What happens when a tenant breaks the lease? Landlords dealing with high renter turnover might also be struggling with bad renters who don't stick around through a full lease term. At other times, a resident must break the lease for specific (and valid) reasons. 

When renters leave mid-lease, property owners are left without the rental income they thought they had coming for the remainder of the lease. What's the best way to handle losing a tenant before the lease ends? Check out these tips from our expert Sarasota property management professionals!

1. Assess Each Situation Case-by-Case

Renters may have various reasons to break their leases. Valid reasons to end a lease include job relocation, loss of income, military orders, or health reasons. Residents also have a legal case to break the lease if property owners don’t fulfill their responsibilities as landlords to provide safe housing. Your tenant may have a right to break the lease. However, some renters will break their lease for unacceptable reasons. Assessing each situation individually helps maintain good relationships and minimize income loss when excellent tenants need to move out unexpectedly. 

When A Tenant Has a Valid Reason

When renters have valid reasons to move out of the property and end a lease, property investors should work with them to find a reasonable resolution. Since you're the property owner, you can exercise discretion when handling a broken lease. Letting your tenant go without enforcing severe penalties (depending on their situation) can be an excellent way to show appreciation for an excellent and encourage them to send more Sarasota Florida referrals your way! 

If you aren't sure how to help a resident end a lease while minimizing penalties and starting your search and tenant screening process, an expert in Sarasota property management services can guide you through the best approach. 

View on the empty room

2. Find a Replacement Sarasota FL Renter 

Whether your tenant let you know about a situation that requires them to break the lease, or your resident simply disappeared, you need a new renter! However, one major mistake rental owners make is hurrying to find a new tenant and failing to do due diligence concerning potential tenants. When investors don't screen potential renters well, they can end up replacing a missing tenant with professional tenants, criminals, and people who never pay on time. 

Depending on the circumstances, investors can hold the current renter to the lease terms, including assessing late fees to unpaid rent. When a new renter signs a lease, owners can release the previous tenant from the broken lease and attempt to collect past-due rent. 

3. Arrange a Sublease Addendum

When a tenant breaks the lease, landlords can also arrange a sublease agreement or addendum. Such an agreement would legally enable you or your tenant to rent out your property to another tenant under the original conditions (until the lease ends). If your tenant agrees to this, they would be responsible for finding the tenant and continuing to pay the rent until a new renter signs a sublease agreement with your approval. Work with a Lakewood Ranch property manager to apply tenant screening to a sublease arrangement and avoid another bad tenant situation!

Residential lease agreement

4. Enforce the Lease 

If your renter disappears from your property without notice or tries to break the lease without a valid reason, investors must enforce the lease. Work with your Sarasota, Florida legal counsel and a full service property management company to resolve a broken lease situation with uncooperative tenants. Enforcing the legal agreement can include:

  • Settling for upfront rental payments for the remainder of the lease term
  • Meeting the tenant halfway by accepting a flat rate of one or two months’ worth of rent to "buy out" the end of the lease
  • Assessing late fees and penalties for breach of contract when a renter doesn't agree to either of the options above

Work with a property manager to make sure the lease documents these options and penalties for breaking a lease. Without these details in the signed lease, tenants can respond with a lawsuit for what they perceive as retaliatory actions to their attempt to break the lease. 

5. Hire a Property Management Company to Enforce the Lease 

Dealing with broken leases can be a frustrating headache! The right property management services in Sarasota can help you reduce tenant turnover and deal with broken leases. The right property management solution applies thorough tenant screening to place excellent residents who pay the rent on time and stay through a full lease term. 

An expert property management team also enforces the lease to protect a rental property and your income, including prioritizing rent collection and working with residents who don't pay the rent!

Choose the Best Sarasota Florida Residential Property Managers to Handle Leases

Investors can leave tenants and leases behind with the best property management in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch! The Gulf Coast Property Management experts understand that broken leases hurt your bottom line. We put management processes in place to minimize financial loss when a renter breaks a lease, and we apply a thorough review process to place quality residents who fulfill their leasing commitments. If you're dealing with broken leases or bad renters, connect with us to learn more about how our expert management can help!

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