Tenant Wants Out Early

Hi all
One of my fantastic tenants wants to end their fixed term tenancy (in WA) early. The lease expires at the end of August but they've found another property they'd like to rent coming up at the end of May. They approached me last night to ask if I'd consider letting them out early so they can apply for the new property.

I've told them I'll think about it and get back to them. I've mentioned that if it were agreed on then rent would need to be paid until a new tenant was found and any advertising expenses, etc. would also be due.

I know I don't have to let them out of the lease. In fact, my first thought is to say no. Its not like they have unforeseen circumstances to contend with ... its a 'want' not a 'need'. I'm not about being a hard-head about this ... its just bloody inconvenient to lose them now and have to find someone else when I don't have to (and yes, I realise I'd have to do that when the lease expires in August anyway).

However, I'm mindful of the vindictiveness of some people if they don't get what they want ... and they're in my property. These tenants have been with me for many years and are really nice people (if a little naive I think).

I wondered what everyone else thought ... would you let them end the lease early and move on ... or make them stay.
 
If they agree to pay letting fees and any vacancy until you find a new tenant then I don't see why not? In fact, that's a better deal then waiting for them to move out in August when you will need to cover letting fees and potential vacancies from your own pocket.

It's a win-win situation. Just assure them you will do your best to find a new tenant asap.
 
This exact situation just happened to me in Melbourne - right down to the great tenants. In my case, they were leaving to work on a major infrastructure project in Victoria.
The contract was apparently that I could demand that they provide a new tenant at the same rent for the duration of their tenure. However, rents have moved on and I could ask for a bit more from a new tenant.
For me, life is too short to push these issues. If they have been good tenants for years, they have given you your CG. Let them move on. Take advantage of the new opportunities (well here in Melbourne anyway).
 
Visions of a LL padlocking tenants to the front door...:D

Your tenants are moving on. You can't make them stay. You've already said that they are up for the normal break lease expenses.

I'm pretty sure in WA you can't walk away from a lease without LL approval.

Ouchie the decision is yours but they will probably go in August anyway. Maybe this is a good time to switch to new tenants at zero cost to you and increase the rent.
 
Why create trouble for all parties? Look for the win win answer.

As suggested you will be better off if they break their lease now than if you let it expire in a few months.

We all benefit with looking at problems rationally than from the perspective of a victim - The tenants aren't doing this to you, they are asking you to agree to something as they have the right to do.

The business mindset vs the victim mindset will take us all further on this path we have chosen.
 
Anyone can walk away from any lease at any time.

But it usually costs money.

Refer - http://www.taswa.org/downloads/all/4.02_ending-a-fixed-term-tenancy.pdf


Specifically "You do not have the legal right to end your fixed term tenancy early without the owner's/agent's permission or an order from the court. Your tenancy agreement is a contract which is legally binding. You can only ask the court to end the tenancy if the owner is in serious breach."

Always different in the wild west.
 
Hi Michelle,


Residential Tenants here in Perth are notoriously hard to find in the depths of winter. People are extremely reluctant to move all of their belongings when it's dark, cold and awful.


As they cannot escape their obligation to pay you rent until the end of the Lease, I would strongly suggest you bank their money every week for the next 12 weeks, and casually look for new Tenants, safe in the knowledge that you will definitely get paid.


I have found in the past, when Tenants leave mid-term with the promise of keep paying rent whilst also paying rent to their new Landlord....it takes about 2 weeks for them to give that idea up as a bad joke, and simply ignore you. By then of course, you have no leverage, they know it, and so you get shafted. In the pursuit of the ideal win / win scenario, make sure it doesn't turn into a lose / win....with you being on the losing side.


Simply write them a 2 line email saying their request to terminate the Lease is denied, and they are required to pay right up until the end of the Lease.


Obviously give them the option to pay you 12 weeks rent in advance if they so wish, and once it's confirmed as being in your bank account, then they can bugger off tomorrow. I gather though they didn't proffer that alternative ??
 
i'm actually seeing some decent tnenat demand for my properties at present. I would take the opportunity to get them to cover your leasign fees and sign up a new 12 month tenancy at their expense. EOD you cant hold them anyway, at worst they are only liable for what they are offerign you anyway. do an inspection straight away tho and make sure the bond will be used purely for the relettign expenses
 
Hi all, thank you all for your responses which I have taken on board. I just thought I'd update you on the latest development ....

I sent the tenant a polite email last night telling them that whilst we'd rather they kept to the lease, in good faith we were prepared to let them out of it (with costs as listed previously). I reiterated that fixed term leases are usually only broken when circumstances require it, such as death, job loss, financial hardship etc.

Anyhow, the tenant emailed me today to say they'd reconsidered and would look at it again when the lease expires. They said they wanted to maintain a good relationship with us.

In WA, the main way out of a fixed term lease is if both parties agree to dissolve it ... and I wouldn't ever 'force' (without padlocks, Amadio!!) someone to stay if they really wanted out.

Whilst I would have agreed to let the lease be broken, I guess my main bugbear was the lack of commitment and how easy it is to have a lease broken just because someone wants it ... these are great tenants, but they wanted to move to a house in the same area. I think they were a little naive in their awareness of what a fixed term lease meant. I'm wondering what the point of a fixed term lease is if the tenant can get out of it so easily ... are they really worth the paper they're written on?

In any case, we're all a little wiser for the experience ...
 
Refer - http://www.taswa.org/downloads/all/4.02_ending-a-fixed-term-tenancy.pdf


Specifically "You do not have the legal right to end your fixed term tenancy early without the owner's/agent's permission or an order from the court. Your tenancy agreement is a contract which is legally binding. You can only ask the court to end the tenancy if the owner is in serious breach."

Always different in the wild west.

Most tenancy agreements in every state declare that it is a legally binding contract.

However, people still breach contracts every day - tenants move out early, builders walk off jobs, employees find new companies to work for, drivers dump their car leases, big companies upgrade headquarters and ditch their 10 year lease midterm.....they just have to understand that there will be a $$ penalty.

The point I was making is that no LL has the right to force tenants to stay in a property.
 
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