If your tenant moves out early, you need to act to protect your rights

The legal phrase is “mitigation of damages.”  Practically, this means the landlord, whether it is commercial or residential, needs to try to get another tenant in the property.  If you don’t make reasonable efforts to put another tenant in the property, you may not be able to collect the remaining rent due under the lease.

What kinds of things do you need to do?  Try to find a new renter and document the steps you take:

  • Placing an advertisement online or in a newspaper.
  • Spread the word to your friends and business acquaintances
  • Hire a realtor to assists in leasing the property
  • Post notice of the vacancy on the property
  • Promote the vacancy through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar sites.

The reason to document these efforts is that if you seek the remaining rent the tenant owes, the judge will want to know what you have done to try to find another tenant.  Often, no documentation equals no damage recovery.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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