Tenant broke lease

Hi all,

I’m in NJ. Fairly new landlord here. I’m renting rooms and the renter signed a 6 month lease with me paying proration and what was supposed to be first and last months rent. Because of when his paycheck was cut he was to pay the remainder of the balance plus the months rent on feb 15. Well guess what he stayed for two and half weeks and first told me he was leaving on the feb 4 then feb 9th. He wanted a refund. I don’t want to give him a refund. What would you do in this case?

As long as your lease agreement conforms to the law, it is enforceable as a six-month lease. The tenant then is obligated for the entire six months rent.

You are entitled to keep any rents paid, as long as you have not re-rented the same space to another person in the same period you have already received rent.

For example, if the tenant gave you two month’s rent, moves out in two weeks, and you don’t rent the unit out for the remaining two months, the money is yours.

If you were to re-rent that space immediately, you would be required to return the portion of unused rent, prorated, to the former tenant.

Of course if you follow my advice you will surely end up managing your property from prison.

That said, you still have to account for any security deposits and return them as required by law.

I have no idea if you can apply deposits toward unpaid rent, or if the tenant forfeits his deposit upon default of a lease in your state.

So, check with your state law. It’s online somewhere.


Good luck! And learn to pick up soap off the shower floor with your toes.

My leases all state that the tenant forfeits the deposit and is responsible for the remainder of charges through the rest of the lease for improper termination.


Yeah, that advice keeps “me” out of prison!! :beer