Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Follow the terms of your lease

Yesterday I took a client around to see a handful of condominium units in Washington, DC.
Unfortunately none of the units fit his needs ,so we scheduled a second round of house hunting.

A short while ago one of the listing agents emailed me for feedback on her property. I replied that my client liked the unit, but the unit had a smokey smell,he saw an ashtray with a cigarette in it and so he removed the unit from consideration.

The listing agent immediately emailed me back for confirmation that I was talking about his unit and not another listing we walked through because this would be a violation of the lease signed by the tenant and landlord. This post has nothing to do with smoking,but rather abiding by the terms of a lease. I could have seen a grill on the balcony,said how excited my client is that that the building allows grilling on the balcony and gotten a similar reply from the listing agent that grilling on the balcony is actually a violation of the lease.

One may think that it is difficult to enforce the terms of a lease on a tenant who gave notice of his/her intention to vacate and that the tenant faces no consequences since he or she is moving out. This is not the case. The tenant may have put his/her security deposit at risk. Furthermore, if the tenant is looking to rent another property,then he or she should not expect the landlord to be a good reference. Many landlords care about credit and landlord references.

No matter how "hands off" your landlord or the landlord's property manager is, you should be very familiar with and follow the terms of the lease because the owner,or in this case,the owner's listing agent found out quite accidentally that the tenant was violating the terms of the lease.
If you don't like living under the "house rules" of a landlord, it is a great time to buy.

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