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I know that I'm new here...but hoping that I am welcome to vent (and perhaps seek thoughts or advice from anyone who has BTDT).

 

DH and I own a home that we are upside down in (stupid, stupid second mortgage). We had to move to another state due to unemployment for my dh and we are trying to get back on our feet after several years of on and off unemployment (but dh has a good job now and things are going well). We are renting a house in our new state.

 

We rented our house out to a young family earlier this year. They have been severely late with their rent 4 times. Just this evening they asked to be let our of their lease.

 

I'm not sure what to do here. Insist that they pay this month's rent and then let them out (her dad co-signed, so I can't imagine that someone can't come up with one month's rent) or something else? I have never done this before.

 

Dh is so frustrated that he just wants to let them go and then walk away from our house. I am trying to be the voice of reason here. If we can get it rented again quickly, we can afford it. I just know it will be challenging to rent since we are hours away and it is holiday time. If we can't get it rented, it will be very challenging for us to pay both mortgages on the house and then our rent. Maybe for a few months...but not much more.

 

I guess this is just a vent. I am tired and frustrated. Every time we start to get just a little bit ahead it seems like something happens. I would love to be done with our house but I know it isn't the "right" thing to do (besides that, I am sure they would come after us for the difference and our credit would be wrecked).

 

If you got this far, thanks for reading.

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I'm sorry that you are facing this situation with your tenant. We too have a rental house in another state. We are on our 3rd tenant and finally we seem to have a good situation.

 

I would highly recommend getting a property manager local to your house. It makes things so much easier. It will cost you about 8-10% of the monthly rent and the commission for obtaining renters is one months rent. But the cost is so worth not having to worry about collections and legal proceedings - plus they are the contact for your tenants if anything needs fixing.

 

:grouphug: I know how it is with moving, unemployment, and having another property to deal with. I'm sorry that I don't have any advice for your current situation.

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I

 

I'm not sure what to do here. Insist that they pay this month's rent and then let them out (her dad co-signed, so I can't imagine that someone can't come up with one month's rent) or something else? I have never done this before.

 

I know nothing of the legality, or how much of a hassle it is to go to court, but if you have a co-signer, aren't they then on the pony for it? If you let them out of their lease, you are doing THEM a favor. I'd expect this (November's) rent if only because it is almost over. Do you have a deposit you can keep? If you are being generous, I think getting Nov and the deposit is very reasonable. Do you trust they won't strip/trash the place? That can happen, too.

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Just piping in w/ my experience. Dec. and Sept are the worst months to find a renter. Nobody is looking to spend the $ b/c of Christmas and school.

 

Funny, 'cause those are the two best months where we live ...... we have a rental near a college campus and school starts late September. Tons of students are looking in September. Jan. 1 is the start of a new quarter, so December is when new students that quarter are looking for housing (or current students who want to move). I guess it depends on the situation.

 

To the OP: Tell them that in good faith you will try to find a new renter, but until you do, they are obligated to pay rent. They certainly do need to pay December's rent. You can contact any co-signer as well. I understand that obviously they are flaking on you, but don't make it easy for them. And I agree, in your situation (long distance), I'd get a property manager.

Edited by milovaný
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I know nothing of the legality, or how much of a hassle it is to go to court, but if you have a co-signer, aren't they then on the pony for it? If you let them out of their lease, you are doing THEM a favor. I'd expect this (November's) rent if only because it is almost over. Do you have a deposit you can keep? If you are being generous, I think getting Nov and the deposit is very reasonable. Do you trust they won't strip/trash the place? That can happen, too.

 

To the OP: Tell them that in good faith you will try to find a new renter, but until you do, they are obligated to pay rent. They certainly do need to pay December's rent. You can contact any co-signer as well. I understand that obviously they are flaking on you, but don't make it easy for them. And I agree, in your situation (long distance), I'd get a property manager.

 

Unfortunately, I have been in contact with the co-signer and he is saying now that he can't pay either. This is the fourth month that they have been late (and their excuses for two separate months was their children's birthday parties :glare:). I had a bad feeling when we went into this deal, but since we were out of state, we had a realtor handling it for us and I trusted her judgement (note to self...start trusting MY gut instinct!). The couple is young and has not-so-great credit. The realtor assured us that since the dad was willing to co-sign, it was fine (dad has great credit). Now here we are and the rent is 22 days late and the dad refuses to pay. Short of evicting them (which can be costly) I don't know what else to do? I have demanded payment, yet they haven't paid.

 

IS there anything else I can do? They did give us two months rent as a deposit, so obviously we will keep that. I feel like they should at least come up with November's rent. I don't know if I can press the dad and get him to pay (tried and hasn't worked so far). I really know nothing about this, as I'm sure you can tell.

 

Ugh...I hate being a landlord (don't they call this accidental landlord?).

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What is written in the lease? Reread it carefully and see exactly what they signed. It should be very clear about the consequences for breaking the lease/late payments. Read up on your state laws and figure out what you can legally do. It varies widely by location. After you figure all that out, then you could contact dad and the couple and inform them calmly about the law. Hopefully that will encourage them to do the right thing. If not, at least you are in a better position to decide what is best for you and your family.

 

Sorry you're dealing with this. :( Not fun.

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I would allow them out of the lease but require them to pay rent until the next tenant moves in as well as any costs associated with releasing the house (cleaning if necessary, realtor fees, advertising fees, etc) since they are being incurred because of the broken lease.

 

As far as the past due rent I would send them a certified letter requesting payment (both the renters and the cosigner) and keep records so you can attempt to collect once they are out (not before in case they get mad and cause damage).

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I own a rental house, too. :glare:

 

Just let them out of their lease and let them move on. If you try to get more money out of them, they probably just won't pay you and you'll be frustrated. Also, if they have non-payment of rent, you just keep their deposit.

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We, with my sister, own a rental. It was fine when we lived in that city. We had no problems getting renters or collecting rent. Since we've been transferred, it has been a constant drain on our finances. We've tried getting a manager twice. The first manager "borrowed" 5,000 in rents. We still haven't gotten it all back. The second one has done a litttle better. We've been sinking money into this property that we should have been putting on our own mortgage. Even with the money drain, I have a hard time going after people. I know some people have deliberately scammed us, but I'm a soft touch. If I owned it all by myself, I'd probably just let people live there.

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I think I'd be more sympathetic if the problem was medical bills or something dire...but birthday parties??? I know that sounds grinchy but housing and food come before parties.

 

I'd enforce the lease and would send them a certified letter (both parties) letting them know that the lease is a legal agreement and you expect them to honor it. In the letter, I would request payment for whatever month(s) rent you are owed. If you let them out expecting the deposit to cover the rent and you have lots of repairs to make, then you may lose money. (I have friends whose rental was left in such bad shape that it cost them $10,000 plus just to make it livable again.)

 

Is there someone you know in the area who would be willing to check on the property for you and help you manage tenants?

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We had a similar situation, the only saving grace was that the lease was held by a corporation for the benefit of one of their employees. We did not agree to let them out of the lease. A contract is a contract and in this economy it would have been very detrimental to us to do so.

 

I agree with the advice to get a property management company for your property. THey take a percentage but it is worth having someone run credit checks on the tenants, do the paperwork and chase them for the rent.

 

Good luck.

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We had a property manager for our rental. We paid him a percentage up front, a percentage every month and a percentage every time the renters renewed the lease.

 

One December, he told us that they wanted to renew the lease. We had just found out that we were being transferred back to Houston, and could move back into our home. We told the manger to give the tenants notice, but we would pay his renewal fee out of our own money anyway. We had no obligation to do that.

 

Instead, he began working for our tenants to help them find a new house. That would have been fine if he had been able to work in both of our best interest, but he knew he had gotten all of the money he could from us, so he refused to collect the money they owed us, and allowed them to steal from and strip our home. They even stole my gas grill that was attached to the gas line in the back yard.

 

Our renter was a doctor and the manager of a local hospital. Our lease allowed him and his wife and two children to live in our house. They moved in step children and a mother in law and dogs that were not allowed. They locked the dogs in bedrooms where they ruined the carpet, and chewed up all of our doors and door frames.

 

When my daughters saw their rooms again, their wallpaper had been shredded because the renters used packing tape to hang up tacky posters. Our property manager could not care less.

 

Honestly, it left me so bitter that I would rather see my home burn to the ground than ever have another tenant.

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See, its idiot tenants like the ones mentioned here that make finding a place so freaking hard for the rest of us.

 

We've been at the same property for over 5 yrs. Brought both Princess and Boo home from the hospital to here. Have a huge dog and cat.

 

We've had rent late twice in that entire time. Once b/c I didn't know that the landlord had run out of cheques and when he came to the door, I couldn't fill out one for him (my dominant hand/arm doesn't work any more, and if I did it left handed, the bank would think a preschooler filled it out) and he was given another stack of cheques when Wolf got home that day...and once when Worker's Comp was screwing with my pay and I didn't get pd on time. We contacted our landlord immediately, and explained the problem, then brought them cash the day I did finally get pd.

 

I really don't understand ppl that don't pay their rent on time, or mess around. Its your shelter, for pity sakes! Why risk the roof over your head, your children's head?

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I really don't understand ppl that don't pay their rent on time, or mess around. Its your shelter, for pity sakes! Why risk the roof over your head, your children's head?

 

I agree!!! We have dealt with A LOT of unemployment through the years, yet we still always paid our mortgage. I can't understand why your home (rental, owned, whatever) would not be your first priority. And the fact that they used kids' birthday parties as excuses (not one, but two different times!)...well, I knew then that we were in trouble.

 

I have been in touch with realtors and with property management companies this morning to discuss our options. My head is swimming with details and I don't know exactly what to do, but I am just hoping and praying that we can find a solution quickly.

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I agree!!! We have dealt with A LOT of unemployment through the years, yet we still always paid our mortgage. I can't understand why your home (rental, owned, whatever) would not be your first priority. And the fact that they used kids' birthday parties as excuses (not one, but two different times!)...well, I knew then that we were in trouble.

 

I have been in touch with realtors and with property management companies this morning to discuss our options. My head is swimming with details and I don't know exactly what to do, but I am just hoping and praying that we can find a solution quickly.

 

I think it might be best to have the property managers list the home (rather than a separate realtor)- it is also in their best interest to get a stable tenant. Make sure you have input into the tenant they choose - ask about their references, credit check, etc.

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See, its idiot tenants like the ones mentioned here that make finding a place so freaking hard for the rest of us.

 

We've been at the same property for over 5 yrs. Brought both Princess and Boo home from the hospital to here. Have a huge dog and cat.

 

We've had rent late twice in that entire time. Once b/c I didn't know that the landlord had run out of cheques and when he came to the door, I couldn't fill out one for him (my dominant hand/arm doesn't work any more, and if I did it left handed, the bank would think a preschooler filled it out) and he was given another stack of cheques when Wolf got home that day...and once when Worker's Comp was screwing with my pay and I didn't get pd on time. We contacted our landlord immediately, and explained the problem, then brought them cash the day I did finally get pd.

 

I really don't understand ppl that don't pay their rent on time, or mess around. Its your shelter, for pity sakes! Why risk the roof over your head, your children's head?

 

 

I agree. We rent and have been in the same house for 7 yrs. There was an unfortunate incident yrs back where our rent check was returned unpaid. It had been tight and I had miscalculated :blush:. Well, we had the original amt. plus the late fee in cash and at the owner's house the same day we found out. He didn't even know the check had bounced yet. It was highly embarrassing, but I wasn't going to take any chances with our good standing.

 

Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control, but it does not sound like that is the case for these tenants. I would tell them that they owe you for Nov which is passed and for December as thirty days notice. Provided that they leave the place spotless on Jan 1st, then you will keep the deposit (2 mnths worth right?) as the leeway you need to get a new tenant. BUT, if any of that money has to be used for repairs then they will owe you more and you will enforce the original agreement in the lease.

 

Start advertising the property as soon as you know it can be ready and pay a little for exposure. A new better tenant will be worth it.

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I would highly recommend getting a property manager local to your house. It makes things so much easier. It will cost you about 8-10% of the monthly rent and the commission for obtaining renters is one months rent. But the cost is so worth not having to worry about collections and legal proceedings - plus they are the contact for your tenants if anything needs fixing.

 

:grouphug: I know how it is with moving, unemployment, and having another property to deal with. I'm sorry that I don't have any advice for your current situation.

Ditto on the above advice.

 

Hire a real estate agent to do the dirty work for you. Get an eviction notice out ASAP. Be prepared for a long time for the unit to be turned over (i.e. carpet cleaning, paint, etc for new renters) but this is normal. We were formal landlords with rental properties out of state too. It is a big pain in the butt -- better to deal with it if we lived close by.

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We had a property manager for our rental. We paid him a percentage up front, a percentage every month and a percentage every time the renters renewed the lease.

 

One December, he told us that they wanted to renew the lease. We had just found out that we were being transferred back to Houston, and could move back into our home. We told the manger to give the tenants notice, but we would pay his renewal fee out of our own money anyway. We had no obligation to do that.

 

Instead, he began working for our tenants to help them find a new house. That would have been fine if he had been able to work in both of our best interest, but he knew he had gotten all of the money he could from us, so he refused to collect the money they owed us, and allowed them to steal from and strip our home. They even stole my gas grill that was attached to the gas line in the back yard.

 

Our renter was a doctor and the manager of a local hospital. Our lease allowed him and his wife and two children to live in our house. They moved in step children and a mother in law and dogs that were not allowed. They locked the dogs in bedrooms where they ruined the carpet, and chewed up all of our doors and door frames.

 

When my daughters saw their rooms again, their wallpaper had been shredded because the renters used packing tape to hang up tacky posters. Our property manager could not care less.

 

Honestly, it left me so bitter that I would rather see my home burn to the ground than ever have another tenant.

 

Oh, that's horrible! It's those kinds of stories that made me scared to use property managers. We had a property manager for about a month and we fired him. We manage our property ourselves (which is a PITA).

 

In our situation, it's better than a foreclosure. If you and I foreclosed on our houses, it would take years for our credit to recover...plus it brings down the neighbor's house values to where they can't sell. :o That's why I've hung on to our rental house. I've always thought of it that way. Not that the thought hasn't crossed my mind...

 

You can always replace carpeting and repaint. :crying:

 

The housing crash was just ignorant. :mad:

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I own a real estate company and manage quite a bit of property for myself and for clients. If I were you, I would tell them a date (7 days) to vacate and would stress that the home needs to be spotless and in perfect condition. Otherwise you will pursue every single legal avenue available to you. Honestly, this would not be pleasant nor would you ever get any sort of compensation but it might make them at least leave without leaving holes in the walls. Send a letter, pleasant but direct, to this effect and mail it certified mail, return receipt requested. It doesn't matter how official this is, it will make them FEEL that it is serious and see the situation for what it is. You need to consider having someone there (you?) the evening of their departure date to make sure that the water wasn't left running in the sink and that there are no pets left stranded. Yes, both of these happen, I had a chihuahua for a few years after a lovely couple vacated and left her in the house to die. Next go around, get a property manager to rent it who is then responsible for collecting the rent and making sure the home is cared for. This adds a layer of protection for you. My fee is 10% of the rent every month and I'm worth it. :D

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Also, about the property manager... hire the busiest one it town. Find out the one, it may be a real estate agent, who manages everyone's property. There is always that one! If it is a realtor, he or she will probably have a staff in the office who handle nothing but property management. The rent check will come to them and they will run it through their account, subtract their percentage, then mail it to you. Hope this goes well for you, people can be nasty or they can be lovely. I hope these people end up on the lovely list.

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I own a real estate company and manage quite a bit of property for myself and for clients. If I were you, I would tell them a date (7 days) to vacate and would stress that the home needs to be spotless and in perfect condition. Otherwise you will pursue every single legal avenue available to you. Honestly, this would not be pleasant nor would you ever get any sort of compensation but it might make them at least leave without leaving holes in the walls. Send a letter, pleasant but direct, to this effect and mail it certified mail, return receipt requested. It doesn't matter how official this is, it will make them FEEL that it is serious and see the situation for what it is. You need to consider having someone there (you?) the evening of their departure date to make sure that the water wasn't left running in the sink and that there are no pets left stranded. Yes, both of these happen, I had a chihuahua for a few years after a lovely couple vacated and left her in the house to die. Next go around, get a property manager to rent it who is then responsible for collecting the rent and making sure the home is cared for. This adds a layer of protection for you. My fee is 10% of the rent every month and I'm worth it. :D

 

I'd hire you! :lol: Let me know if you move to Missouri! :tongue_smilie:

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I own a rental house, too. :glare:

 

Just let them out of their lease and let them move on. If you try to get more money out of them, they probably just won't pay you and you'll be frustrated. Also, if they have non-payment of rent, you just keep their deposit.

 

Keeping the deposit in lieu of rent is not allowable by law in some states. You need to check the laws where you are to see if you can do that.

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Keeping the deposit in lieu of rent is not allowable by law in some states. You need to check the laws where you are to see if you can do that.

 

Ah, very true. Check your state laws (just like homeschooling :tongue_smilie:).

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Funny, 'cause those are the two best months where we live ...... we have a rental near a college campus and school starts late September. Tons of students are looking in September. Jan. 1 is the start of a new quarter, so December is when new students that quarter are looking for housing (or current students who want to move). I guess it depends on the situation.

 

To the OP: Tell them that in good faith you will try to find a new renter, but until you do, they are obligated to pay rent. They certainly do need to pay December's rent. You can contact any co-signer as well. I understand that obviously they are flaking on you, but don't make it easy for them. And I agree, in your situation (long distance), I'd get a property manager.

 

:iagree:

 

We own 4 rental properties and have found that December is a pretty good time to rent because people have time off from the holidays to move. It is also a good time to change schools for their kids.

 

We also had to let somebody out of their lease. We did everything we could to find a new tenant, but they still had to pay until we had one in place. Luckily our tenant was just thrilled we were going to let them out of their lease. Of course, they had paid the year up front - so I already had their money. Not sure how it would have went if they hadn't.

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Unfortunately, I have been in contact with the co-signer and he is saying now that he can't pay either. This is the fourth month that they have been late (and their excuses for two separate months was their children's birthday parties :glare:). I had a bad feeling when we went into this deal, but since we were out of state, we had a realtor handling it for us and I trusted her judgement (note to self...start trusting MY gut instinct!). The couple is young and has not-so-great credit. The realtor assured us that since the dad was willing to co-sign, it was fine (dad has great credit). Now here we are and the rent is 22 days late and the dad refuses to pay. Short of evicting them (which can be costly) I don't know what else to do? I have demanded payment, yet they haven't paid.

 

IS there anything else I can do? They did give us two months rent as a deposit, so obviously we will keep that. I feel like they should at least come up with November's rent. I don't know if I can press the dad and get him to pay (tried and hasn't worked so far). I really know nothing about this, as I'm sure you can tell.

 

Ugh...I hate being a landlord (don't they call this accidental landlord?).

 

The dad with great credit will not want his FICO score hurt by a lawsuit which you'll win - he co-signed, thus he is as responsible for the contract (lease) as they are. I'd make it clear to him that you WILL pursue this in court and if necessary, you really do need to file....they (the leasees) have nothing to lose, their credit already sucks - his doesn't and he committed to the lease - pursue him! You can do it as a demand for payment of rent, then if they pay, they're good, they stay - if not, they'll be legally evicted and you will still be owed the rent for the entire length of lease that remains and it'll be on the dad to pay since he's co-signer and odds are he won't want a public record on his credit score that he owes you money....that, and you can garnish his bank account, wages, etc. once you have a judgment, so you can get your money owed. I know this doesn't sound very *nice*, but it is what it is and they agreed to the contact, therefore you are well within your right to expect to be paid in a timely manner!

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We've got three other houses, one in another state and two here on the ranch. Fortunately our son and dil are living in the one out of state so we don't have to worry about that.

 

As for the other two, we had a family of friends living in one which was great, and a nice couple in the other that gave no trouble. But they are both gone now and the houses are empty.

 

I'm really fed up with renting those houses. Most of the people who want to rent them are there for less than a year and are always late with rent. One family who paid the rent on time painted the rooms horrendous colors. One threatened dh because we wouldn't let him keep goats in the yard. I'd rather them sit empty.

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