What is a standard and reasonable early lease termination penalty?
05/12/2007 - Landlord Tenant - State: CA #4542
Our tenants have requested to be excused from their 1 year lease after 3 months. There were problems at the complex that they did not advise us of until they notified us of their wish to leave. They want to move as soon as possible even if that means paying a penalty. It took us several months to find good tenants and I believe it will take some time to find new ones. I don't think they understand how much work that is. We will also need time to do touch-ups, run credit checks, and meet with tenants they've pre-screened. My husband and I both work full time so as you can imagine....
What is a standard/reasonable early lease termination penalty for a $1450/month unit? What is a reasonable overall expectation on our parts? We don't want to be difficult but it is a hardship for us in time and money.
This all depends on the provisions of the lease and the regulations in California. Generally, if the termination is without just cause (is not for a reason that the law allows the tenants to terminate), the tenants are responsible for the full 1 year rent. You can settle with them for whatever amount up to that amount as a lease termination fee. In other words, if they are still obligated under the lease, they still have to pay as agreed. If they are legally terminating due to problems with the lease premises that allows them to terminate then they do not have to pay to terminate. There are many laws in California that deal with tenants so we cannot address the specific issue for your case. The lease could assist you answer your questions.
As a practical matter, you might just talk to them and see what both of you can agree is reasonable under the circumstances. Whatever agreement your make with them, I would suggest reducing it to writing.
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05/12/2007 - Category: Landlord Tenant - State: CA #4542
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