Can I make an agreement with lease breaking tenant while I sell my home.

I have tenants in my house who want to terminate a year long lease after only 3 months, which I’m fine with, however I have not agreed to yet. I want to sell my house because of them. Am I legally allowed to make as conditions of breaking the lease, to where they would still be responsible for the rent until the house sells or 30 days prior to closing, if they agree to these terms, since they would be responsible for rent until a new tenant is found?

Asked on September 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you have year-long lease, they are already liable or responsible for the rent for the next 9 months. Therefore, since they are already obligated, you could do what you want and let them out of the obligation on a provisional basis: i.e. that they will be let of the lease (and their resposibility to pay rent) only if/after you find a buyer, at 30 days to closing.
Bear in mind that it can be very difficult to actually collect money from tenants who have moved out: you need to find where they are, to personally serve them with a lawsuit, if they will not voluntarily pay, and you need to go through the trouble and expense of a lawsuit and--if they still don't pay--collections efforts. Assume that if they move out, there is a greater than 50% chance you will not recover additional money from them, or only do so by the expenditure of considerable time and effort.

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