My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Georgia
A few months ago we leased out our old home to a friend (yeah, big mistake, should have listened) since its so difficult to sell these days. Almost from the start we had problems. She was supposed to get the electricity turned over to her name, and we found out a month and a half later (when we got the bill!) that she hadn't. She blamed "bad credit" and a security deposit which was higher than she expected ($350 verses $120 for good credit). We took care of that by letting her know we were terminating our account with the power company in a week, magically she found a way to get the power transferred over immediately. She did pay us for the electric bill she owed us.
Fast forward 3 months from start of tenancy. I get a call from her room-mate. Apparently, my tenant took a security deposit from this room-mate and used it for her portion of rent and for moving expenses instead of setting it aside. Room-mate says she's also covered pretty 2/3rds of the rent the last 2 months, and she took care of getting the power connected, etc. This room-mate is a person with a good paying stable job, good credit and the means to cover the entire rent herself (though she prefers not to because she's saving up a down payment to buy a house, and she prefers that its our house since she's fallen in love with it).
So, basically, I've talked to the existing tenant and we've mutually agreed to terminate the lease, and her responsible room-mate wants to sign a 12 month lease with us. After the 12 month lease the new tenant wants to discuss a lease to sell arrangement. While we're hugely disappointed in our friend we're thrilled that it led us to someone who is a responsible tenant with the means to eventually buy the home.
So the issue is, I have a mutual lease termination form, but it states "The Tenant surrenders and releases to The Landlord all his/her interest in The Property with vacant possession and The Landlord accepts this surrender." Since the old tenant will be staying there as a room-mate, is this language still acceptable for the termination form? There will be no move out, just an inspection to make sure there's no damage prior to the new tenant signing a lease.