What To Do When a Tenant Refuses to Make a Guest Leave

Not many landlords or property managers flat out refuse to allow a tenant to have guests over. When these guests become long term or start causing problems, however, it becomes pertinent to have them removed from the property. Unfortunately, a tenant may see it as their right to have whomever they want over for however long they want. This is definitely not the case, so when these situations arise, it's important for a landlord to know how to handle the situation.

An Ounce of Prevention
A little bit of prevention can go a long way when it comes to unwanted property guests. When creating a lease agreement, it's imperative to have a section on houseguests. It's legal, for instance, to stipulate how long a guest can actually remain at a residence. Similarly, a landlord can put in language that dissuades a tenant from violating this section of the lease.
If a guest overstays their welcome, for instance, the lease could say that a provision has been violated and that rent will increase while the guest is there. Of course, it's important to be careful with this type of language to avoid creating any implied landlord-tenant relationship with the "guest." More often than not, simply stating that eviction can occur due to this type of violation is sufficient.

Never Create a Relationship and Act Quickly
Accepting rent from an unwanted guest is a quick way to have them recognized as a tenant, and this will grant them rights that no landlord intended for them to have. It's imperative to take quick action in these instances since staying a lengthy amount of time could constitute some understanding of tenancy. Not allowing these individuals to claim that they're a tenant is an integral part to getting them out.

Begin Eviction Process
If it's stated in the lease that no long-term guests are allowed and a tenant refuses to make the guest leave, that tenant is in direct violation of the lease. Like any other instance of lease violation, a landlord's main course of action is eviction. Eviction and other legal forms can be found online to make this process easier. It's important to first give the tenant a notice to vacate, and then there are a few separate outcomes that can come from this.

Tenant Corrects Issue and Stays
It's often only after a tenant realizes that a landlord means business that they acquiesce to what should have never been an issue in the first place. If the tenant makes the unwanted guest leave, a landlord could decide to let them stay and can even cancel the eviction process if it's already begun. It's important to get the tenant to sign an agreement detailing exactly what happened and that it will not be an issue again.
Keep in mind, though, that this may cause problems later. After all, it can become a hassle to file eviction papers again if the tenant decides to test their landlord's limits for a second time.

Tenant Corrects Issue but Still Must Leave
At some point, a landlord could be so fed up with a particular tenant's refusal to abide by their lease that they don't care if the tenant finally makes the house guest leave. In these instances, the initial lease becomes imperative. It's important to use language that creates a covenant rather than a condition in this specific area of the lease. This will likely ensure that the tenant won't be able to beat an eviction simply by showing the judge that they corrected the condition that they were violating.

Tenant Refuses to Move or Fix Issue
These instances are much like the aforementioned cases where the landlord simply wants the tenant out no matter what. Understanding the eviction process is imperative, and once the notice to vacate has expired, filing for eviction can finally take place.

In a perfect world, tenants would always abide by their lease and recognize that they are only temporary tenants themselves. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world, but when it comes to unwanted house guests, a landlord definitely has viable options.

POSTED December 23 2014 8:16 AM
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