How a Landlord can protect himself if a tenant breaks his lease early.

By: Marcia Giordano Hansen
Recently, a client called me because their tenant had advised that he could no longer pay rent and asked to early terminate his lease agreement. My client was upset because the tenant had 6 months left on the lease agreement. Terminating the lease early would subject my client to many unnecessary and unexpected expenses such as cleaning the property, hiring an attorney to resolve the early termination, paying a broker to re-list the property and paying that broker’s commission and the list goes on and on. My client told me that this tenant had poor credit when he had applied initially but she felt bad and wanted to give him a chance. 
First tip here, when it comes to renting to tenants never “feel bad” and never ” give someone a chance” if your gut is telling you this might cause a future problem. Remember, if it talks like a duck, smells like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck…. that cannot pay rent!
First and most importantly, always include an early termination clause in your lease agreement. This clause makes your tenant agree to pay 2 months rent if he or she decides to leave early, before the lease agreement matures.

Second, always check your potential client’s credit and existence of any prior eviction judgments. In this way, you will have a good sense of the potential tenant’s financial health giving you a sense of his or her ability to pay rent on time each month. If you find that the tenant has had prior eviction judgments, you should probably steer clear of that tenant.

Finally, always respond to your tenants complaints, even if they seem silly to create a trustworthy relationship and to avoid the tenant from terminating early because you, the landlord, fails to fix anything they deem in need of repair.

What Past Clients Say

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I met with several attorneys and I didn’t feel comfortable with any. Marcia walked me through the process and explained everything to me in detail. She was clear and very communicative throughout the ordeal. I recommend Marcia to anyone going through any type of criminal / legal matters.

Jose Martinez 5 March 4, 2019

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The Hansen Law Firm is a reliable law firm that I absolutely recommend. Marcia Hansen is an experienced, smart lawyer who uses a user friendly portal, which I can access anytime and see any updates regarding my case. She is also always available and quick to respond with any questions I may have.

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Marcia was always available to assist me with my concerns. She laid out a strategy that resulted in to best possible outcome for our team.

kevin 5 March 4, 2019

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Marcia is a class act!!! I approached her when my cousin ran into trouble. He was facing 12 years of jail time. After her very thorough review of the case (expert witnesses, speaking with the prosecution, review of the evidence), he was released on time served with 2 years of house arrest. Needless to say, she is a true professional. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a heart is a rarity. She encompasses both. She is hardcore and sweet. I highly recommend her services. Praise God that my cousin has his life back on track and is making very sound decisions. He simply needed a second chance. Since then, Marcia has helped some of my clients who were erroneously being investigated. The client recently told me her fee was the best money he’s ever spent. He’s in the clear and his family can sleep at night. God bless her!!! She is the best.

S Berm 5 March 4, 2019

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Excellent experience with Marcia Hansen ,and the best results for our family ,we are so grateful for her work and kindness with us . I will recommend Marcia 100% .Thanks The Hansen Law Firm

KAB Badell 5 March 4, 2019


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