Tenants Bf has apparently moved in unannounced

33 Replies

I was made aware that my tenant's Bf or baby daddy has apparently moved into the house with out notifying the property manager or myself... How should I handle this situation? Rent still comes in on time, but my manager has stated that when work is being on the property that this gentleman is always there by himself playing video games or something. On top of that a nice older (hotrod i guess) car has been there as well. I believe that its his...  Do I step in and make him fill out an application and run his credit? or leave the issue alone since rent is coming in on time? 

@Jenkins Ramon  

Some may beat me up about this but I would just leave it alone.

Rent is still coming in on time. The main reason we screen potential tenants is to get the highest possible chance we can of getting the rent in on time.

I would not make a problem out of a peaceful situation.

my $.02

Others may disagree.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)

I have to second @James Wise  

If he's not causing problems, just let it slide.

I agree with @James Wise  . Let it slide, but I think you should mention you know he's there, but so long as he doesn't cause any damage then you'll be fine with it. Don't let this be the proverbial foot in the door for more things you'd be a bit more uneasy about. 

@Tony Cavalli  

Keep the good tenants though! Remember it's not really the house that's your asset, but the folks inside who are paying you every month. If you don't believe me then don't rent a rental property... Then tell me how you're doing. LOL

Good tenants= Asset to keep!

Good news, you now have leverage to remove him/them should house get messed up/ rent not get paid. Document that hes there and forget it until u must pull that card out of your pocket.

I agree with @James Wise  

I have had the same situation come up and if they are paying the rent, I don't really care as long as he isn't causing problems.

Originally posted by @John E.

"I agree with @James Wise . Let it slide, but I think you should mention you know he's there, but so long as he doesn't cause any damage then you'll be fine with it"

I have to disagree with mentioning that you know if you're going to let it slide. That could cause problems down the road if you do decide to kick him out. He won't be able to say you knew all a long if you decide to boot him at some point.

Are you paying the utilities? Someone on the couch all day soaking up the AC & using water all day may be a drain on your cash flow.. If they are paying, I'd leave it be.

I'd let it go as well. If he's the baby daddy, forcing it will make both of them move. You'd cut off your nose to spite your face.

from personal experience DONT LET IT SLIDE.  Had a boyfriend move in once and while I did not realize he had until too late, (it was a medium size apartment complex) within the next month the 8 sheriff officers were there and kicked down the door to haul him off due to outstanding warrants.  I would not run his credit but I would make him do an app and run his background.  You want to know who is living in your property at all times.  If he refuses to do this then you know there is a problem and you need to get them both out asap.  If he does it no problem then you are home free and if they are good/decent folks.  they will not mind a bit and will understand.  

Does your lease have a clause regarding unauthorized occupants and how to differentiate between occupant and guest? Then apply the rules you have; if not, then you should beef up your lease. Is this a Section 8 tenant? If so, the Housing Authority might not allow the unauthorized occupant to remain. BTW my rules for this include an increase of rent per additional occupant plus allow for me to take an application to see if the occupants qualify.

So what happens when they get into a domestic dispute? Does she stay or move - she might move because he can't seem to get his own place. Would the rent still come in on time while he is busy with the video games?

@Tony Cavalli

I am going to slightly disagree with the other posters.  First of all I would say that you need to get knowledge of who is staying at your rental unit.  So let them know that you are acknowledging that this other person wants to live there, and that all adults must have a background check.  It doesn't have to be combative, it's just part of your policy and you want to ensure that everyone follows the same rules.  There you are establishing to the tenant that you have policies and procedures you want followed.  You're not just "letting this slide" because if you let one thing slide, what will they try to "let slide" next.

So do the check and see if the person's background looks okay.  It could come back fine and all is good.  The guy may not have a job and relies on the woman to be his "sugar mama" (so to speak).  If the rent is being paid that makes sense because when the woman applied you must have approved her based on her income alone.

I get the license plate numbers of vehicles staying at the property and check to make sure the registration is valid.  You don't want "nuisance" vehicles (non-running, on blocks, leaking oil, etc.) on the property.  You can get cited for that.

Important: make sure your lease has the new domestic abuse protections clause that was recently introduced in Milwaukee (in March 2014).  If your lease doesn't have that, you're not using an updated lease.

Disclaimer : I'm the current property manager on this property.

This part has already been completed. ( domestic abuse )

FYI :  Current tenants are on a month to month lease, fyi

" Important: make sure your lease has the new domestic abuse

  protections clause that was recently introduced in Milwaukee (in March 2014). 

  If your lease doesn't have that, you're not using an updated lease. "

@Michael Noto

Does she keep the place clean? somewhat 

Exterior could be a little cleaner, but I'm personally a neat freak anyway.

Tony can answer your other question.

@Tony Cavalli

It doesn't take long for an unauthorized occupant to become your tenant by default, whether you like it or not, with all parties in residence having legal rights of which you need to be aware. It doesn't take long for a rule breaker to break more rules if you do not enforce the terms of your rental agreement.

I agree with @Steve Babiak about the importance of clearly addressing this type of situation in your lease agreement and with @Rhett Tullis and @Dawn Anastasi about the importance of knowing to whom you are renting and with @Michele Fischer about the importance of enforcing rules.

We once had a "guest" become an "unauthorized occupant" and we did not address the situation swiftly enough. Soon there were 11 people living in our 2BR/1BA unit and property damage and lots of rule breaking!

When we suspect an unauthorized occupant, we knock on the door and see who answers. If the person answering the door is unknown to us, we ask with surprise and a kind voice, "Who are you?". (One time a person we had never met before answered, "I live here. Who are you?") We ask our tenant about the person, are they a guest? Or have they moved in?

If the answer is "guest" we ask the guest where their home is and how long they plan to visit. We remind the tenant about the guest policy and how many days a guest may stay and the tenant's responsibility to make sure the guest follows all of the property rules.

If the answer is "moved in" we remind them about the terms of the rental agreement that state we must be notified in advance of any plans to change the household makeup and that the addition of new occupants must have our approval. Then we explain the procedure that must be followed for adding a person to the rental agreement. Our procedure for this includes getting a signed application to rent from all adults residing at the property and doing background checks. Good tenants readily comply, bad tenants push back.

We also serve a "Notice to Enter" so we can have a look inside. We are looking for signs that someone has moved in as well as violations to the rental agreement. We keep an eye out for unauthorized vehicles parked on the property as well as vehicles parked on the street outside the property for more than two weeks. We take note if people other than the tenant are receiving mail at the property. It is important to go over the property rules with anyone who is living at the property, as the original tenant may not do this effectively.

This has happened to me on more then one occasion.  I honestly never care, but I do bring it to the tenants attention that I know and just add the boyfriend/girlfriend to the lease.  I do it to cover my *** and also the areas my rentals are in I need to know all tenants criminal history.  If they come back clean I don't mind at all.  Good luck

Originally posted by @Wilson A. :
This has happened to me on more then one occasion. I honestly never care, but I do bring it to the tenants attention that I know and just add the boyfriend/girlfriend to the lease. I do it to cover my *** and also the areas my rentals are in I need to know all tenants criminal history. If they come back clean I don't mind at all. Good luck


Why make your tenants have background checks if you're going to let them move in their boyfriends/girlfriends/friends who are violent offenders or sex offenders?

Every adult living at the property should be on the lease. Simple.

Either have standards or don't have standards. If tenants get background checked and rental history checked, why let sex offenders who have been evicted 10 times move in with them? I would say that it's easy for a tenant to claim the person was "just a temporary guest" though too.What does your lease and/or city say about guests and what's considered a guest? Tenants can have guests-- people who move-in should be on the lease. Tenants can live with whoever they like, but all adults have to be on that lease. More people living there can mean more risk (prior evictions, sex offenders), more utilities, more wear and tear, more parking needed. You want to know what adults are living in your building long-term and screen them like you do all over tenants.

What if the guest becomes the tenant by default and you have to do an eviction?

If you document that he's there or tell the tenant you know he's there, did you just "accept" him as a tenant? What if the "real" tenant moves out, then you have to evict this guy and have problems because you "accepted" him as a tenant by telling her you know he's there-- no rental or criminal history check completed? And, if you told her you know he's there, you just said "I know you're violating the lease by allowing an unauthorized occupant, but I'm not going to do anything about it." I wouldn't tell her I know he's there unless I plan to have him officially screened and added to the lease. If he has nothing to hide, he shouldn't have a problem with being screened.

Are you paying utilities or are they?

If you don't follow your lease terms about unauthorized occupants, they'll start breaking other rules or adding more people. First it's the boyfriend moving in. Then it's his entire family, then their friends, or more roommates. Tenants can live with whoever so long as all adults meet the rental criteria and they don't go over max occupancy per bedroom per the city.

Jon K. I didn't get into full detail on my post but I did state I run a check on them.  I make it known I am aware the boyfriend/girlfriend has moved in and they must be added to the lease and go through the same checks everyone else did.  I stated if they come back clean (no violent history, evictions, etc etc) then i'm okay with it. 

So mt decision is to do what @Dawn Anastasi  and a few others recommended and NOT let this slide. After rent has been paid on the first, the issue will be handled.. although the story gets more interesting but I will wait to explain this until its taken care of incase some unforeseen action occurs. 

So stay tuned... Im sure others may have dealt with this fore coming issue but many like myself haven't thought of it or even gave it a thought to begin with.. 

I moved in with my girlfriend into her rented place and all I had to do is register my car.

Maybe you could just ask him to register his car as a proof that he lives there?

Run his application/credit/background check.

Give him/them the boot if he doesn't meet your standard.

If he does, bump up the rent! He is using more utilities and will contribute more wear and tear on the place.

My residential apartment leases all contain a clause clearly defining who is entitled to live in the apartment, and if any other persons move into the apartment, the Tenant must pay an extra $150/month per person, and under no circumstances is the apartment to be occupied by more than "x" number persons.  I don't know if your utilities are separate, however, extra people living in the apartment creates extra consumption of electric, gas and water.