Profile picture for Angelsofhope

If I let the landlord evict me, am I obligated to pay the balance of my lease?

I paid half the rent for April, and said I'd pay the rest on the 15th. Last night I got a 5 day notice to vacate. My sister said, "let them evict you. That way you are out of the lease because they terminated the contract, and you won't have to pay." The lease ends the end of May.
  • April 07 2011 - Summerlin South
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Answers (10)

Profile picture for Rita Shaw Broker
If the landlord accepts the other one half month's rent, that cancels out the 3 day notice.I would call the landlord and ask their intentions.Evicting you does not terminate the contract.You are still liable for the balance of the lease either through reduction of your security deposit or the landlord taking you to small claims court.If the landlord is able to re rent prior to the end of May, that amount is prorated as he cannot get double rent.
  • April 11 2011
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Personally, I would ask my landlord really nice about whether they've filed for an unlawful detainer and if they have could they please cancel it prior to eviction. This will preserve your status on future rentals. You probably just wouldn't be able to use that landlord for future references - unless you were extra nice and paid the balance of your rent.

I just get concerned when renters are not familiar with the law and end up with an unlawful detainer on their rental record. It can make it extremely difficult to rent unless you have a really really good reason.

Good luck!
  • April 07 2011
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Profile picture for Angelsofhope
I keep answering my own question only because I haven't figured out the reply button yet.
I didn't take it personally. You don't sound like a mean person to me and I could tell you weren't attacking me. No worries. 
Angels of Hope is a a name I chose for my up and coming crochet business. I crochet (with thread) angels dresses/wings/halo, and attach them to rounded wooden clothespins, the old fashioned kind. I do them in the colors of the different types of cancer. Soon I will be selling them in hospitals and cancer institue gift shops. Hope is my middle name, thus the name Angels of Hope.
Thanks again for your advice and others, it was very helpful in helping me make the right decision.
  • April 07 2011
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Hello Angel,

I did not mean "Nuts" in the pejorative.  I just felt you were getting advice from someone whose good credit would not be affected the same way yours would, if you go with the "Come and get me dude, you'll never take me alive!" approach.   Since you are moving prior to the end of May, I do think your landlord would appreciate and even help you, if you work with him on getting a new tenant for the middle of May instead of his having to wait until the end of May to start a new lease with a new tenant.

Best wishes for a good future, and thanks again for reading.

By the way, I am a bit intrigued by your screen name angelsofhope.  I am going to guess there is a good story behind it.
  • April 07 2011
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Profile picture for Angelsofhope
Thank you Mr. Emery and Mr. Matthews. I do intend to make it right and appreciate your advice. No, I'm not nuts, and my sisters credit is excellent. She just saw it as a way out of the lease which ends May 31st. After reading everyones responses I see that her suggestion is not the best option. Thanks again!
  • April 07 2011
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No, you breached the contract because you didn't pay on time. The remedy of the landlord is to terminate your lease.

You are still obligated to pay the remainder of the rent. But chances are if you had a deposit, they will just keep the deposit for damages.

Having an unlawful detainer or UD can make it extremely difficult in the future to rent from landlords who do background checks. And the landlords who don't do background checks....you don't want to live there.

  • April 07 2011
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Hello Angels of Hope,

First, let me say, I am sorry to hear that you are in a position where you cannot pay your rent.  It seems everyone of us has been affected by tough economic times.  So, here is the legalese of the matter with regard to your lease.  One would need to read your lease to be sure, but in the State of Nevada,  which is very much considered a "Landlord's State" (because of how it tends to favor the rights of the Property owner to the detriment of the Tenant), your lease probably is still in force until the end of the term, even after you are evicted. The Landlord has to give you proper notice of their intent to reoccupy the property, which they have done under the "5 day notice to quit."  After they take back the property, they will do cleaning and repairs, deducting those costs from the security, cleaning, and other deposits.  They will then have the right to pursue you in court for the balance of the money you owe them under the terms of the lease. 

Two important points to be made however.  First, the Landlord has an obligation to attempt to "Mitigate" their loss which is defined as the remaining amounts you owe under the terms of the lease which you signed.  That means that the Landlord cannot simply leave the property vacant and sue you in court for the remaining amount without proving that they made a strong effort to find a new tenant.  If they take 2 or more months to find a tenant, you would owe the difference.  If they rent it at a lower rental rate than your lease, you owe the difference.

The second point however is that most Landlords do not make the pursuit in court, because even with a judgment, it is difficult to collect, although that judgment does stay with you until it is satisfied.  If it is a big amount, I would probably count on the Landlord pursuing for the loss (which again is the difference between what your lease says and what they are actually able to collect from and when a new tenant).   It appears that the Landlord is attempting to "mitigate" their losses by first exercising their right to evict you.  They will then go in and make repairs (if necessary), then put it up for rent.  Whether they pursue I cannot say.

I will tell you that at very least they will likely report it on your credit.  But let me make a few other obvious points.  If you are evicted, your deposits are gone.  Which means you will have to come up with application fees (now about $50 to $75 per person),  2 months rent (first and last), key, cleaning, and pet (if you have one) deposits.  That is significantly more than 2 weeks worth of rent. 

With all due respect.... Are you nuts?  Listening to your sister (whose credit probably isn't affected and doesn't have to come up with the money for a new rental), is what my Mom used to call "cutting off your nose to spite your face".

Pay the rent, and make every effort to pay on time from now on.  It appears your Landlord is willing to kick you out if you don't.

Best of luck, and thanks for reading.

  • April 07 2011
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Profile picture for Angelsofhope
I'll be moving into a home with a friend. I planned on moving in with her the middle of May anyways. Thanks for the advice.
  • April 07 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
You probably should depend on legal aide for advice rather than your sister unless she's an attorney.

If you've not paid full rent as per terms of your lease, you are the one that broke the contract therefore may well be obliged for the full lease amount.  You certainly won't get back your deposit.

  • April 07 2011
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
you should probably read your lease agreement.  It very likely has information that answers this question.  Where will you go if you get evicted....won't the new landlord want references from the old landlord?  think carefully about the consequences, it's more than just the rest of this month's rent.
  • April 07 2011
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