How to find a tenant to takeover lease

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Jsdi7873hd
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How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jsdi7873hd »

Hi all,

I recently bought a house and have to break my rental agreement. The landlord is asking me to find a tenant to take over the remaining 8 months I have in my lease or sign a new lease. I've never done this before and haven't found a lot online in terms of services that will find a tenant for me. Has anyone done something like this or know some good tips?

Specifically:

1. I know legally landlords have to try to recover damages, but my landlord and I don't really get along. I suspect she wouldn't try very hard and thus wouldn't find someone, or should I trust them to try to find someone?
2. How do people find tenants? It seems mostly zillow / craigslist, but how do I know if someone will be "approved" for my landlord? This goes back to (1), where she doesn't communicate well and we don't get along. I presume standard guidelines exist on how to get a tenant?
3. I've read I could subsidize the lease to get it rented quickly. Are actual monthly discounts better or first month free deals better? First month free is easier for me since I already have to pay the rent until we find a tenant.
4. Does it make sense to start showing the place while we're moving out? Our apartment is a mess cause we're packing, and I have a lot of anxiety about finding a tenant since it's new to me.

Thanks all!
runninginvestor
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by runninginvestor »

You may get more info if you provide information such a state and possibly metro area. As tenant laws vary. Your county may have a tenants right center that would be helpful to make sure you are aware of the ways to get out of your lease, especially if your lease doesn't outline it. For instance, in my area the landlord has to market the unit but they aren't obligated, and are encouraged, to rent out other open units without a lease first. But if someone wants your unit, the landlord can't dissuade them and if they don't market it, and you have proof, you can end obligations to pay.

I bring that up because your (1) could matter if you are in a tenant friendly area.

As far as subletting, I've personally only done it once. I used craigslist 8 years ago. I wouldn't sublet again to an unknown person. I would post in my apartment building this time around as others may have friends and family looking to get in. But if it's a low vacancy complex, then looking into the laws that the landlord is obligated for re-renting may be a more viable option.
Last edited by runninginvestor on Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RedDog
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by RedDog »

What does your lease say?
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cchrissyy
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by cchrissyy »

i don't think you should take on this task

what does your lease say happens if you leave early?

what does your city or state tenants right office say happens in this case?
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Jsdi7873hd
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jsdi7873hd »

My lease is unspecified. I spoke to a lawyer, and she said that I'm legally obligated to fill out the term or find a tenant to take over since the lease didn't specify a break up term.

This is in Los Angeles County in California.
stan1
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by stan1 »

You could also negotiate a buyout, guessing it will take 3-4 months of rent to do so and still less than 8 months. If the landlord uses a property manager she may also ask for you to pay their fee. Make sure you include the security deposit return as part of the negotiation if you take that route. You can ask your attorney to help.
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Jsdi7873hd
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jsdi7873hd »

Yeah the landlord didn't want a buyout. I offered and she's pretty staunchly saying I have to find someone :(

The attorney is pretty much saying list it under market and eat the cost difference, which I guess I can try to do. But I'm new to this whole thing.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Trader Joe »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 9:07 pm My lease is unspecified. I spoke to a lawyer, and she said that I'm legally obligated to fill out the term or find a tenant to take over since the lease didn't specify a break up term.

This is in Los Angeles County in California.
Of course. I am not sure why you would have ever expected anything else.
quantAndHold
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by quantAndHold »

Is the attorney you talked to knowledgeable about landlord tenant law?

In California, if you break a lease, you’re only on the hook for the landlord’s actual losses, and the landlord has to make a good faith effort to find a new tenant. In the middle of the housing crisis we’re in, your landlord should be able to find a new tenant right away. It’s doubtful any judge would give him more than two months rent, no matter how badly the guy wants to drag things out.

Read up on the law and figure out what you need to do to give proper notice and get out of your lease.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Jsdi7873hd
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jsdi7873hd »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:48 pm Is the attorney you talked to knowledgeable about landlord tenant law?

In California, if you break a lease, you’re only on the hook for the landlord’s actual losses, and the landlord has to make a good faith effort to find a new tenant. In the middle of the housing crisis we’re in, your landlord should be able to find a new tenant right away. It’s doubtful any judge would give him more than two months rent, no matter how badly the guy wants to drag things out.

Read up on the law and figure out what you need to do to give proper notice and get out of your lease.
In theory the lawyer is knowledgeable about landlord tenant law :). I for sure am not.

I understand in CA that the landlord has to make a good faith effort, but I don’t trust my landlord to actually try at all. I guess we could go to small claims court, but that also seems scary to me. Has anyone done this / how painful is this to drag it out?

I’d rather pay 2 months of rent and get out if possible, but my landlord doesn’t want to do that. Should I start playing hardball and threaten to not pay rent or something?
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ResearchMed
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by ResearchMed »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:08 am
quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:48 pm Is the attorney you talked to knowledgeable about landlord tenant law?

In California, if you break a lease, you’re only on the hook for the landlord’s actual losses, and the landlord has to make a good faith effort to find a new tenant. In the middle of the housing crisis we’re in, your landlord should be able to find a new tenant right away. It’s doubtful any judge would give him more than two months rent, no matter how badly the guy wants to drag things out.

Read up on the law and figure out what you need to do to give proper notice and get out of your lease.
In theory the lawyer is knowledgeable about landlord tenant law :). I for sure am not.

I understand in CA that the landlord has to make a good faith effort, but I don’t trust my landlord to actually try at all. I guess we could go to small claims court, but that also seems scary to me. Has anyone done this / how painful is this to drag it out?

I’d rather pay 2 months of rent and get out if possible, but my landlord doesn’t want to do that. Should I start playing hardball and threaten to not pay rent or something?
On what precise grounds are you considering not paying rent? "Your Honor, I changed my mind and decided to move to a different place, so I didn't want to pay the rent that I agreed to pay when I signed the rental agreement! And I don't think the landlord will make enough of an effort to find someone else!" Those grounds?

Really?

RM
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4nursebee
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by 4nursebee »

What would happen if you just gave notice, handed in keys, and moved out?
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Jsdi7873hd
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jsdi7873hd »

4nursebee wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:27 am What would happen if you just gave notice, handed in keys, and moved out?
That’s the problem, I’m still liable for rent. Hence I have to try to find someone to take over the lease. Lawyer said worse case is this goes to small claims court and my credit could be dinged for non payment. Or I pay 8 months of rent over the next 8 months.
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:14 am On what precise grounds are you considering not paying rent? "Your Honor, I changed my mind and decided to move to a different place, so I didn't want to pay the rent that I agreed to pay when I signed the rental agreement! And I don't think the landlord will make enough of an effort to find someone else!" Those grounds?
Really?

RM
I’d really rather not do this. The precise grounds is, maybe the landlord will settle and take 2-3 months worth of rent instead of going through small claims court and dragging this out.

This is besides the point really. I’m trying to figure out how to find a tenant as I have no experience with this OR find some way to negotiate with my landlord who doesn’t seem to want to, rather than drag this through court.
runninginvestor
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by runninginvestor »

If you wanted to play "hardball", which isn't really hardball, look in your lease for provisions on habitability and also repairs. If management is required to do repairs (at no cost to you), go around and make sure you have screens, no bugs, windows and doors working properly. Then submit tickets/work orders. If they don't respond in a reasonable time, the county of state may allow provisions to end the lease for uninhabitable conditions - granted the LL has an opportunity to repair. You can look up how CA and LA county treat that outcome and provision.

Regards to funding a tenant, post around your building. Especially if it's a high occupancy building.
Aaand...it'sgone
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Aaand...it'sgone »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:45 pm Hi all,

I recently bought a house and have to break my rental agreement. The landlord is asking me to find a tenant to take over the remaining 8 months I have in my lease or sign a new lease. I've never done this before and haven't found a lot online in terms of services that will find a tenant for me. Has anyone done something like this or know some good tips?

Specifically:

1. I know legally landlords have to try to recover damages, but my landlord and I don't really get along. I suspect she wouldn't try very hard and thus wouldn't find someone, or should I trust them to try to find someone?
2. How do people find tenants? It seems mostly zillow / craigslist, but how do I know if someone will be "approved" for my landlord? This goes back to (1), where she doesn't communicate well and we don't get along. I presume standard guidelines exist on how to get a tenant?
3. I've read I could subsidize the lease to get it rented quickly. Are actual monthly discounts better or first month free deals better? First month free is easier for me since I already have to pay the rent until we find a tenant.
4. Does it make sense to start showing the place while we're moving out? Our apartment is a mess cause we're packing, and I have a lot of anxiety about finding a tenant since it's new to me.

Thanks all!
In the past, my wife and I have just posted on Craigslist and Facebook. If anyone was interested, I'd introduce them to the landlord and they'd go from there. Typically, we were able to find someone within 2-4 weeks, but it helps that my wife has a large circle of friends and contacts on Facebook.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Carefreeap »

runninginvestor wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:04 am If you wanted to play "hardball", which isn't really hardball, look in your lease for provisions on habitability and also repairs. If management is required to do repairs (at no cost to you), go around and make sure you have screens, no bugs, windows and doors working properly. Then submit tickets/work orders. If they don't respond in a reasonable time, the county of state may allow provisions to end the lease for uninhabitable conditions - granted the LL has an opportunity to repair. You can look up how CA and LA county treat that outcome and provision.

Regards to funding a tenant, post around your building. Especially if it's a high occupancy building.
Wow, how would you like someone to do this to you?
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cchrissyy
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by cchrissyy »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:08 am In theory the lawyer is knowledgeable about landlord tenant law :). I for sure am not.
I'm glad if your lawyer practices in this area. the answer didn't ring true for me either and i was wondering if you asked some other kind of lawyer, or a friend who happens to be a lawyer.

I am not a lawyer either but I am a landlord in the same state so i know what that lease says will happen, and I know a good bit about the rights of both parties. and i have oftentimes been a tenant including one time i moved out early and only had to pay rent for like, one extra week, until the new person was in place. but i had the advantage that rent was rising everywhere and the next guy would be paying more than me, so the landlord was quite cooperative in letting me go and getting them quickly started.
Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:08 am I understand in CA that the landlord has to make a good faith effort, but I don’t trust my landlord to actually try at all. I guess we could go to small claims court, but that also seems scary to me. Has anyone done this / how painful is this to drag it out?
if they wanted to make this difficult on you they could simply refuse to rent to whoever you find.
surely your lease doesn't give you power to sublease to an unapproved 3rd party. right?
and why should it? your best interest is in finding anybody with a pulse as long as they're fast. but the landlord is the one with all the risk of letting them use the space and maybe dealing with them for years to come. the new tenant selection rightly is their job not yours.
Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:08 am I’d rather pay 2 months of rent and get out if possible, but my landlord doesn’t want to do that. Should I start playing hardball and threaten to not pay rent or something?
certainly not! you have no grounds to do that and it makes you as big a jerk as you fear they are. i'm sure your lawyer would also advise that it makes things harder in court because you would be so clearly in the wrong.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Carefreeap »

I'm a former small-time landlord of a few single units. My last tenant in my mom's condo did this to me.

I don't understand people signing a year lease while looking for a home to buy and expect a landlord to just roll over and say "no problem".

Leasing out a SFH or individually owned condo takes a lot of work. It's not just sticking an ad on Craigslist. "Turning" the property means some kind of painting because everyone bumps and scrapes the walls while moving and the unit will need another deep clean. Since I lived 500 miles away it also meant another week-long trip and another real estate commission to find another tenant. And the OP is right, moving is messy and the unit won't show well so that delays the lease-up time as well.

The OP's attorney is correct, she's responsible for the rent until an equally qualified tenant can be found. That means equally credit worthy and equal or better income, same # occupants including pets.

On the plus side OP is moving during the summer when people generally prefer to move. My tenant gave me notice just before Thanksgiving which is a dead time trying to lease a unit in a beach community. And of course he didn't believe me when I told him it was going to take a while to lease it for the same rate given the time of year.
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cchrissyy
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by cchrissyy »

Carefreeap wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:43 am
The OP's attorney is correct, she's responsible for the rent until an equally qualified tenant can be found. That means equally credit worthy and equal or better income, same # occupants including pets.
I agree with this part for sure. the thing that surprised me about the lawyer's advice was that they should attempt to find a new tenant. no. the OP should give written notice, they should pay rent, and they should cooperate with repairs or showings if it helps speed things up. but it is not a good idea for them to involve themselves in the next tenant search.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Carefreeap »

cchrissyy wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:59 am
Carefreeap wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:43 am
The OP's attorney is correct, she's responsible for the rent until an equally qualified tenant can be found. That means equally credit worthy and equal or better income, same # occupants including pets.
I agree with this part for sure. the thing that surprised me about the lawyer's advice was that they should attempt to find a new tenant. no. the OP should give written notice, they should pay rent, and they should cooperate with repairs or showings if it helps speed things up. but it is not a good idea for them to involve themselves in the next tenant search.
As a former landlord myself I agree with being in control of the process for the reasons you outlined in your earlier post. That said the OP distrusts the Ll will conduct a search in good faith. This puts her in control of the process. She could hire a real estate agent to help her with the process.

ETA: I used to do the advertising myself but after 2008 I started using an agent for my properties. Too many scammers and flakes trying to take advantage of mom and pop Lls. Having an agent helps weed out a lot them.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Katietsu »

I do not understand all the posts that seem to make this harder than it is. I would be grateful the landlord was giving me the opportunity to have more control and influence on resolving this situation that I, as the tenant, created for myself.

I do not know anything about the OP’s area. Advertising rentals can be very locale dependent. In my area, I would start with FaceBook Marketplace. A well done write up would not take long in July to get legit responses. I would consider whether my area had a university, hospital or other employer that would be a good audience for my rental. If so, I would find out if there was a way to advertise to that group. I would tell all my neighbors in case they knew someone interested in moving to the area. How did the OP find the rental? Craigslist used to be useful here but is now a mess.

But I am not in one of the most populous counties in the country. So, I do not know if my approach would have any relevance there.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by ResearchMed »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:00 am
4nursebee wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:27 am What would happen if you just gave notice, handed in keys, and moved out?
That’s the problem, I’m still liable for rent. Hence I have to try to find someone to take over the lease. Lawyer said worse case is this goes to small claims court and my credit could be dinged for non payment. Or I pay 8 months of rent over the next 8 months.
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:14 am On what precise grounds are you considering not paying rent? "Your Honor, I changed my mind and decided to move to a different place, so I didn't want to pay the rent that I agreed to pay when I signed the rental agreement! And I don't think the landlord will make enough of an effort to find someone else!" Those grounds?
Really?

RM
I’d really rather not do this. The precise grounds is, maybe the landlord will settle and take 2-3 months worth of rent instead of going through small claims court and dragging this out.

This is besides the point really. I’m trying to figure out how to find a tenant as I have no experience with this OR find some way to negotiate with my landlord who doesn’t seem to want to, rather than drag this through court.
I'm not sure that you understand the legalities of signing a contract. You might do well to look into that. Then you'll have a better idea of what rights you don't have, but also what rights you *do* have.

As for "..maybe the landlord will settle..." -- that isn't even close to "grounds" for terminating a contract. That's more like a wish or an excuse.

Also, if it were me, I'd strongly avoid trying to sublet to a stranger. You would likely be responsible for any damage or money due at the end of *your* lease. I'd see if it could just be a new lease, and as you mentioned, perhaps you offer the landlord a subsidy for the replacement tenant to speed up the re-renting process. How do you know the LL wouldn't just keep the money and rent at regular rate? You don't. But you goal is to avoid paying as much of the remaining rent due as possible, not trying to figure out how the LL handles money.

As for "services", try an apartment rental broker/agent type. They may charge one month's rent, but if they can rent it out for you... isn't that worth it? All the more so since you are (understandably) stressed by the move.

RM
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quantAndHold
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by quantAndHold »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:00 am
4nursebee wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:27 am What would happen if you just gave notice, handed in keys, and moved out?
That’s the problem, I’m still liable for rent. Hence I have to try to find someone to take over the lease. Lawyer said worse case is this goes to small claims court and my credit could be dinged for non payment. Or I pay 8 months of rent over the next 8 months.
I hope you’re not paying this lawyer anything more than beer and pizza. You are liable for the rent until the landlord gets a new tenant in there, but the landlord must make a good faith effort to keep the costs down and get a good tenant in quickly. He can’t just say, “I think this is a good time to remodel, so I’ll keep the place off the market for eight months.” In practice, this means within a month, or two at the most. I don’t know what part of LA you’re in or what kind of place this is, but here in San Diego, places are renting the day they’re listed. I know this, because I have someone living in an RV my backyard because she can’t find an apartment.

If this were me, I’d pay the first month after I moved, but make it clear that I would expect it to be rented by next month, and that I expect my deposit back besides. A landlord who can’t be bothered to find a tenant in this market is not going to get very far with a small claims court judge.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Raybo »

Why not continue paying the rent and then rent it out on Airbnb?
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Carefreeap »

Raybo wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 5:23 pm Why not continue paying the rent and then rent it out on Airbnb?
Because the lease probably prohibits it. Most leases prohibit subleasing w/o owner's approval.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by 4nursebee »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:00 am
4nursebee wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:27 am What would happen if you just gave notice, handed in keys, and moved out?
That’s the problem, I’m still liable for rent. Hence I have to try to find someone to take over the lease. Lawyer said worse case is this goes to small claims court and my credit could be dinged for non payment. Or I pay 8 months of rent over the next 8 months.
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:14 am On what precise grounds are you considering not paying rent? "Your Honor, I changed my mind and decided to move to a different place, so I didn't want to pay the rent that I agreed to pay when I signed the rental agreement! And I don't think the landlord will make enough of an effort to find someone else!" Those grounds?
Really?

RM
I’d really rather not do this. The precise grounds is, maybe the landlord will settle and take 2-3 months worth of rent instead of going through small claims court and dragging this out.

This is besides the point really. I’m trying to figure out how to find a tenant as I have no experience with this OR find some way to negotiate with my landlord who doesn’t seem to want to, rather than drag this through court.

Do you know of anyone that this affected?
Do you know a landlord that pursued this? Was the landlord able to collect? (My bet is they cant force collection so they do not pay money to get nothing).
It is my belief that as a practical matter landlords do not go to small claims for this kind of thing. When we had 4 rental homes we certainly never did this. A role model that had 12 homes would never do this.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jags4186 »

This may be state by state, but in New Jersey the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages. The landlord just can’t sit back and collect rent from you for 8 months. They have to attempt to get a new lessee. Of course, you will be forced to pay until they find one.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Carefreeap »

Jags4186 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:52 am This may be state by state, but in New Jersey the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages. The landlord just can’t sit back and collect rent from you for 8 months. They have to attempt to get a new lessee. Of course, you will be forced to pay until they find one.
It is state by state. OP is in CA and CA has the same requirement.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by EnjoyIt »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:02 pm Yeah the landlord didn't want a buyout. I offered and she's pretty staunchly saying I have to find someone :(

The attorney is pretty much saying list it under market and eat the cost difference, which I guess I can try to do. But I'm new to this whole thing.
A long time ago, I took over a lease like this. I was offered the rest of the month, plus 1st month free. About 45 days. The landlord and previous tenant accepted me, and I took over. It appeared relatively painless for the previous tenant. They put it up for listing, I assume a few people saw the place, the landlord did their due diligence and accepted me.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by 4nursebee »

Jags4186 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:52 am This may be state by state, but in New Jersey the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages. The landlord just can’t sit back and collect rent from you for 8 months. They have to attempt to get a new lessee. Of course, you will be forced to pay until they find one.
How exactly is one "forced" to pay?
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by gwe67 »

Yet another reason not to be a landlord.
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Jags4186
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Jags4186 »

4nursebee wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:03 am
Jags4186 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:52 am This may be state by state, but in New Jersey the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages. The landlord just can’t sit back and collect rent from you for 8 months. They have to attempt to get a new lessee. Of course, you will be forced to pay until they find one.
How exactly is one "forced" to pay?
You don’t pay. Landlord sues you and wins. Judgment put against you. You default on judgment. Sheriff shows up to your bank and drains it.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by DarkHelmetII »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:48 pm It’s doubtful any judge would give him more than two months rent, no matter how badly the guy wants to drag things out.
Non-attorney here but I tend to agree with this. All comes down to what a judge will uphold in court. Offer / pay 2 - 3 months, document it, and vacate.
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Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by Ilikesparklers »

As others mentioned, Craigslist and Facebook are great places to start. It's free to post a listing. I found an apartment this way in the past on Craigslist, where the current tenant was breaking her lease in order to move out of state, so she needed to find a suitable replacement. I signed a new lease and moved in the same day she moved out. It was a mom & pop landlord and the process was painless.

If your apartment is charming, in a good location, and (especially) if the rent seems like a good deal, posting a listing on the sites above can't hurt and could possibly save you thousands. Just remember that people really care about the photos - so make sure your place looks really appealing and clean before taking photos. Or use the same photos of an empty apartment that your landlord used.
exodusNH
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:21 pm

Re: How to find a tenant to takeover lease

Post by exodusNH »

Jsdi7873hd wrote: Fri Jul 16, 2021 7:45 pm Hi all,

I recently bought a house and have to break my rental agreement. The landlord is asking me to find a tenant to take over the remaining 8 months I have in my lease or sign a new lease. I've never done this before and haven't found a lot online in terms of services that will find a tenant for me. Has anyone done something like this or know some good tips?

Specifically:

1. I know legally landlords have to try to recover damages, but my landlord and I don't really get along. I suspect she wouldn't try very hard and thus wouldn't find someone, or should I trust them to try to find someone?
2. How do people find tenants? It seems mostly zillow / craigslist, but how do I know if someone will be "approved" for my landlord? This goes back to (1), where she doesn't communicate well and we don't get along. I presume standard guidelines exist on how to get a tenant?
3. I've read I could subsidize the lease to get it rented quickly. Are actual monthly discounts better or first month free deals better? First month free is easier for me since I already have to pay the rent until we find a tenant.
4. Does it make sense to start showing the place while we're moving out? Our apartment is a mess cause we're packing, and I have a lot of anxiety about finding a tenant since it's new to me.

Thanks all!
Your best option is to have your lawyer send the landlord written notice that you're leaving and reminding the landlord that under California civil code 1951.2 (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/face ... Num=1951.2) they have an obligation to make a good-faith effort to rent the unit and that while they are making that effort, you will continue paying rent as you are legally obligated to do.

The letter from the lawyer may be enough to spur them to action. If, in a couple of months, they haven't rented it, you could then re-engage the lawyer to try to force action.

You will probably also want to talk to your insurance agent to see if you should carry some sort of vacant property insurance.

If you have the cash, you could also offer, in that same letter, to pay them 3 months of rent ahead of time to simply terminate the lease. Maybe they counter offer for 4 months. Pay it and move on.

At the end of the day, you signed a legal document that you're trying to get out of for no fault of the other party. You don't get to do that for free. This will be, in the scheme of things, a low-cost life lesson.
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