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Tenant breaking lease

Our tenants informed us that they intend to break our lease agreement 4 months into a 12 month contract because they "decided to buy a house."  Unfortunately, it's a bad time of year to rent out houses, as people traditionally seek a new home at the end of the summer in this area.  Because of this, we believe we will have a hard time finding replacement renters, and it will likely take months.  I have listed the property but am getting *very* few interested parties.    It seems to us that the tenants are responsible for the rent through the entire term if we are trying but are unable to find new renters.  Is this correct, and what do we have to do to preserve our rights and to collect this?  They are moving out March 1, so on that date when they are gone & haven't paid rent, do we have to issue a 5-day notice to quit or pay? It will be a major hardship for us to pay the additional $2k/month for that property for potentially months until we find new renters.

You might have to check with a lawyer, it might be in your best interest , A lease is binding for the full term, I believe they will owe you the money until you lease it again , Now , wether you get your money might be a different story. If they leave you will have to have papers served , what is the tenant laws in Arizona , Ask  a lawyer for a free consultation. , how is someone going to pay for a new home and your rent ?
The law allows the landlord to keep part or all of the security deposit in any one or more of the following situations: Tenant owes rent; Tenant leaves the rental less clean than when tenant moved in; Tenant has damaged the rental beyond normal wear and tear; and Tenant fails to restore personal property (such as keys or furniture), other than because of normal wear and tear. if none of these circumstances is present, the landlord must return the entire amount that tenant has paid as security. Remember, you have twenty one days to provide an accounting to the tenant with any balance if applicable.
Remember, you should always do a move in AND move out inspection to ensure complete documentation to present to a Court if need be.  We also take pictures for the file.  They are a real good form of evidence!
You can permit a tenant to vacate a lease early if it is a mutual agreement. This web-site does have a form for that. I always allow a few weeks to get the rental unit ready for the next occupant, which also gives me time if they do not leave early or on time. It is up to you if you want ot sign the new tenant on or not. It is always a chance whether it is at the end of a lease or a mutual agreed ending of a lease.
The form for a Mutual Termination of a Lease is located on this web-site at:
Thank you both.  That helps.
If they move out early on a year term they are breaking the lease and can be penalized and held responsible up to the point of a new tenant moving in.  If you mutually ended the lease on good terms there should be an agreement in place so that this can be stated upfront.  In this case you may definitely keep the security deposit but if they were paid up until they left you would need to return the last months rent.
IF you don't mind him leaving make sure to sign a termination with him. This way he cannot come back and throw the lease in your face.
Thank you for the answer, do you think that the mutual termination of lease tenancy should work?
Yes, this is the right situation for that form.
I believe in most states, the tenant is bound to their lease and they are responsible for rent until you find a new tenants, or until the end of the term. Whichever comes first. However, the landlord should be trying to find tenant. I wouldn't take from the security deposit.
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