Assuming a Lease or a “Lease Takeover”

Do you want to take over someone’s lease?  You possibly can, just apply!  Fill out our online “Change of Residence” application.  Be sure you have the address of the property and the names of the current occupants.

Are you becoming a Roommate or Assuming an existing Lease?

If one or more other roommates are NOT moving out and you’re moving in, then you are a roommate.

If you are taking the remainder of the Lease from the previous Tenant(s) who have not completed their Lease Term, you are “assuming a lease/Lease Takeover” until their original lease ends.  This means all current tenants are vacating the unit and you will be taking the unit in its current condition.

About Lease Takeovers

Where are the current “Lease Takeovers” advertised?

Windermere does not keep a list of current lease takeovers unless the outgoing tenant chooses to pay for our advertising services.  Outgoing tenants are responsible for advertising their own unit.  We advise them to use Craigslist, local media sources (like the Bellingham Herald or the Western front), word of mouth, or to post flyers.

How long does the application process take?

When all parties communicate well, the process takes a few days.  However, the application process can be delayed significantly by not returning calls or emails, or providing proper documentation promptly.

What happens after my application has been approved?

Once approved for the Lease Takeover, you need to do the following:

  1. Once approved, all parties will need to come to our office to sign a “Change of Residence Status Addendum.”  This addendum will state the effective date (start date) of the Lease Takeover. The Lease Takeover is not completed until all parties (current tenants, exiting tenants, and future tenants) have signed.  All signatures must be received within 3 days of your approval notification.
  2. You will be provided a copy of the lease documents and move-in inspection that was performed when the original tenant(s) signed their lease.  All outstanding balances must be paid in full prior to a Lease Takeover being accepted.  You take responsibility for all utilities indicated in the lease agreement.  Please make sure to verify with the utility companies (such as Water/Sewer, Garbage, Electricity, Gas, etc.) prior to signing a lease to make sure all bills are current.
  3. You should arrange to pick up the keys from the Outgoing Tenant.  Windermere does not coordinate the key exchange.  It is important to match the keys you receive to the original keys the Outgoing Tenant received from us.   If the keys do not match, then it will be assumed that the originals were lost, and you (the Incoming Tenant) will be responsible for a lock change at the end of your Lease Term.

When can you move in?

On the effective date of the “Change of Residence Status” Addendum.  Please do not move into the unit before this day.

Do you have a pet or did the Outgoing Tenant have a pet?

Call our office to ask if a specific unit allows pets.  If the Outgoing Tenant has a pet, this may not necessarily mean that another pet will be allowed.

Will the rental unit be cleaned?

The Incoming Tenant in a Lease Takeover accepts the unit ‘as-is.’  However, at the end of Lease Term, the Incoming Tenant will be required to vacate the unit in the same condition that the Outgoing Tenant received it in.  The Incoming Tenant will receive a copy of the move-in condition checklist during the application process.

What about the security deposit?

The security deposit stays with the unit.  It is up to you and the Outgoing Tenant to negotiate reimbursement.

What happens if I apply to “Takeover” a lease but the Outgoing Tenant changes their mind and decides to stay?

You can only “Takeover” a Lease if the Outgoing Tenant leaves.  The transaction was originated by our tenant and not us, so we do not have any control over a tenant changing their mind.  Windermere will not reimburse application fees in this occurrence.