What to do if the Tenant Abandons the Rental

If a lease is terminated early, the landlord shall send the tenant a notice of abandonment by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to  the tenant's last known address and to any of the tenant's alternate addresses known to the landlord.  The landlord shall also post a notice of abandonment on the door to the dwelling unit or any other  conspicuous place on the property for five days.

Five days after notice of abandonment has been both posted and mailed, the landlord may retake the dwelling unit and re-rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental value if no personal property remains in the dwelling unit. After the landlord retakes the dwelling unit, money held by the landlord as a security deposit is forfeited and shall be applied to the payment of any accrued rent and other reasonable costs incurred by the landlord by reason of the tenant's abandonment.

If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord shall make reasonable efforts to rent it at a fair rental. If the landlord rents the dwelling unit for a term beginning prior to the expiration of the rental agreement, it is deemed to be terminated as of the date the new tenancy begins. If the landlord fails to use reasonable efforts to rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental or if the landlord accepts the abandonment as a surrender, the rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date the landlord has notice of the abandonment.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental agreement.

James R. Andrews, Esq. The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. The content of this blog contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. Andrews Law, PLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this blog.

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