While the general goal of a lease is to provide a framework and time conditions of a relationship between a landlord and tenant, it doesn’t always work out that the needs of either party matches up with the lease termination date. There are many situations in which one or both parties may wish to terminate the lease prior to the end date listed.
A landlord, for example, might decide that he or she is able to rent the property to someone else at a higher monthly rent. A business renting a store might need to vacate for financial reasons. A tenant may need to move for a broad range of personal reasons. This generates questions about what is already listed in the lease agreement and the best steps forward in order to prevent future legal conflicts between the landlord and the tenant.
The best way to handle this situation between a landlord and tenant in New York is to draft a lease surrender agreement. This is a document outlining the plans for the lease to be broken. The original lease agreement is amended so that the rental term can end sooner than planned.
There are several key things to consider in drafting a lease surrender agreement. The first is that the date of surrender must be clear. While it should go without saying, the agreement might explain the conditions of the tenant leaving such as the policy for turning over keys and requirements that the property be left broom clean. One way to avoid move-out cleaning issues is to hire a professional cleaning service.
Another important issue is to address how much rent is due under this amended lease. In a typical surrender agreement, a New York landlord will give up the right to rent collection beyond the surrender date so long as the tenant actually leaves the premises.
Finally, consider the security deposit. The plans for this amount should be included in the lease surrender agreement. A landlord should be given the opportunity to inspect the premises after the tenant vacates in order to see whether any damage beyond normal wear and tear has occurred. The tenant’s attorney should be provided a list of damages within several days after this inspection. Any repairs made should have receipts attached as well. If there are no damages or if prompt notice is not given, the full amount of the security deposit should be provided to the tenant.
Having a lease surrender agreement is a great way to avoid confusion and future legal conflicts between a New York landlord and tenant who need to break the time conditions of a current lease. Contact a New York landlord/tenant attorney for more advice on your case.