Skipping tenant - how do your leases cover this?

I had a tenant who was gave me notice on July 1 that she would be moved out by the end of the month. She lied to me the other day about having already sent the rent and said it was mailed on the third (allowed per the lease) but it hasn’t showed up and she’s not calling me back. We were supposed to meet tomorrow and I was going to show the unit, and I believe her stuff is out so I am going to bring move out sheets with me and try to get possession of it then. I do have a security deposit, so I can apply that to the rent and will be OK as long as there are no damages.

It occurs to me though that I have no real protection in my lease to prevent tenants from doing this. I will apply late fees to the account and give her a statement showing basically a hundred bucks or so (all late fees) which she won’t pay and I won’t pursue unless there are damages. Do you guys have large fees in your contracts to allow some bite for tenants that tear your places up? How do you handle these situations?

My lease states that the tenant is responsible for two months of rent for breaking the lease early. I also have late fees stated in the lease. In addition, the move out section talks about how the deposit is put toward any remaining fees and tenant damage. The tenant is responsible for all damage beyond normal wear and tear. I’ve sued for $300 cleaning fees too when people leave a bunch of crap behind. It all adds up. I just had a tenant tonight try to move out of the house with no notice. She’s going to be sorry once we get to court. It’s usually hard to track people down, but I’ve got people who know this tenant so I’m hopeful this will turn out well for us. She’s employed and has a car…two sources of money for us.

I went and looked my lease and it says that if proper notice isn’t served that the tenant forfeits the security deposit. I guess that works, as it at least lets me tell the tenant that I can still sue them for the rent. In this case I won’t. I just went and looked the place and she left it in fairly good shape and I got possession by the 7th of the month and have a full month’s deposit. So, she’s not getting the deposit back. I showed it today to three people and it should be rented by the 15th, so damages will be minimal.

Wow, 50% of revenue goes to expenses? I was thinking more like 10%. You’re not including P&I right? After loan payments it seems you’d have nothing left. I haven’t gotten any properties yet, but will only do it if there is definite cash flow.

Sounds like you may have been trying to reply to another thread. Yes, you should plan on 50% of rent to go to expenses. The other 50% covers debt service and anything left from that is cash flow. You can never guarantee cash flow. All you can do is buy low enough to position yourself where you should be able to get a property to cash flow.

For future reference, a bi-weekly lease arrangement allows you to evict more quickly.

I had never considered that - good idea!

What does that mean? How is that better?

Tenant pays twice a month instead of once a month. You can evict sooner in KS when the lease is a weekly basis (after a week) and you can still ask for a whole month’s deposit, so you’re likely to have them out before the deposit is used up trying to get them out of there.

Update: Went to court today on this case. My wife and I got to see a LL who didn’t know the law look completely stupid in front of the judge b/c she didn’t follow the proper process to get a tenant out. Anyhow…I didn’t get to speak much on my case b/c the former tenant kept running her stupid mouth about how she doesn’t owe what we claim and how we’re just horrible LL’s and that’s why people are moving out of our houses. Well, she was wrong on all accounts and had no proof of any of her accusations. End result was we got a judgment for $1250 (everything we asked for). I have to wait a few days before I enforce the judgment if she doesn’t pay.

Always make sure that you have a lease that covers everything… AND I MEAN EVERYTHING. If anyone wants a copy of the lease that I use please let me know. It has been reviewed by 17 Attorneys and added to over the past 19 years and I believe that nothing is missing whatsoever…

Given you are offering this to the nation, what states has the lease been designed for? Where the 17 lawyers from 17 different states?