How Long is Too Long? Dealing with Unwanted Tenant Guests.

Your tenant has several guests coming and going on the property, and it seems like they're sticking around for the long run.

Your original tenant has the legal responsibility for sticking to the lease agreement and keeping the property in good shape, but these guests aren't on the lease and have no legal or financial obligation to the property.

It's a situation that's ripe for disaster for yourself and the original tenant if things go wrong.

Here's how to handle unwanted long term tenant guests.

Define How Long is Too Long in the Lease Agreement
If you don't cover how long tenant guests can stay in your property, the tenant isn't breaking any lease agreements if their guests stay indefinitely.

You don't have federal, state, or local laws governing how long a guest may stay on the property, so the time period and reporting procedure is entirely up to you.

Some landlords have restrictions based on the amount of consecutive days within a particular time period, while others count all days within that time period.

Once the time limit is reached, the guest has to go elsewhere for a specific number of days before they can continue visiting.

Friends, family, and significant others are often guests that may run afoul of this particular policy.

Require a notice period for tenant guests staying past a set amount of days, such as 7, so if you encounter them, you know they're permitted on the property by the tenant.

Negotiate with the Tenant for Longer Term Stays
If the tenant wants to keep someone around for longer, such as a down-on-their-luck family member, negotiate the issue.

You don't want to lose a good tenant because you aren't willing to be flexible for them, but you also need to keep yourself and your property legally protected.

Offer to change the guest restrictions in this situation if the guest consents to tenant screening, such as a background check.

You gain the peace of mind that the guest has passed a similar screening process as the tenant, so you aren't wondering if you have an unsavory character running around your property.

Enforce Your Terms
Once you set your lease terms, enforce them.

Pay attention to the people living on your property, particularly those who are staying more than a few days.

Make sure you don't step on the toes of your tenant's privacy, however.

They are legally permitted to have guests, so don't raise an issue with shorter term visitors.

You want to focus on the guests who appear to be moving in instead of hanging out.

If your original tenant won't kick their guests out after they aren't supposed to be there any longer, they can have their lease terminated.

Create a Procedure for Making Additions to the Lease Agreement
Does the original tenant want a roommate, family member, or significant other to stay at the property officially?

As long as you can legally add another person to the apartment, consider the request.

If you haven't already screened the guest, you have the opportunity to make sure they pass the same checks as the existing tenant.

Tell the tenant how to add another person to the lease agreement so that the guest is legally responsible for the property as well.

The responsibility may help stave off issues with the property down the road, compared to a guest with no financial interest in the property.

Posted on Jan 05, 2015

Related

Most Important Landlord Tenant Laws in Texas

When it comes to having a tenant for the first time, it can be pretty daunting because you are going to be the corresponding landlord and a new relationship will emerge, which will need time to grow... More


The Landlord Tenant Board: What it is and When it is Needed

Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More


The Landlord Tenant Laws in California

The landlord and tenant laws in California are literally the same as they are in any other state. These laws, rules and regulations are put into practice because they uphold an order, a discipline,... More


Understanding the Landlord Tenant Laws in Illinois

People are aware that there are different rulings in each state with reference to the landlord/tenant laws. The state of Illinois also has a set of laws. These rules and regulations are basically... More


How to Create a Residential Lease Agreement

Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More


The Best Sites for Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More


The Landlord Tenant Act: What Landlords Need to Know

All landlords know that before they can formally become a landlord there are a lot of things they need to understand. Landlords and tenants cannot act as such without any legal bodies involved. That... More


Landlord Obligations: The Responsibilities of a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More


The Best Landlord Associations for Landlords to Join

If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More


The Best Landlord Forums

Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More