Rentals in Indianapolis>Question Details

martin-velas…, Home Owner in Indianapolis, IN

my tenant is on a month by month lease, and wants to leave with only 30 days notice, and have the deposit used as rent. we agreed verbally to a 60 day

Asked by martin-velasquez, Indianapolis, IN Sat Sep 1, 2012

There was some flooding in the house in back part and he is claiming the smell
is only allowing him to use most, not all of the house. i have told him 'no' he agreed to 60 days and deposit is not part of rent. What can I do as a landlord?

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Do you have a lease agreement with your tenant? If so, how does the verbiage read as far as a tenant holdover? From what you're saying, you have a 60 day notice. Did you address the flooding issue and has it since been resolved? It sounds as though you might want to file a notice of eviction and depending on your lease, pursue a default on the lease. Please keep in mind, I'm not an attorney and it's difficult to give advice without reviewing your lease. I hope you find my advice helpful.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 11, 2014
I meant to say notice not lease. He can give notice at anytime unless stipulated in the lease that it has to be on the first of any month. ALWAYS put everything in writing to avoid all problems. There are generic leases you can purchase at places like office max. Also rules and regulations need to be spelled out. Maintenance rules and requirements of the tenant and their responsibility to report. A waiver of liability, specific rules and requirements on the security deposit. Just cover your self in every area and do not rent with out a lease even if it is month to month. Again I would cut my losses and let him go with 30 day notice and refund deposit. Him agreeing to stay does not mean he can't and won't sue you later. Make sure to get a forwarding address to send his deposit to with in 45 days and enclose a letter stating that it is a full refund of deposit, date and sign the letter and even put the address where you are sending it to on the letter and keep a copy of the letter and the check. Give it a few days and see if he cashed the check and once you get your bank statement attach a copy to that letter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 19, 2014
If your tenant is on a month to month lease he is only required by law to give a 30 day written notice. You could have stipulated that the lease be given at the 1st of any month but if you didnt he can give it at any time. I personally would not agree to allow him to use security deposit as rent as there may be un seen damages after he moves. Make sure you document any damages and takes pictures if you are going to keep any portion of the deposit also it is mandatory that you advise him with in 45 days of his move out date that you have found damage. Be very specific and let him know how much you are holding of his deposit for each seperate damage. You must notify him in writing with in 45 days. If you do not he could take you to court and get double his security deposit back in some states. If you are not keeping his deposit. You have 45 days to return it to him and to cover yourself make sure it's a well documented check. You should really check out the smell and make sure there are no mold issues and document that as well possibly by a professional or take pictures and have a no bias witness. He could still try and sue you for uninhabitable living conditions. I would just let him go on the 30 day notice and refund his deposit. That gives you plenty of time to re rent the unit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 19, 2014
What does the lease say about notice? Typically, with a month to month situation, the required notice is 1 month. Deposit should not be used as rent; it is to be refunded if the place is left in accordance with the terms of the lease. Remember that a verbal agreement is not enforceable by law, so it should be put in writing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
Lots of unanswered questions:. Written agreements are generally non binding in real estate, so unless the deposit is to be used for a specific purpose, it's pretty much up in the air. Typically it is to offset damage, but that needs to be spelled out in the lease agreement or even an amendment. There should be something in writing to confirm what landlord and tenants' commitments are. What is the cause of the bad smell-is it mildew or mold? Who was the cause of the smell? Was it neglect on the part of the landlord or did the tenant cause the water problem? I wouldn't let that go. At this point you might want to consider hiring an atty to help you. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
Without a written agreement....... your options are limited. At this point, I would let the tenant know he cannot use his deposit for ANYTHING other than a deposit. The deposit is to cover any damages or items that received ware and take during his stay......... not his rent!

Let him know his rent is due, if not paid, start the eviction process immediately. At this point it sounds best to end this as tidy as possible. Hopefully he will pay for the last months rent. Assess the property after his departure and if all is left in great shape (including cleanliness) then he can have his deposit returned. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
First off, you should not have a verbal agreement with anyone regarding real property. Secondly, you should never have verbal conversations that cannot be backed up in writing. Now, you will have the opportunity to be the victim when your tenant secures an attorney. Sorry, but you should have had a property manager to protect you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
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