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I had a tenant. He is a well known in his field. When he rented from me in my town both I and the rental agent were surprised. He wanted a six month lease and I said no. I wanted a 12 month lease. So he and his wife gladly signed a year's lease. Four months into the lease, I get an email dated 10/21 saying they had vacated the unit. (Don't worry about the furniture, it was minimal.) I also get a fed ex package the next day containing the second set of keys. I go into the unit and it immaculate. Everything is clean. I have a security deposit that will cover November's rent and I hope to have it rented quickly.

I am really p*ssed off. I got scammed. What I really want to do is prevent them from pulling a similar stunt on another landlord. I know if I sue them at the end of November for December's rent, it will be picked up and reported by the national reporting organizations via their SS# numbers. But I really hope to have the unit rerented in 2-3 weeks.

Any suggestions on what I should do?

SJ
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What actual damages will you have incurred? You are taking the Security Deposit for November's rent. You hope to have it rented in 2-3 weeks. I see no damages.

Question: Does your rental agreement allow you to take the security deposit for rent? You stated he left the unit in immaculate condition.

Yes, he violated the terms of the contract. But, in this state, if you suffer no monetary damages, there is no foundation for litigation.

Yes, you can still report him, through the various sites, i.e., Landlord.com, etc. If you are a member of one of the credit bureaus, you can report him there for breach of contract.

Donna
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I agree I have no damages yet. My rental agent has warned me I am going into the slow season.

I know I cannot sue unless the unit is not rented by December 1 and then I can go after them.

My primary goal is to prevent him and his wife from pulling a similar scam on another landlord. Again they are well known in their field and he has a national/international reputation.

My rental agent's application asks if he been evicted or broken a lease. I want to ensure that the next time he applies somewhere it pops up that he has broken a lease.

To add insult to injury, he wants his security deposit back claiming there is "lease termination without penalty.

SJ
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If your lease states there is "termination without penalty", then you must return the security deposit. Upon returning the security deposit, sue. You will then have damages. I would sue for the remainder of the lease; however, beware, more than likely, the judge will not allow you all of it.

Donna
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The kicker is there is no "lease termination without penalty" provision in my lease. (I live in Nevada and NV is one of the most friendly landlord states there is.)

The security deposit can be used to cover "Tenants' default in the payment of rent, . . ."

My other problem is locating them. They appear to have no permanent abode other than living in apartments such as mine and hotels.

To add further insult to injury it appears the 1040 they submitted with their application is fake.

SJ
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The kicker is there is no "lease termination without penalty" provision in my lease. (I live in Nevada and NV is one of the most friendly landlord states there is.)
The security deposit can be used to cover "Tenants' default in the payment of rent, . . ."


A) have a chat with your r/e attorney regarding,
B) hold onto the deposit as a "offset" of pending missed rents/damages, until such time as all appropriate accounting can be completed.

I'd be reluctant to go the the media about anything until all the dust has settled. Signing a year's lease, and then leaving, is not in & of itself wrongful *UNLESS* the contractual treatments for damages are abused. In other words; any verbal promises or implications are secondary to teh terms agreed to in writing in the contract.

Luck!
Dave
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In CA you have the responsibility to re-rent ASAP, the law in NV may be different, but I suspect a judge expects you to mitigate your losses as much as possible.

So, re-rent ASAP, keep records of advertisements, showings, calls, everything demonstrating that you've been diligent in re-renting.

Assuming NV has a statutory maximum time to which to return the deposit, send them a document showing you're keeping the entire security deposit until your damages are known. When your damages are known send them any refund.

BTW: to where are you sending the refund? Send them service instead.

Jack
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If he contacted you regarding refund of the security deposit, did he give an address?

Donna
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I agree no harm, no foul - if you can rent again quickly and not be out much, I'd just let it go. Lawyers are expensive and time consuming. But that's me, my low blood pressure is worth more to me than a month's rent.
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