What can I do as a landlord, if a tenant who informed me by email that she would be moved out by a certain date has not removed her belongings by that date?

She is on her fourth month of a 12-month lease and has not paid for the current month.

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You can evict her for nonpayment of rent; whenever a tenant has not paid his or her rent, a landlord may evict. Remember: you need to file an eviction action and go through the courts--you can't just change the locks, etc.

2) You can sue her for any rent she owes you, including possibly in small claims court (to minimize costs). At a minimum, that would be the current month; however, unless you specifically agreed to let her out of her lease early, once she breaches her lease and moves out (if she does that), you could hold her liable for the full remaining rent due under the lease (e.g. for another 8 months of rent).

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