Rental Basics in 20746>Question Details

Rob, Home Owner in 20746

my tenant signed a lease and gave my security and first month's rent, now they changed their mind and want their money back , saying thet never

Asked by Rob, 20746 Thu Oct 27, 2011


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Of course as said before your Lease Agreement should outline these terms. On a different note, if these tenants are not willing to move in, they either found another place or more importantly may not treat your property with respect if they are forced to move in. At the very least they should pay some type of penalty.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 28, 2011
Hi Rob,

The terms of the lease will outline your rights. This is a legal contract and unfortunately they don't get to just change their minds and set you back to square one in finding a new tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 28, 2011
Absolutely read the lease. And if that doesn't answer your question, consult a real estate attorney. My guess the same as everyone else, there is no provision that allows them to 'back out' because they changed their mind. Having said that, you should probably start looking for a new tenat right away, it's referred to as mitigating your damages, however, again my guess is that these folks are on the hook for the rent payments until you DO find a new tenant and as long as you are actively seeking a new tenant you should be able to enforce that. Check with an attorney to be sure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 28, 2011
Read your lease, then check with an attorney.

Unless you have a clause allowing them to change their mind & back out within a prescribed period of time, at the very least, they should forfeit the money they already paid you, and might very well be liable for any other losses you incur..

How much time has elapsed from the signing to their change of heart?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
I don't know what your lease looks like so it is hard to say if it protects you from this, but most leases that I have come across do. As Michael mentioned below, it's plausible that they would be liable to cover the rent due for the lease term they agreed to.

If you used an agent you should discuss this with them...if you didn't, i would push back, but you might need to consult an attorney at some point if the "tenant" gets nasty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
My guess is there is no language in your lease that compels the renter to actually LIVE in the home. So even if they never moved in, chances are they owe you the rent for the duration of the lease.

A lease is a legally binding contract (which is something many renters don't seem to understand). You might want to negotiate liquidated damages - perhaps two months rent - which would cover the time you spent looking for a new tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
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