a corporate apartment complex and it messed my credit up and I could see the exact amount on my credit report…

And you can’t double dip on the rents, but I’ve seen from posting this same question on other forums that other states have laws that allow you to collect “post-eviction rent,” or whatever you want to call it… I’m wondering if this is the case in Florida.

You said you “ran out on a lease…and it messed up my credit…”

The management company ‘can’ put the amount owed to collection prior to a judgment. However, without a judgment, they can’t do anything to collect, except damage your credit, and threaten legal action.

Meantime, if you had answered the collection notices and contested their bill, they legally cannot report the collections against your credit.

Additionally, if the PM had taken you to court, and you failed to show up to defend yourself, you would be in worse condition, because the collection company would then buy that debt and judgment and pursue you ‘forever.’

If the PM had sued you, and you showed up to court with any kind of flimsy excuse, you would have walked owing nothing, or just the time the unit was vacant, less whatever it cost to make the unit marketable, if it was more than what you deposited.

Let’s play the fabulously effective wheel game we call “Break Your Lease!”

If your tenant lands on any of these following excuses in court, you instantly lose $2,000 in rents. But if he lands on ‘NO-SHOW’ IN COURT, you win $2000.

Ready? Here’s a list of the possible excuses …spin…

  • Got a job out of the area
  • Grandma is dying and needs me to be closer
  • Lost my job and can’t afford the rent
  • Haven’t worked in two months, and I’m moving in with my sister
  • Company has closed it’s office here, and transferring me to Timbuktu, Ohio.
  • Inherited my Aunt Slobby’s two cats, and they don’t allow cats here
  • Getting married, and this place is too small
  • Mother is ill and my dad is dead, and she lives in Hell’s Half Acre, Alabama, so I need to move there immediately and become her care-giver
  • Tenants next door make noise all hours of the day, and the management won’t take care of the problem, and I need my rest.
  • Can’t walk up the stairs anymore
  • Can never find a parking space close to my unit, and I’m afraid to walk alone at night
  • PM refuses to assign spaces
  • Neighbor’s unit was broken into, I’m afraid for my life.
  • I was burglarized
  • PM won’t patrol the parking lots at night.
  • Car was broken into
  • Neighbor was raped, and I don’t feel safe here anymore
  • Stress from the sirens and gun shots keep me awake all night

And that’s how we play “Break Your Lease”

So you’re saying that I should send it to a collection agency and sue them for damages in court.

That way, the collection agency will buy it from me.

No. I’m saying move on. Life’s too short.

I can’t let every tenant screw me over, though.

I need to have a procedure for such things.

In the eviction, if I just go to evict and not for back rent, that is allowing them to stay rent free for over a month while the eviction goes through the court. I can’t afford that and that’s not good business, in my opinion.

They entered into the contract, so they should be prepared to pay if they don’t honor it.

We’re only talking about tenants who bail, before you evict. I call this a blessing, not an opportunity to sue. It cost nothing to get a non-payer out in this case. Celebrate your fortune.

Chasing skips isn’t good business, and is the same thing as chasing dimes with dollars.

It’s gonna cost you roughly $350 to file in small claims, and then you have to actually prove a loss in rents.

Assuming you could prove two months worth of lost rents or $1,200, and it cost you all of the tenant’s deposit to make the unit marketable, you’re only out two month’s rent. No judge will give you more than your actual losses.

Assuming you win a $1,200 judgment, plus $350 court costs, or $1,550, and both aren’t a guarantee, you subsequently attempt recover those monies.

Depending on the documentation you have, how easy it is for the collection agency to find and track this person, exercise the judgment against him, and ultimately collect after months and months, the collection agency might give you One hundred and fifty bucks for the face value of your your judgment. Never mind you spent $350 in small claims. Too bad, so sad, your dad.

Or you could pay the collection agency $55 to put the judgment to collection, and you ding the debtor’s credit for three years, and then you both wait for it fall off his report.

Meantime, you’re still out $350, plus $55, or $405, plus the lost rents of $1,200, or a total of $1,605, and the debtor remains effectively judgment proof.

But …you feel good that you spent over four hundred extra dollars dinging a deadbeat’s credit report. Yay for you.

Okay, I’m out of gas on this topic. You do what you think you need to, but I don’t chase skips. I used to, until I counted the actual return on my money, and it was a bad investment.

I’ll try it a few times and see how it goes. From what they told me, I can garnish their wages and get all my court costs back if I win the suit.

And I can collect “post eviction” rent as long as I am honestly trying to rent the place out, which I would be.