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  1. #1
    sundevil98 is offline Junior Member
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    Co-Tenant Issues - One wants out of Lease

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    I have a lease signed by two girls living in my house.

    Girl #1 wants to move out because she no longer gets along with Girl #2. Girl #2 wishes to remain in the house. The tenants have paid a "last month's rent" and I have cashed the check, and it remains in my account. These two girls are approx. 4 months into a 12 month lease.

    I told both girls they must work to find someone that Girl #2 approves of, but more importantly, Person #3 must be someone I approve of (credit check, no prior negative rental history, non-smoker, etc.).

    Let's imagine a perfect world where both Girls can find the perfect Person #3.

    What is the best way to handle the situation next?

    Do I break the lease with Girl #1 and Girl #2 and create a new lease for Girl #2 and Person #3? If so, how do I handle the situation with the "last month's rent"... (Lease states "in the event agreements made in this lease a broken by the Tenant, the last month's rent will be forfeited by Tenant at Owner's option". So, I guess it's up to me, really.... If I can show breach of the lease, then I will just keep it.)

    Or, do I amend the current lease to somehow add Person #3 and somehow remove Girl #1? If so, what's the best way to handle this.

    Trying to keep any attorney's out of it, and handle this amicably, but might not be that lucky.
  2. #2
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    This is why I don't do the roomie thing. I accept one rent and one deposit, the rest is up to the tenants to figure out.

    Personally, I would not give back the last months rent because you still have the place occupied by tenant #1. If tenant #3 wishes to pay tenant #2 her portion of the last months rent and tenant #2 were to write a letter of release to you for her portion of the last months rent and signed by all three tenants indicating that the portions are not in dispute, then that would be acceptable as you would then be holding the last months rent for #3.
  3. #3
    sundevil98 is offline Junior Member
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    Just for clarification...

    To this point, I have only accepted 1 payment for rent... not payments from both girls. However, to date, for January, only half of the rent has been paid (one of the girls made a direct deposit to my account - I thought she was paying the whole thing. I can only assume it was Girl #2 as I gave her the deposit information). I told them both payment has not been received in full and to make sure the full payment is made by the 6th (3 business days after 1st). If not paid in full, I'm writing a single check to both girls and returning the amount paid thus far as unacceptable. Then will take the proper steps necessary to begin the eviction process.

    Up thru December... I was holding all of the checks for rent as they were written out in advance. I was depositing them on the 1st of each month. They had given me rent checks from when they moved in through the end of the year... Almost like they knew they wouldn't be on good terms past the end of the year!
  4. #4
    sundevil98 is offline Junior Member
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    Also, one more question regarding the new roommate....

    Is it my responsibility (mitigate my damages) to help find a new roommate, or is that entirely up to the current tenants?

    Let's say Girl #1 finds someone that's got great qualifications, but Girl #2 doesn't like her... Does Girl #2 have any right to say who she is comfortable living with?
    Last edited by sundevil98; 01-02-2009 at 01:51 AM.
  5. #5
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundevil98 View Post
    Also, one more question regarding the new roommate....

    Is it my responsibility (mitigate my damages) to help find a new roommate, or is that entirely up to the current tenants?

    Let's say Girl #1 finds someone that's got great qualifications, but Girl #2 doesn't like her... Does Girl #2 have any right to say who she is comfortable living with?
    Once the rent is not paid and they are in default and you have evicted them, then you mitigate damages. I would not get into micro managing. Your only concern is that the rent be turned in on time. If they can't agree on a replacement tenant, then they're out once the rent does not get turned in.

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