Tenant Occupancy Issues

4 Replies

Its only been about a month since ive become a landlord, and im already running into an issue with the tenant I took over.

The lease states her and her two granddaughters. I wasn't fond of this considering it is a one bedroom, but I wanted to be as fair as I could. This is what was listed on the rental agreement, so I put it in the lease. 

Since then, I have been over there numerous times working on the other unit. Ive noticed multiple cars being parked, exceeding the limit, and two other occupants there on a daily basis. Totalling 5 people. 

I know it is violating the occupancy square footage laws. If it were a 2 br I would be completely ok with the other two tenants and would have stated it within the lease. But this is clearly a breech in the lease (if they are indeed living there), more than likely they are but I just want to state that this is me and the neighbors assumption. Ive received complaints from one of the neighbors already. This is causing more wear and tear on what the house is made for, and the water bill im sure is going to be through the roof. Like I said, im an understanding person and I want to be able to help them, but this is not acceptable.

What is the best action to take here? 

Hopefully they are month to month?  Easiest would be to give proper notice and terminate. Say you need to do renovations if pressed. Make it about the property to avoid drama. Makes sense since you're over there working already.

Hardest way is to bring up the over-occupancy.  But Billy Bob doesn't live here theyll say.  Either does Jimbo or the friend or the cat. Will most likely be lots of he said she said and carrying on going that route.

@Steve Vaughan that's what my attorney said, no point in even bringing up the occupancy. I was told by her she had a place lined up in November, so I agreed to a 3 month lease. That will be up November 6th, then it will carry over to month to month. If I give notice, I would have to do so at the start or before the October rent correct? 

Originally posted by @Brian Ellis :

@Steve Vaughan that's what my attorney said, no point in even bringing up the occupancy. I was told by her she had a place lined up in November, so I agreed to a 3 month lease. That will be up November 6th, then it will carry over to month to month. If I give notice, I would have to do so at the start or before the October rent correct? 

 Oh I see.  It really depends on what the lease spells out and your state landlord tenant law.  Most of mine say they become month to month at the end of the lease, but this sounds like a specific agreement with this tenant.

If your lease is for a specific term and states it will terminate Nov 6th, you may not have to provide notice but I would anyway.  Some states proper notice is 60 days, so be sure how much time is allowed and required in MA.