My Tenant Broke the Lease Agreement | What To Do Now?

If you own a rental property in Tampa, Florida, or anywhere else, you know that some risks accompany having a tenant residing in your Tampa rental property.

A common risk of owning a rental property in Tampa Bay is having a tenant break their lease agreement and vacate the property early. As a professional property management company in Tampa, Florida, we always see this for rental property owners.

If you don’t have a professional property manager looking out for your best interest, you’ll want to understand what to do if this happens.

Ways To Reduce Your Tenant from Breaking the Lease Agreement

There are ways to reduce or mitigate the risk of unreliable tenants. Many times taking preventative measures can reduce the likelihood of having a tenant that ends up having to break the lease early.

  1. Have a Solid Lease Agreement

If you are new to owning or managing a rental property in Tampa, you may want to consider having an attorney draft up a quality lease agreement. For example, if your lease agreement clearly states your lease default or early termination section, this will help your tenant understand that a lease is a contract with consequences if not fulfilled.

  1. Tenant Placement & Screening

One of the most important aspects of owning or buying an investment property in Tampa is to have a quality tenant in your property. The best way to find a quality tenant is by having a tenant screening process and conducting a thorough tenant background check.

  1. Showing your Rental Home

When you are showing your rental property to prospective tenants, you can typically tell by things the tenant says that should raise red flags.

If the prospective renter during the showing says, “what happens if I need to break the lease early?” This one question alone means they are fishing to see whether you have a policy on this exact question. 

Tampa property managers enforce the lease agreement to protect you and your rental property better

What to do if your tenant breaks the Lease Agreement?

If you have a lease termination fee or lease break policy written in your lease, you’ll want to inform the tenant of such policy.

Don’t have this written in your lease agreement? Add this as soon as possible to your lease agreement. Our expert Tampa and Orlando property management team has an ironclad lease agreement, and we’d be happy to share that with you.  

Once you’ve found your lease termination policy in your lease, you’ll want to ensure that the terms and fees are followed before the tenant has vacated.

My tenant vacated without providing any notice

If you have a bad tenant and they did not provide any notice, it may be more challenging to collect the lease break fee.

You’ll need to complete a security deposit claim form, aka security deposit disposition which is a notice you need to provide to claim their security deposit. Ensure you include your lease break fee on the security deposit claim form.

A positive reason to use a property management company in Tampa, Florida, is that your property manager will send the tenant to collections and collect the outstanding debt.

What are the most common lease break fees in Tampa, Florida?

  1. Two months lease break fee and a forfeited security deposit
  2. The tenant is responsible for rental payments until a new renter is found.
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Things not to do if your tenant breaks the lease agreement

Our expert property managers in Tampa recommend Never accepting or allowing the following if your tenant breaks the lease agreement.

  1. Allowing your tenant to Sublease

When your tenant informs you that they will need to move out early and vacate the property, they will often ask, can I find a tenant to “take over” my lease agreement?

We recommend never allowing this as an option. Your tenant will post your Tampa rental home on social media and have anyone interested sign or take over the lease. If you or your property manager has not thoroughly reviewed the potential renter, it will only lead to more issues.

  1. Allow an Unauthorized Occupant

Sometimes your tenant will not even inform you that they have vacated the property. Instead, they will have someone else living in your property paying rent. If you find out an unauthorized occupant is not on the lease agreement, you will need to enforce the lease agreement.

Tampa Property Managers Summary

Having a quality long-term tenant residing in your Tampa rental home is critical, but that is not always the case, so make sure you are prepared beforehand. If you are inexperienced, seeking a professional property manager will cure all your problems and reduce the stress of owning a Tampa investment property.
If you have any questions feel free to Contact Us at The Listing Real Estate Management, we’re your boutique property management company in Tampa, Florida.