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  1. #1
    jmkratt is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant Dispute regarding lease and abandonment

    What is the name of your state? Colorado

    My father owns a property locally here and leased to a young couple in August for a term of 1 year. Upon the first day of the lease, the previous tenants had not moved out and current tenants had to help the previous tenants move out in order to move their belongings in. My father was out of town when this occurred and was unaware the house was not vacated and not cleaned, etc. He discounted the first month's rent by half and had a cleaning crew come through after the current tenant's moved in. The current tenants now have bought a house of their own and have contacted my father in hopes of "working something out" in order to get out of the lease. Subsequently my father has found new tenants who can move in ASAP. He told the old tenants that he would keep the security deposit as last month's rent and told the tenants to make sure the house was in good condition for the next tenants. Apparently, the older tenants did not clean the carpet but did have a cleaning crew come through. Things have started to get ugly between my father and the old tenants. They claim my father did not provided an inspection form as stated within the lease upon move-in, that they did not have possession upon the dates stated on the lease, and the house was not cleaned when they moved-in and they left the house in "much better" condition then when they moved in. I guess they had a dog who chewed a whole in the carpet, but they replaced the carpet per request of my father. My father, irritated that the carpet was not cleaned, has threatened to sue them for the remainder of the rent, 2 months and told them he is keeping the security deposit as last month's rent (the new tenants move in 1/2 through the month, so he told the tenants that they would pay half the month and the other half of rent would be used to terminate lease early) - citing the vacation and abandonment clause in the lease, even though the new tenant is moving in the same month and he is going to collect rent from both tenants for a portion of the month. My question to you is: In my father's age I have begun questioning some of his decisions and would like to avoid a legal battle if we can. Is where he stands on this legal? Can we pursue action against the tenants and collect the remainder of the rent for the term of the lease? Do the tenants have any claim as to possession and no inspection? I feel as though this is spiraling out of control and would like to get a handle on it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmkratt View Post
    What is the name of your state? Colorado

    My father owns a property locally here and leased to a young couple in August for a term of 1 year. Upon the first day of the lease, the previous tenants had not moved out and current tenants had to help the previous tenants move out in order to move their belongings in. My father was out of town when this occurred and was unaware the house was not vacated and not cleaned, etc. He discounted the first month's rent by half and had a cleaning crew come through after the current tenant's moved in. The current tenants now have bought a house of their own and have contacted my father in hopes of "working something out" in order to get out of the lease. Subsequently my father has found new tenants who can move in ASAP. He told the old tenants that he would keep the security deposit as last month's rent and told the tenants to make sure the house was in good condition for the next tenants. Apparently, the older tenants did not clean the carpet but did have a cleaning crew come through. Things have started to get ugly between my father and the old tenants. They claim my father did not provided an inspection form as stated within the lease upon move-in, that they did not have possession upon the dates stated on the lease, and the house was not cleaned when they moved-in and they left the house in "much better" condition then when they moved in. I guess they had a dog who chewed a whole in the carpet, but they replaced the carpet per request of my father. My father, irritated that the carpet was not cleaned, has threatened to sue them for the remainder of the rent, 2 months and told them he is keeping the security deposit as last month's rent (the new tenants move in 1/2 through the month, so he told the tenants that they would pay half the month and the other half of rent would be used to terminate lease early) - citing the vacation and abandonment clause in the lease, even though the new tenant is moving in the same month and he is going to collect rent from both tenants for a portion of the month. My question to you is: In my father's age I have begun questioning some of his decisions and would like to avoid a legal battle if we can. Is where he stands on this legal? Can we pursue action against the tenants and collect the remainder of the rent for the term of the lease? Do the tenants have any claim as to possession and no inspection? I feel as though this is spiraling out of control and would like to get a handle on it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Generally, he can't "double-dip". If he collects rent from the new tenant, he can't collect from the old one.
  3. #3
    jmkratt is offline Junior Member
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    Ok

    That's what I thought, too. However, he thinks because of this clause he is entitled to everything, regardless of the lack of possession at the beginning of the term and lack of inspection:

    "If the tenant removes substantially all of the tenant's property from the premises, the landlord may immediately enter and repossess the premises without abatement of rent, and these acts shall not affect the Tenant's obligations under this lease. If the tenant abandons the premises before the lease expires, all rent for the remainder of the term of the lease shall immediately become due."

    He is under the impression that the old lease and the new tenants are two different contracts and therefor regardless of when the second lease starts, he is entitles to all the remaining rent money. Is this true?
  4. #4
    OHlandlord is offline Member
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    Sorry, but once the new tenants sign and start paying rent for the unit, that negates the old tenants' lease. You cannot double dip. You may only collect rent once per month from one tenant. Also, even if the unit remained empty, a court would only allow you to collect one or two months of unpaid rent, no matter how many months were left on their lease. This is because in most states, a landlord has a duty to attempt to re-rent the unit as quickly as possible.
  5. #5
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHlandlord View Post
    This is because in most states, a landlord has a duty to attempt to re-rent the unit as quickly as possible.
    Which is why I used the word "generally" (there are exceptions to it)

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