If we just recently rented out our house and signed a 2 year lease but have to move back in a year because of work, can we legally ask the tenants to leave?

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If we just recently rented out our house and signed a 2 year lease but have to move back in a year because of work, can we legally ask the tenants to leave?

It’s our house right? We have a property management company. We also said no pets and our tenants have a pet.

Asked on October 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Given the facts that you have written, you can ask your tenants to end their lease early but they are under no legal obligation to do so.

One way of possibly giving your tenants some "incentive" to terminate their two (2) year lease with you on the early side is to pay them some money for a "buy out" of their lease from you where a written agreement to that effect preferably drafted by a landlord tenant attorney be signed by all.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, it does not matter that it is your house: the lease is a contract, and if you signed a two-year lease, you contractually obligated yourselves to rent to these tenants for two years. You cannot break that lease simply because it is now convenient for you to do so; you may, of course, negotiate with the tenants (e.g. offer them money) to terminate the lease early.

If the tenants have a pet but the lease says "no pets," you may provide them a Notice to Cease informing them that they are violating the lease and directing/ordering them to stop doing so--i.e. to get rid of the pet. The Notice should tell them that they may be evicted if they continue violating the lease now that they have been warned about the breach.

If after some reasonable opportunity (e.g. 2 - 4 weeks) they do not get rid of the pet, you could then terminate their tenancy for violating the lease and evict them; but if they do get rid of the pet, you could not.

Since you want the form, timing, service, etc. of the Notices to be correct, you are advised to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to do this for you.


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