"Part Time" pseudo tenants?

3 Replies

ok have a situation I need some advice on.

2/1 unit with tenants, father on the 50s and daughter early 30s.  Current lease is a single page lease from last owner, with hardly any rules in writing, which I have to live with till July 2015.

Recently I noticed a new vehicle parked outside and vehicle owner has a key to the unit.  Upon further inquiry it turns out to be the daughter's new BF, who apparently has been given a key and stays with her on weekends and sometimes on weekdays.

In my own lease I disallow guests to stay 7 consecutive days or longer so even if they are under my lease, which they are not, they haven't broken any rules because they could technically have a guest for 6 days then skip a day, then 6 days again and be in compliance?  In this case its 3, 4, 5 days per week, or another way to look at it he is there at least half the time.

My issue is first he is not screened, he has a key, he is using water which I pay for, and his car occasionally causes parking space congestion.

I am going to have a talk with my tenant about this, but there is nothing in the lease that prohibits this.  But if he has a key and is present when he others are out, I am going to insist he be screened.  I think I will tell them if they renew in July the rent will jump substantially higher.

@Sam Leon  I had this same issue with one of my tenants. The boyfriend was there about half the time. I had negotiated the rent based on the fact that it would be just her and her daughter, now the boyfriend is there a lot, using the water that I have to pay for, and he was even there when she wasn't.

I confronted her about it at renewal time and told her that I would need to screen him and add him to the lease. They did NOT want him added to the lease. I told her that I was willing to add him as a temporary guest so that he would not be liable on the lease, but I still needed to screen him. I HAVE to know who is in my units at all times. An occasional overnight guest is fine, but this was constant. They ultimately decided to move out. Something didn't smell right there... I think that they were trying to hide something.

Despite what their current lease says, I would inform the daughter that since the boyfriend is living there part-time that he will need to be screened and added to the lease. I would also think about changing the wording in your lease, if you feel that tenants could take advantage of it. My lease says no guests can stay more than 14 days out of a six month period.

I know that if you have inherited tenants, that you are bound by the lease of the previous owner, but I wonder if you can add to it? As landlords, we can make addendums to leases, so can we do that with inherited leases? Anyone have any insight into that?

Essentially, tenant is trying to bend the rules of your lease.

If it's costing you money, whether direct as in higher utility bills or indirect as in wear and tear or impact or tenants in other units, it's a problem.

If it's just because it bothers you, that's another. 

You really have to decide how important this is to your wallet or if too much free rent in your head. If the former, confront them with a Notice to Quit. If the latter, you may just accept it, tweak future lease agreements to suit your preferences, accept this situation and move on.

As for the boyfriend? It'll either be short term or it may turn into the formation of a new family housing unit and a prospect for another rental!

Well first of all I would deal with the father and not the daughter on this one. Secondly, you have to be very careful with state laws here, because in some states, once an occupant stays longer than "x" days and/or starts receiving mail, you technically can't kick them out without going through eviction proceedings, so you definitely don't want this guy living there without being screened by you.

Even though you inherited the lease, presumably as skimpy as it was, it did identify the occupants, of which the boyfriend was not one. So you need to tell the dad that the bf is not legally allowed to stay there, use utilities, or parking without going through your tenant check process. And if he qualifies, then there will need to be an addendum to the lease increasing the rent to offset the increase in occupants. That's how I would handle it.

Sharon Tzib, Real Estate Agent in TX (#653488)