Finding a win-win way to break lease

Daughter's early move-out puts financial strain on parents

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Jul. 14, 2011

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A: Yes, unless the property is subject to rent control. Certainly any upgrades to the rental unit would likely lead to a rent increase, as the landlord needs to recover his capital expenses in making the upgrades.

However, the rent is not only tied to the cost of upgrades but also represents a return on investment for the property owner, and periodic increases will also cover the increased costs of being a landlord such as inflation and properties getting older and needing more repairs.

Let me also comment on your informal agreement with your landlord that you will take care of some of the maintenance work at your rental unit and the landlord will accept your rent minus the cost of the repairs you made.

That may be fine if you have the skills and make sure the repairs are done properly. However, it is not ideal, as the landlord should make sure that the unit is in good clean condition and the work meets local building standards and codes.

This column on issues confronting tenants and landlords is written by property manager Robert Griswold, author of "Property Management for Dummies" and "Property Management Kit for Dummies" and co-author of "Real Estate Investing for Dummies." Email your questions to Rental Q&A at rgriswold.inman@retodayradio.com. Questions should be brief, and not all questions can be individually answered.

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1. Anonymous said... on Sep 18, 2013 at 05:07PM

“What if I was out of work for awhile already and my income stopped coming in and I sign a lease. What can I do then and I have two kids. One in college and no job but had been looking for years and one who just graduated and is just waiting for a schedule for college and no job and had been looking as well.. What can I do?”

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2. Gabriela said... on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:46AM

“I am currently in a yr lease, which isn't up until September of this yr. My landlord is a control freak, he and I have gotten into several arguments the short time I've been occupying the apartment and he's always watching everything I do. I decided to stay at my mothers home for a few weeks as the commute to work is easier from her house and I received messages from my landlord stating that he noticed I hadn't been home in awhile, was there something I needed to tell him. I am very uncomfortable living in my apartment. He constantly needs to come in to do work or for some " EMERGENCY" and never gives 24hr notice. He than gets upset because I inform him that I don'y want him in my apartment. I pay my rent typcially on the 3rd and he has accused me of paying my rent late every month after I had to argue with him for a grace period. Last night he ran down his steps and knocjed on my door for about 5 mins because I informed him that I am uncomfortable living in my apartment due to his behavior. He then called me and texted me informing me that we needed to talk. I responded that i did not want to talk with him. And he stated that he and his wife will be talking to me very soon. I'd see. He asks about the visitors I have and complains about everything I do. I have a one yr old and we dont get home until 7pm, he complains about noise and his family is loud themselves. I am just so uncomfortable and I even think he was in my apartment last night while I was asleep. I woke up to my tv off and my sink light off which are both on all night. I know I cant prove that he was in my apartment, but he was upset that i delcined his entrance to my apartment last night and he always turns off the sink light everytime he's in my apartment. I just dont know what todo as I will be violating my lease by moving.”

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