Termination of lease
I would like to start off this week’s column by apologizing for missing you last week. But we had an unforeseen event take place that kept me from being able to get it done. You see, Ashley went into preterm labor.
It had been a busy morning for me. I was in and out of meetings, coordinating rehabs, getting things lined up for a lease-up with some new tenants and also working with a tenant who would be leaving us soon.
That morning Ashley had told me she was not feeling good. She had a lot of pain in her stomach that didn’t feel contractual. (I can’t believe I am using that term in my column and not referring to paperwork.) You see, contractions come and go, growing in intensity and frequency until it’s time to deliver. This pain, however, was pretty constant. We figured that she had just overdone it the day before working on getting the room ready for the baby.
But at about 2:30 p.m., I got a call from her saying the midwife thought we needed to get to the emergency room.
Ya’ll, I flew home — and fast. I was imagining scenarios like if a police officer got behind me, I planned to call 911, tell them what was going on and see if the officer could escort us and then just write me the ticket once we got to the hospital.
Thankfully, that scenario didn’t come to fruition, and we got to Gordon Hospital safely — and quickly I might add.
There, they whisked Ashley away to the maternity ward. Once they hooked her up to the machines, we found two things out. The first, baby Samuel’s heart rate was awesome. Next, Ashley was having steady contractions. They were just so weak that she wasn’t feeling them through the stomach pain. That changed shortly thereafter, and she started feeling them.
They went ahead and checked her, and found she was between 3.5 to 4 cm dilated. We were taken aback by this news because she was one day away from being 35 weeks. Getting to 37 weeks is the goal for having a fully formed baby with little risk of lung issues.
To make a long story short, they transferred us to Erlanger. They have a great NICU there and were prepared to deliver if needed. The goal, however, was to stop labor if it all possible.
The Erlanger staff did multiple things, including giving Ashley lots of IV fluids. Apparently, dehydration is the number cause of premature labor. Next, they gave her a medicine that works to slow and stop muscle contraction in the uterus. And finally, as a precaution, they gave her two rounds of a steroid that will stimulate Samuel’s lungs to start getting prepared to be in the outside world.
Thankfully, the medicine worked, and the contractions stopped. I was praying hard, ya’ll!
So, after nearly two days in the hospital, we got to come home. Ashley is now on bed rest, and we are hoping to keep it that way until we get to 37 weeks. That being said, because of the steroid shot, the doctors believe if he comes early, he probably won’t need the care of the NICU.
I was on a run this morning trying to think of how to correlate these events to real estate. And then it dawned on, Samuel just put in notice of intent to terminate his lease.
Interestingly enough, we had two other notices of intent to terminate leases recently. One was initiated from the tenant to us, and the second was the other way around.
You see, in our paperwork we give people the ability to get out of the lease. This is an import clause. People have life changes that happen quickly. Our first tenant, for instance, got a job promotion that will be taking her to Boston with little more than a month’s notice. And in accordance with our lease, she gave us 30 days’ written notice that she was moving, paid an amount equal to one month’s rent as liquidated damages and has agreed to leave the house clean and rent-ready. And as a matter of fact, on the day I’m writing this, she will be turning in her keys.
The second tenant had reached the end of their lease and rolled over to a month-to-month agreement. And after talking with them, we decided to give them notice that we would not be renewing their lease. Our lease says that once we hit month-to-month status, that either party may terminate by giving a 30-day written notice. We went ahead and made it for 45-days. That tenant asked if we could go until the next month, and we agreed. This will give them the time they need to move, and we will get our house back in good shape. We will also pay them a performance bonus if they do what they are supposed to.
So, back to the original story: Sameul did put in his notice. We are just hoping he decides to extend his vacate date until after the 37-week mark. Because that would be a win-win too.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.