Renting with Dogs

A happy dog enjoying play time

Renters who have a dog or more than one dog may face additional challenges when renting an apartment or a house. One of the primary challenges the renters may face is finding a living situation which is acceptable to them and also willing to accept their pets. This can be difficult as many rental properties do not allow dogs at all. Those who do allow animals on the property may place certain restrictions on they size and breed of dog which may reside on the property.Continue reading

Renting Unsold Property May Be a Good Move

Home owners who can’t or don’t want to sell their homes in today’s market but must move should consider renting out the property.

Our agents have the experience and local knowledge to find your dream home.

Obtaining a professional property manager is a good first step. Professional property managers charge 7 percent to 10 percent of the monthly rent in many areas. Nesbitt Realty is often cheaper than our competitors.

Current rents may not be high enough to cover carrying charges, including mortgage, taxes, and insurance. Nevertheless, renting out the property may still make sense if property values rise in the next few years.

Offering a 12-month lease that converts to month-to-month is a good idea, if the owners are considering selling eventually. Include language in the lease that allows a real estate professional to show the home to potential buyers with 24 hours’ notice to tenants.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

 

Does the 2 year lease actually assure me of rental income for that time period?

A landlord asks us:

Here is a view of the courtyard at the Royalton

I should know the answer to this question but does the 2 year lease actually assure me of rental income for that time period? In other words, if the tenant breaks the lease after 12 months do I have any financial recourse/protection or do I simply take my losses and start looking for another tenant?

Yes . . . and no.

The way our leases (and most leases in the Commonwealth of Virginia) are written, the lease is structured so that the tenant is agreeing to pay a large sum of money for a fixed period of occupancy.  That large sum is then divided into monthly payments.

For example, if the monthly rent is $1,000 then a tenant is promising to pay $12,000 for a one year lease.  For a two year lease of the same property the tenant is agreeing to pay $24,000 but will make monthly payments of $1000. The promise is to pay $12,000 not to pay $1,000 per month and this is an important distinction in the law because it means that if the tenant breaks the lease he is still obligated to pay the entire lease amount.

But here’s where it gets a little complicated.  If the tenant breaches his contract and defaults on the lease, then the landlord can sue and recover the entire amount left on the lease from the tenant.  At the same time, the landlord is obligated to attempt to mitigate his damages.  That means that if the tenant does breach the lease the landlord must try to find a replacement tenant.  However, the tenant is responsible for all the landlord’s damages.  For example, if there is an expense for finding a new tenant, the old tenant must pay that cost.  If there is any vacancy between the tenants, the old tenant must pay that to cover the landlord’s loss.  And a court will back the landlord up to that point.

However, if and when a new tenant is identified then the tenant is off the hook for any further debt which may be left on the lease.  The court will not allow the landlord to let a property sit vacant just because the tenant breached a lease. So the tenant has an obligation to find a new tenant and to minimize vacancy and to pay for any vacancy. But the landlord has an obligation to mitigate his damages.

In theory the tenant has obligated himself to pay two years of rent, but in reality things happen and we already have established practices to extract a tenant from a lease.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.