tenant wants to break lease for being stalked - recommended action?

I received an email today from the property manager saying:


Your tenant has been into the office and advised us that she needs to vacate the property due to her safety and security. She has handed in her correct forms and keys, usually we ask for 2 weeks notice, but in this case due to her circumstance she is legally aloud to terminate her lease.
She has handed in letters from the hospital and the police stating that her safety is at risk if she continues to reside at the property.
We suggest that due to the circumstances that she is to be let out of her lease, with a one week rent charge “ break of lease fee” .
We have advertised your property on our rental list , Lj Hooker.com , Real Estate.com and Domain.com.
Please find attached copies of the notices that has been handed into our office.
She has also organised professional cleaners to attend the property and will be ready for the final inspection tomorrow.


There were 3 attachments in the email:
1) a police report saying that her ex flatmate had been making inappropriate sexual comments towards her and constantly emailing and texting her.
2) a letter dated March 25th from a psychiatric hospital saying she was recently admitted with a depressive episode contributed to by allegations of stalking and that they feel it's necessary she moves premises to improve her mental condition.
3) a Notice of Intention to Leave (Form 13 from RTA in QLD) listing 'hardship & medical" as the grounds why she wants to break the lease and vacate.

I've met the tenant before and she's an attractive 22yo that works as a model doing promotional work. Apparently she met her stalking housemate at a football club while doing promotional work.

I can sympathise with her situation and have no problems allowing her to break the lease if it benefits her mental health. I posted this to see what others would do in this situation and if the property managers email sounds like a fair recommendation.
 
I think it all sounds reasonable. Better to have her out in case the ex-flatmate does something stupid to her and you end up with a burnt down or badly damaged property. Sounds like the best solution to me.
 
Quite a few years ago my son was renting and he and his flatmates (2 girls) were the victims of an extensive and rather disturbing burglary. The police advised them to move.

They negotiated a 2 week payment in lieu of notice and vacated quickly.

Apparently there are provisions at law for tenants in possession of medical or police advice to leave to be subject to more lenient break-lease conditions.
Marg
 
They will leave regardless of what you do. A lease is nearly worthless. Regardless of the circumstances these are things you are not responsible for so why have to carry/subsidise other peoples misfortune.

Just of the top of my head the costs could be a one week letting fee, the lease costs and regardless of what they do at least some sort of cleaning/repair costs.

I would just make sure that you are not out of pocket in any way. Either with an empty property new listing and leasing charges or any cleaning/ repairs.

I would also ensure that the PM does not release the bond or give the ex tenant any indication of what will/will not be charged for. Don't play your cards before you have to.


Cheers
 
I received an email today from the property manager saying:


due to her circumstance she is legally aloud


I posted this to see what others would do in this situation


Anyone that it permitted to shout that much must have just cause I suppose.


Recommended action ?? I'd immediately inform the Bank there is to be a cessation in the mortgage payments until such time as a quieter Tenant can be found.
 
Another thought.

We have had 2 female tenants over the years who were in some sort of relationship problems.

In both cases they 'disappeared' overnight. In one case half her belongings were left with a classic case of a midnight dash - all cupboards open in all rooms with evidence of a hasty sort as to what to take.

This tenant seems to be planning her 'escape' with appropriate documentation to argue her case. The Police report would be standard but the letter from the hospital imho is something that you would need to ask for and I suspect not difficult to obtain.

We have rental to other single females but nearly without fail it ends in disaster when the boyfriend moves in and subsequently relationships flounder.

We now try and avoid any single females whatever age.

Cheers
 
Shuggy, sadly that is a part of the Residential Tenancies Act here in Qld. Interesting, to have the Lease terminated under the "Hardship Provisions" can work for both Landlord, as well as Tenant. Under the previous tribunal structure, I believe all requests that I am aware of, put forward by tenants were agreed to. The tribunal seemed to have a bias to tenents. Must say, I am not aware of a request to terminate by a Landlord going to the Tribunal, perhaps some one else may chime in. The new QCAT is yet to show its colours, however as there is now an appeal stucture, we are hoping the decisions will be less biased. Good luck with finding a new tenant.
 
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've replied to the property manager and said i'm ok with their recommendation for a 1 week "break lease" fee plus also asked for the tenant to pay for the internet advertising costs. The tenant will also be getting the place cleaned 'professionally'.

Handyandy, i agree it looks like she was planning ahead to break the lease especially by supplying a hospital letter which looks contrived. I've received a copy of it and it all looks official on a letterhead, signed by the resident MO etc but still looks like it was written to help her get out of the lease.

Also agree with your thoughts about single females and the extra problems they can bring from relationships. This girl initially moved in with her boyfriend (they both signed the lease) then 2 months later asked for the front door lock to be changed because she'd split up with him and was scared he'd come back and assault her.

Another 2 months go by and then i get this email saying her new flatmate is stalking her. Pretty girls seem to cop it the most.

medic_letter_640x315.jpg
 
As long as they pay all rent and associated costs with finding a new tennant (PM fees, etc.) then I see no problem as long as a cent doesn't come out of my pocket.
 
As long as they pay all rent and associated costs with finding a new tennant (PM fees, etc.) then I see no problem as long as a cent doesn't come out of my pocket.

You don't mind paying for releasing the property,as the tenant is only being charged a one week fee. How much are you being charged? If it doesn't rent right away, are you going to be comfortable paying the losses?

The tenant could put a block on her email and phone from this "stalker".

If you think your property manager is being fair...I don't have a problem with it.
 
I think you have done the right thing.

The right thing isn't always the most financially advantageous thing but at the end of the day that isn't the most important part.

Cheers,
 
we have had this too. These young girls pick a loser to shack up with and then next thing you know he's given her a whack and they are breaking the lease. We had one guy go through the house with a tomahawk! Why why why? Do these girls just have low self esteem?
 
"This girl initially moved in with her boyfriend (they both signed the lease) then 2 months later asked for the front door lock to be changed because she'd split up with him and was scared he'd come back and assault her.

Another 2 months go by and then i get this email saying her new flatmate is stalking her. Pretty girls seem to cop it the most"



Dang, she sounds like a right nut-job !!!!
 
So if she moves, and the "stalker" finds her, will be able to move without penalty again?

We've had 2 people try to pull the letter from the doctor stunt. We let the first one go. We challenged the second in court, and it was disallowed
We ended up compromising with the tenant, and she still resides in one of our rental.
 
So if she moves, and the "stalker" finds her, will be able to move without penalty again?

We've had 2 people try to pull the letter from the doctor stunt. We let the first one go. We challenged the second in court, and it was disallowed
We ended up compromising with the tenant, and she still resides in one of our rental.

So nice of you to challenge a doctors letter at the Tribunal. Are things that tough in nova scotia?
 
So nice of you to challenge a doctors letter at the Tribunal. Are things that tough in nova scotia?

Tenants lie.
They misrepresented the facts for the doctor and the Director of the Residential Tenancy Board.
She stated our property was causing her health problems. It wasn't.
We didn't care if the tenant left. She had Fixed term Lease, and there are no provisions to breaking it here, except by mutual agreement.
We always allow a tenant to break their lease, but they are liable until a new tenant is found. She wanted to walk away free and clear.

This is our business.We treat it as so.
We are not a charity.
 
i can understand the girls' fear. my 18yr old stepdaughter was stalked at her house by a peeping tom, who's behaviour escalated rather unpleasantly. she was terrified and the mental stress to her was enormous.

fortunately he was caught by police and convicted (repeat offender) and daughter has also moved house.

i ithink you've done the right thing.

kathryn is right - i've also had tenants that complain various parts of the house are causing illness that "have nothing to do with their lifestyle". my advice to them is "feel free to move once the lease is expired" but somehow they rarely seem to take up the offer.
 
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