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Thread: Landlord wants to break lease early for her own personal reasons

  1. #1
    crazy888s is offline Junior Member
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    Angry Landlord wants to break lease early for her own personal reasons

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

    I signed 1 year lease to rent a house. After 1 month, the home owner/landlord said she was not happy in her decision to move away and wants to move back in to her house. She offered money for my departure, but there are endless factors as to why I do not wish to move - I am not at all interested in terminating our agreement early.

    Now, 2 months in to my lease, the landlord has written a formal letter claiming she has a lawyer. She is giving me a date (1 month from now), insisting that I vacate the property. She also now says she is in some sort of "credit" program that helped her avoid foreclosure, but one of the stipulations of this programs is that the house must be her "primary residence" and she cannot "rent or transfer" her house. Otherwise, she could be accused of fraud through this program.

    Her story may or may not be true, but I don't believe that it should affect me whatsoever. I feel that I have the legal right to refuse to leave until the end of our original agreed lease (next year). Is this an accurate assumption? Thanks
  2. #2
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy888s View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana

    I signed 1 year lease to rent a house. After 1 month, the home owner/landlord said she was not happy in her decision to move away and wants to move back in to her house. She offered money for my departure, but there are endless factors as to why I do not wish to move - I am not at all interested in terminating our agreement early.

    Now, 2 months in to my lease, the landlord has written a formal letter claiming she has a lawyer. She is giving me a date (1 month from now), insisting that I vacate the property. She also now says she is in some sort of "credit" program that helped her avoid foreclosure, but one of the stipulations of this programs is that the house must be her "primary residence" and she cannot "rent or transfer" her house. Otherwise, she could be accused of fraud through this program.

    Her story may or may not be true, but I don't believe that it should affect me whatsoever. I feel that I have the legal right to refuse to leave until the end of our original agreed lease (next year). Is this an accurate assumption? Thanks
    You absolutely have the legal right to vacate the property until the lease expires.

    The lease is a legally binding contract. If you were to want to break the lease early for your own personal reasons, you can bet that the LL would be doing everything thing in their power to enforce it against you.

    The fact that her mortgage is in trouble is her problem, not yours. She knew full well that she had already entered into a lease with you prior to seeking assistance through this credit program she claims to be participating in. She may well have been in the program when she entered into the lease, meaning she is now backpedaling in order to legitimize her participation. What she doesn't realize is that she owes YOU a duty to perform under the lease as well.

    Let her know that if she tries to evict you from the property without cause, that you, too, will seek legal action to enforce the lease you both entered into. Understand that because she appears already to be in serious financial difficulty (as evidenced by her attempts to save her home), she may not be able to afford to buy you out of the lease, and so she may think that a scare tactic will work in her favor. She would be wrong.
  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    darn site bugs.... I mean you have the right to OCCUPY the property until the lease expires, NOT vacate it.
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  4. #4
    crazy888s is offline Junior Member
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    Here's anything in my lease that may be relevant:

    "4. Terms of Tenancy: The term of rental will begin on 8/22/2012 and end on 8/22/2013. If Tenant vacates before the term end, Tenant will be liable for the balance of the rent of the remainder of the term."

    "11. Landlord's failure to deliver possession: If Landlord is unable to deliver possession of the premises to Tenant for any reason not within Landlord's control, including, but not limited to, partial or complete destruction of the premises, Tenant will have the right to terminate this Agreement upon proper notice as required by law. In such event, Landlord's liability to Tenant will be limited to the return of all sums previously paid by Tenant to Landlord."

    "15. Grounds for Termination of Tenancy: The failure of Tenant or Tenant's guests or invitees to comply with any term of this Agreement, or the misrepresentation of any material fact on Tenant's rental application, is grounds for termination of the tenancy, with appropriate notice to the Tenant and procedures as required by law."

    "16. Entire Agreement: This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties, and no promises or representations, other than those contained herein and those implied by law, have been made by Landlord or Tenant. Any modifications to this Agreement must be in writing signed by Landlord and Tenant."
  5. #5
    crazy888s is offline Junior Member
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    sandyclaus:
    Thanks for your reply. This is exactly what I thought. I will let the landlord know (again) that I do not wish to terminate our initial agreement.
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  6. #6
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy888s View Post
    sandyclaus:
    Thanks for your reply. This is exactly what I thought. I will let the landlord know (again) that I do not wish to terminate our initial agreement.
    You already know that the LL is desperate, so be prepared for them to try to play hardball. She is going to try anything and everything to get you to comply with her demands, including looking for excuses to say you have violated your lease agreement. Stand your ground, follow your lease terms TO THE LETTER, and do not give her a reason to evict you. As a suggestion, you should also keep any and all communication with her IN WRITING, and keep all pertinent documents somewhere off the premises, such as in a safe deposit box or other secure location (documents have been known to go missing in situations like this).

    Last, but certainly NOT least, don't be afraid to hire your own attorney if and when necessary to protect your rights here.
  7. #7
    crazy888s is offline Junior Member
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    sandyclaus:
    Again, thanks for the advice. Previous communication with her has been email/text messages, until this last letter where she did write, sign, and mail the document to me. I will reply in a similar matter and mail it to her with my signature (and keep a copy. I didn't even think about that previously). You also make a good point when you say our lease agreement is just as legally binding as her agreement with her credit program, and I plan to include that point in my response to her. I really appreciate your time
  8. #8
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    She claims she has a lawyer .Funny the Lawyer didn't write the letter , huh ?

    If you do decide to take up the offer of compensation , make sure it's worth it . Complete return of the Security Deposit and 2 or 3 months worth of rent in advance to cover your expenses ,cost,and inconvenience,and you have 30 days to vacate .That if you vacate within the time frame there will be NO Penalties. Signed and dated by the Landlord/Owner.
  9. #9
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Beside storing copies of your docs off site like your lease and hard to replace papers , seriously its time to do a video and on paper inventory of your personal property ALL of it , as if you were documenting for insurance , store it off site and inc copies of any thing LL sends to you to attempt to get you out . If you agree to leave do it on basis of money up front. Other wise you can choose to stand your ground and think about using certified mail from now on to pay your rent with a personal check no money orders since its long long wait to get money back if the money order itself is lost.
  10. #10
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy888s View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana

    I signed 1 year lease to rent a house. After 1 month, the home owner/landlord said she was not happy in her decision to move away and wants to move back in to her house. She offered money for my departure, but there are endless factors as to why I do not wish to move - I am not at all interested in terminating our agreement early.

    Now, 2 months in to my lease, the landlord has written a formal letter claiming she has a lawyer. She is giving me a date (1 month from now), insisting that I vacate the property. She also now says she is in some sort of "credit" program that helped her avoid foreclosure, but one of the stipulations of this programs is that the house must be her "primary residence" and she cannot "rent or transfer" her house. Otherwise, she could be accused of fraud through this program.

    Her story may or may not be true, but I don't believe that it should affect me whatsoever. I feel that I have the legal right to refuse to leave until the end of our original agreed lease (next year). Is this an accurate assumption? Thanks
    Granted, you have the right to stay AND YES, it does not affect you. But, why would you want to continue adding a financial burden to someone when she has come to you, told you of a possible foreclosure, trying to keep the house, and OFFER YOU MONEY TO VACATE?
    Remember, THIS is her "home". I mean, her home, a place to live not "it's MY home so GET out," attitude.

    If she did not offer money to vacate, than by all means, throw that into the playing field as suggested.
    I agree if things where turned around, maybe or maybe not THIS LL would enforce the lease. Something that we all don't know how this LL would react to this situation.

    Advice: Send her a letter stating you can understand the hardship she is going through. But you will also encounter a hardship. Suggest that you have decided upon her offer of compensation. As stated, by a previous post, the amount of two months rent, deposit be return, no lease penalty, 30 days to vacate and I would add return of this month rent.
  11. #11
    BigMouthWino is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Searchertwin View Post
    Granted, you have the right to stay AND YES, it does not affect you. But, why would you want to continue adding a financial burden to someone when she has come to you, told you of a possible foreclosure, trying to keep the house, and OFFER YOU MONEY TO VACATE?
    Remember, THIS is her "home". I mean, her home, a place to live not "it's MY home so GET out," attitude.
    No, this is not the LL's "home." It is the OP's home. The LL turned it into a business, specifically an investment property when LL offered OP a lease agreement and started accepting rent for it. It is not OP's problem that LL wasn't as sophisticated a businessperson as LL thought they were.

    If she did not offer money to vacate, than by all means, throw that into the playing field as suggested.
    I agree if things where turned around, maybe or maybe not THIS LL would enforce the lease. Something that we all don't know how this LL would react to this situation.

    Advice: Send her a letter stating you can understand the hardship she is going through. But you will also encounter a hardship. Suggest that you have decided upon her offer of compensation. As stated, by a previous post, the amount of two months rent, deposit be return, no lease penalty, 30 days to vacate and I would add return of this month rent.
    Terrible advice. Offer to vacate if the landlord repays you all the rent you've paid so far, the security deposit and a penalty equal to six month's rent. Suggest to the landlord that paying to get you out of the property LL mortgaged as owner-occupied is probably preferable to a stay in federal prison.
  12. #12
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    I am going to play devil's advocate for a moment....

    Obviously the LL has financial problems and it appears that the house was in foreclosure or that the process had at least started until the LL got into the "program".

    If the OP will not cooperate with vacating the home, even on a cash for keys basis, then there is at least some risk that the OP will not be able to continue to reside in the home for the full year anyway...and maybe less cash for keys will be available in the future.
    Last edited by LdiJ; 10-27-2012 at 08:58 PM.
  13. #13
    BigMouthWino is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I am going to play devil's advocate for a moment....

    Obviously the LL has financial problems and it appears that the house was in foreclosure or that the process had at least started until the LL got into the "program".

    If the OP will not cooperate with vacating the home, even on a cash for keys basis, then there is at least some risk that the OP will not be able to continue to reside in the home for the full year anyway...and may less cash for keys will be available in the future.
    You make a very good point LdiJ. OP, one thing you might want to consider if you are really set on staying in the property is to contact the landlord's lender (this is public record with the county recorder) and furnish them with a copy of your lease and your payments thereunder. They may obtain an order that future rent payments be made directly to them.
  14. #14
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    BigMouthWino
    Do you honestly think a lender representitive will even discuss or do anything to break privacy laws re some stranger calling them wanting to discuss a mortgage the stranger is not part of?
  15. #15
    BigMouthWino is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerJ View Post
    BigMouthWino
    Do you honestly think a lender representitive will even discuss or do anything to break privacy laws re some stranger calling them wanting to discuss a mortgage the stranger is not part of?
    The lender is a first party creditor. They are not subject to the same laws as a collection agency would be. And yes, they would be very interested to know that there is a rent-paying tenant in the home - especially if they are not receiving any mortgage payments.

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