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Tenant move out earl, charge rent during vacancy
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over 10 years ago
Hi, I have a few student tenants who moves out recently. They break lease on 9 months while the lease is 12 months. When one of them asked to move out early through email, I told him that I am ok to cover 1 week vacancy. However I didn't give further notice regarding they have to pay the vacancy if new tenant didn't move. There are 14 days vacant before new tenant move in. So I charged 7 days rent. Now I am getting emails threatening to take me to small claim court, here is the content: ------------------------------------------------- We have reviewed the lease agreement, and did not find anywhere that you have a right to charge us for time that the apartment is vacant. We gave you written notification 30 days prior to our planned move out day. We were out of the apartment on the day we said we would be. We cleaned the apartment and had check off all areas of the "Tenant's move-out checklist", and during that time we did not receive any notification from you that we would be charged for an extra week. The reason we broke the lease agreement in the first place was because you did not uphold your part of the lease. You never addressed the rat situation, nor did we ever receive a new dishwasher after the rat chewed through the first. .. If we are unable to retrieve the remainder of our money from you, we will be taking you to small claims court and we will notify the Better Business Bureau. I sincerely hope it will not come to that. -------------------------------------------------- The issue is that the Lease Agreement is 12 months terms, but it didn't explicitly put any penalty for move out early or request to cover the rent till next tenant move in. But I do have the "Tenant 30 days notice to vacant" with their signature, which clearly stated "I/We understand that our rental agreement requires us to give a minimum of 30 days written notice to vacate and that rent will be payable through the end of the terms agreed to or until an acceptable replacement tenant has taken occupancy, whichever comes first." My question is: do I have to give them written notice a head of time e.g. during preinspection or inspection that I am going to charge 1 week rent for vacancy? Is my document good enough to charge this 7 days rent? Another concern is that if they say "You never addressed the rat situation, nor did we ever receive a new dishwasher after the rat chewed through the first." - Just wondering how soon landlord need to address this issue? I did ask my property manager/handyman did the dry wall repair and replace hose for dish washer which was chewed holes by rate when they called the first time. -- I have the invoice for all the handyman work. But 2 months later, they called again for the rats issue and dishwasher leaking. I wasn't very sure why it happens again since it is all fixes at the first time. My PM said the rat might come in again, since it is community issue, it is better to call HOA to handle it. I did that. and also paid additional cost to put mental blocker and the rat bait inside the wall and house the second time. The only thing that I didn't address the second time is that dishwasher issue. The buttom of the dishwasher was chewed holes by rat, I wanted it to be covered by home warranty. So dish washer wasn't fixed till they move out. But my PM also said that the tenants store left over holloween candies something like that which not to keep house clean may be the reason that rats like to visit this property..( though I never discuss that issue with tenants ). Is it something I can claim the dishwasher is due to tenant's mis-usage? Anyway, just wondering will I loss in the court due to this is so called that I "did not uphold your part of the lease" ? I did send them email asking if it is ok to fix the dishwasher in a month? They said ok... It may not a big deal to refund that 7 days rent. I just want to find out what's the possible result if have to goes to court. Thanks for
over 10 years ago
In my opinion, your best bet is to let them leave.The California Civil Code section 1941 states that when a landlord rents property to a tenant as a place to live, the property must be in a "habitable" condition. This includes,a Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage) which are free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin.
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