It started out so well. They were the perfect match and have known each other since high school so it was a natural that they got married. Both got jobs right out of college, had good credit and found the perfect place to rent their first home.

tenants who divorce

But after a very short while, six months in fact, the two lovebirds decided their marriage was a mistake and filed for a quick divorce and the ex-wife is moving out. Sad story, you say? Maybe. But as their landlord you’re not concerned about their relationship to each other as the relationship to your cash flow. What happens when your tenants decide to split?

Doing your job, you prequalified your tenants early on. Your monthly rent for your property is $3,000 per month and that represented exactly 30 percent of their gross monthly income of $9,000. She made $5,000 at an ad agency and the husband $4,000 at a marketing firm. And you had them both sign the rental application. But she’s gone and there’s only $4,000 per month to make the $3,000 rent. What can you do?

It’s similar to how a mortgage company treats a couple who get divorced. The bank doesn’t care about the love life, but about getting paid the mortgage each and every month. That’s how you should approach it. The ex-wife who left the house is still responsible for the rent and it doesn’t matter if the marriage doesn’t work out. They both signed the lease.

You need to contact the ex-wife and remind her of the obligation and if the rent does become delinquent it won’t look good the next time she tries to buy or even rent another property. It’s an obligation she simply can’t walk away from. She might have divorced her husband but she can’t divorce her lease agreement.