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    Default Signed Lease with Tenant - No Deposit Yet. Can I Break the Lease

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: oregon

    We were under pressure to rent our condo due to time constraints based on owner occupied building with rental waiting list. ( 30 day window to rent or lose spot to next on list). We rented to an applicant sight unseen at $200 less asking price and agreed on 1/2 deposit. We have not yet received deposit and applicant said they won't move in for another few weeks. we're worried he might bail, so have kept listing it as available, but letting people know a lease has been signed (we got screwed by two others before this applicant and want to make sure we have interested parties lined up).
    We now have someone else interested who would pay full price and full deposit. can we cancel lease with current applicant and rent it to new folks because we haven't received the deposit? or use the new party as leverage to get current applicant up to full price and deposit? or do we have to maintain course with current applicant? I'm ok renting to current applicant at current price ( even though it is lower), just worried we'll be backed against the wall again if he bails. we're already a bit negative at our original asking price.....

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Signed Lease with Tenant - No Deposit Yet. Can I Break the Lease

    You are free to contact your tenant and ask if he will agree to be released from his lease, such that you can rent to a different tenant. If the deposit is not yet due under the signed lease, it's not yet due - has your tenant missed the deadline or not?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Signed Lease with Tenant - No Deposit Yet. Can I Break the Lease

    Quote Quoting floatinghead
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    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: oregon

    We were under pressure to rent our condo due to time constraints based on owner occupied building with rental waiting list. ( 30 day window to rent or lose spot to next on list). We rented to an applicant sight unseen at $200 less asking price and agreed on 1/2 deposit. We have not yet received deposit and applicant said they won't move in for another few weeks. we're worried he might bail, so have kept listing it as available, but letting people know a lease has been signed (we got screwed by two others before this applicant and want to make sure we have interested parties lined up).
    We now have someone else interested who would pay full price and full deposit. can we cancel lease with current applicant and rent it to new folks because we haven't received the deposit? or use the new party as leverage to get current applicant up to full price and deposit? or do we have to maintain course with current applicant? I'm ok renting to current applicant at current price ( even though it is lower), just worried we'll be backed against the wall again if he bails. we're already a bit negative at our original asking price.....

    thanks
    Having landlorded for 30 years, I have never rented to anyone sight unseen. Early on, when I was far more inexperienced, I have also rented units and then wait five weeks. Usually this happens when someone sees a unit in May that they like, tell me the story that they'll have to give the LL 30 days notice, then they won't pay the June rent so they'll then have the money to pay me the deposit, and then move in by July 1.

    This is the typical story, and I don't know if that is the story you got.

    After many years, I have learned that prospects used this "waiting period" to go search for a better and cheaper apartment using their agreement with me as leverage. They would tell a prospective landlord that they are about to lease up a place that's much better and cheaper. Then they'll bail on me.

    What I do now is I insist on some payment to hold the apartment. However, as I rent the place out 10% below market, people come by to beg me to take the deposit anyway. But before I do take any deposits, and agree to go ahead with a lease, I asked them how long they looked, how many units they seen, and what they don't like about what they seen. This would give me an indication if they would put a hold on my place, use it as leverage, then bail on me.

    In your case, they can show something that rents for $200 less.

    While I no longer go ahead with leases without a payment to hold it, usually the deposit which is one month's rent, I also included a clause "this lease is not OPERATIVE till the LL received the deposit in good funds", so I always ask for a bank check. The clause is there in case anything goes wrong, I can't get in touch with the tenant, and someone else needs it bad.

    However, if you signed a lease without the clause I included, or anything spelling out when the deposit is due, then you could be stuck with a tenant who might very well bail on you, so I would as you suggested ask for the deposit saying someone else want if real bad.

    As an example, a couple who renting from me right now came by in May about six years ago with the same scenario, except they had the deposit, but told me in May they'll rent up as of Jul 1 so they can give their LL 30 days notice. The reason was their LL is selling the house they are living in.

    For me it was true I had always 30 people who came to the opne house and at least 10 people wanting to rent up, and the rent being so reasonable, rent it up right away. However, I liked the fact the wife earned "$125,000/year", and had a W2 to show me, and financially the strongest of everyone. None the less, I told them I know the rent is right, they know it, I know it, every else knows it, so it'll be rented in the next few days, and there would be NO NINE WEEK wait.

    What happened was they called their LL up, telling the LL since he is selling the house the 30 day wait should not apply, and they want to rent up my place right away. So I got paid for 2 or 3 weeks rent in May, and got paid for June as well. From what I'm told, the LL not only agreed to it on the spot, but was actually relieved his tenant found a place, and he's able to move on selling the house. What this teaches me that often, if you do business on your OWN TERMS, you wind up ahead of the game.

    And nine weeks rent is not exactly chump change.

    It looks like that with $200 off, possibly below market, you should have some leverage here, and not just let renters jerk you around, then bail on you.

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