Q: Tenants moved out of my home, after 5 or 6 months of a written year long lease. They gave me 3 weeks notice they were moving and gave a reason. They claimed Hud had just found them a place to rent( I don’t accept Hud). I explained to them they could move if they want, but that they were in a year’s promise to me and still had to honor lease referring to rent, utilities, etc., until I found a replacement.
I had replacement in 5 wks later. Naturally I billed them for unpaid rent, yardcare(a part of their lease) and a few damages. The bill exceeded their sec dep about $400. They may be pretending to be dumb, but they claim they don’t owe me anything because Hud offered to pay me their rent had they stayed, but since I don’t accept Hud I forfeit my claim to all their obligations. I told them I have no contract with Hud, but with them; and it was their choice to move simply for their budget, so they still owe until replacement. They are getting their legal advice from her father- who is, by the way, an absolutely top-notch auto mechanic. I have urged them to get their legal advice from an attorney.
Is there a specific place in ORC or similar forum that I might copy to show them they owe- that their reason to be excused from their lease isn’t valid? I realize they may be playing dumb in hopes I’ll question myself or let it go. If I could show them specifically and say “see? Here it is.” Then they might believe I am correct and believe I don’t intend to let it go.
A: We have reprinted the section of the Ohio Revised Code governing landlord tenant law at this link. I can’t find a specific provision governing your situation; however, your situation would be governed by the lease. I assume that there was nothing in the lease giving the tenants an out if you don’t accept HUD. I’ve never heard of such a thing. It sounds like the tenants are just trying to get out of their obligation to pay rent because, according to them, you owe it to them. Happily for you, you found new tenants within a short amount of time. You can pursue the tenants in court for the extra $400 if you so choose but it may not be worth your time, effort and money to do so.
If you do decide to pursue your tenants in court, we offer a guide to getting and collecting upon judgments in Ohio at this link.