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Termination of Lease - Question

Ben Persinger

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Question on leases for the group, I had a couple units flood in the earthquake, and I am trying to deal with some lingering issues. One tenant had an extreme amount of personal property in the unit and it took a number of days for them to move their stuff around so that the rooms could be dried out.  I ended up removing flooring from part of the unit due to not being able to get it dry.  Fast forward they were supposed to move their possessions to another room so the portion with the floor removed could be repaired.

The tenant has said that the unit is unlivable and has been exceedingly difficult to work with on making the repairs as he has an issue with everyone I have sent to work on the place for one reason or another. I have come to the conclusion that there is not likely a way for me to repair the unit in any manner that will be satisfactory for the tenant while they are in it. As such I have moved ahead with terminating the lease due to the unit being unlivable and have told him if he will move his stuff I will refund him the month of rent that the unit was impacted and refund his deposit per the terms of the lease. It is my understanding, that in cases that the property is deemed unlivable that the lease can be terminated without the typical 30 day notice and the rent is refunded. Have any of you experienced this? This is really my least favorite path forward, but I am not sure of another solution. I should mention one other unit in the building was flooded worse than his and it was completely dried out and repaired two weeks ago.  

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@Ben Persinger so sorry I just saw this post. I've been a bit busy with the holiday travels.

A - landlord tenant can mutually agree to terminate at any time.

B- I'm learning the only people who can mark it unlivable is the city. So the landlord and tenant must agree or a contractor can mark it accordingly.  When it is red tagged the lease essentially ends.

C-  it does sound like the best answer is to get them moved out.  You'll be able to find all the damage and turn it in and solve the problems faster.  We had a tenant say everything was fine...well it was but since they had stuff they couldnt see the floor and see there was a leak under the floor.  Now I have a mildew issue and totaled carpet. I personally would rather sleep at night knowing the unit is good top to bottom than hoping I caught it all around their stuff.

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@Kassandra RPM Alaskathanks for the follow up. I agree with your suggestions and that is the path I took with it. Peace of mind that I got all the water damage and that there is not some nasty moldiculture project taking off in one of my units is totally worth it. Also huge shout out to Warren and Sons for helping with the flood and dry out operation and subsequent restreching of my carpets. 

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