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My tenant moved out her two rent rooms 3 months before the lease ends with 30 days notice and not saying any reason. Also, the tenant left the house with a mess.Currently, I found a new tenant to replace one of the rooms, but another room is still vacant.

1. My lease does not mention the early termination penalty. Could I charge the tenant for the vacant room?

2. After the tenant moved out, I hired a cleaning lady to clean the room without cleaning the oven of the electric range. I called the cleaning company to estimate the cleaning price of the oven. The minimum estimation is $264 if maids come. I think it is expensive, so I bought a new range to replace it.
Could I charge the tenant with $100 for the range?

Thank you in advance!

 
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Early termination fee or penalty in Massachusetts

An early termination fee may be enforceable in Massachusetts if it is reasonable in relation to the amount of rent being charged.  In other words, if the lease allows for an early termination fee of two month's rent, that fee may be enforceable if the tenant breaks the lease and moves out of the premises.  However, a residential landlord in MA always has a duty to mitigate damages.    So, if there were a situation where the lease called for an early termination fee equal to two month's rent, but the landlord found a tenant after two weeks, I believe a MA court would decline to enforce that fee, because it would allow the landlord to collect rent from two tenants at once.  If there is not early termination fee in the lease, then this discussion is not relevant.  The tenant would only be responsible for the rent during the time that it took the landlord to find a replacement tenant, using reasonable efforts.  In all cases, if the lease or rental agreement allows it, the landlord may also be able to collect additional costs associated with renting the unit, such as for changing the locks or advertising the unit.   

Landlords should also note that, when a tenant moves out before the end of the lease, the landlord should notify the tenant in writing that she will still be responsible for payment of the rent during the term of the lease (subject to the duty to mitigate) along with any costs associated with re-letting the unit.  Without this notification, a tenant may argue that the landlord accepted the tenant's surrender of the unit and has waived his right to collect additional rent.

So, in general, after the tenant moves out, the landlord should make good faith efforts to re-rent the unit, then attempt to collect the lost rent from the tenant (after applying any last month's rent held by the landlord).  The tenant can also use the security deposit to cover the lost rent.  To your second question, I do not recommend that landlords attempt to use a security deposit for cleaning, except in unusual circumstances where the cleaning is required by dirt or filth that goes beyond ordinary wear and tear.  You can read the linked to post, above, for more information, but when dealing with security deposits, landlords need to be very careful.  The law in MA is not on your side. 

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