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Tenant of over 2 years leaving 8 months before lease is up

I am a semi-new landlord in Georgia.  I have a tenant who signed his first yearly lease June 1,2012, and has since signed two more yearly renewals.  Yesterday, October 1, 2014, instead of paying rent he informed my husband he is leaving on October 5 and will be turning over the keys. The residence is next door.  What can we do?  There is still 8 months left.  Do we put a 3 day notice to quit, a 3 Day Demand for Possession or wait until he leaves and start eviction?  We have no idea where he is going.  His security deposit will cover 1 month if there are no damages, but it is stated that the security deposit can not be used for rent. We also included a section about non-payment of rent :  “LANDLORD'S REMEDIES: If Tenant violates any part of this Lease Agreement including non-payment of rent, the Tenant is in default of this Lease Agreement. In the event of a default, the Landlord may initiate legal proceedings in accordance with local and state regulations to evict or have Tenant removed from the Leased Premises as well as seek judgment against Tenant for any monies owed to Landlord as a result of Tenant's default. A.   All rent for the balance of the term of this Lease Agreement is immediately due to the       Landlord and the Landlord may sue for the entire balance as well as any damages, expenses, legal fees and costs.”    What, if anything, should be our next step?  He has been very aggressive towards me (I am wheel-chair bound) and our son.  He tried to be towards my husband, but my husband told him he was keeping it professional and would just call law enforcement if necessary

While I have not yet faced the same problem as you have, my advice as a landlord of 4+ years of 2 properties is- let him leave- give no deposits back as yet. Keep things unemotional and professional- hopefully, he has little or no damages, and will willingly leave you the keys. Change the locks immediately- go to Loews, they sell a lock that for the future, you can change the key for only $5/ key. If you start to demand full payment of rent til leases' end, good luck getting it-remember-your tenant lives next door to you, and can easily be vindictive towards you and your family. It's not worth you and your family's safety. If you do have losses and/or damages, you can write it off on your income taxes. Hopefully, your tenant will calm down and leave peacefully without any further aggression. Also, if you decide to sue for uncollected rent from leasing period, you will have to retain the services of an attorney =$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Only you can decide if it is worth the time, trouble, and money. I took some Landlord classes from Steven Dexter who advised to rent on a month-to month periodic basis. If you have a problem tenant, it is easier to get rid of them with a 30- day notice; likewise, the tenant also would also give a 30-day advance notice to leave. Good luck to you!!!!!!!!
I have been a landlord for 13 year with as many as 23 properties at one point. There is no need to evict him if he is moving the time you try and do that, he will be moved out and you will be out $500-$600 for unlawful detainer, process server ect.. Let him move out, at least you have the damage deposit that you can keep. After he is out, turn the prop as fast as you can and get a new renter. You can pay a $75 fee to file a court date for small claims. You can sue up to $10,000, but if it is over $2,500 you will have to have a process server serve him papers. Even if you get a judgment you have to find out where he works, go to the county seat, pay the sheriffs $90 to get a writ of execution, and six months later to get a measly little check and then have to go back to sheriffs dept and give them another $90. If you know where they bank you can freeze account, if you know account #, but that only freezes what is in there, not what he deposits in the future. In my experiance, you end up throwing good money at bad money and will be out more money by pursuing it. This is all part of the rental game.
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