Uninvited non-tenant surprise

7 Replies

I am wondering whether this is my problem and if so what I should do about it. I rent this 4-bedroom unit to 4 college guys. School is out and this one guy hadn't been around for a couple weeks. He says when he got back, one of the other tenants had let some guy who wasn't on the lease live in his room! He arrived home to find this guy in his bed. He was furious, understandably. But is this my problem? I can't/don't stop tenants from having guests over. And the guy hadn't exceeded the two week maximum in the lease that guests are permitted to stay over. I don't see a lease violation here (which would be my problem.) I see a roommate dispute over the appropriate use of the house (not my problem?) Fortunately their lease is up at the end of the month and I will be rid of all of them.

Good Luck! I wish I had some advice to offer here but I am curious what others will say.

@Taylor West

Sounds like a roommate issue to me. The guy has a right to be angry but if the lease is up at the end of the month what is he expecting you do? 

This happens quite a bit in the multi-family industry. I see you have a 2 week clause for guests. For those two weeks it's between the roommate's to figure it out. After those two weeks however if you want to take care of it you can have an attorney draft a 7 Day with Intent to Cure for an unauthorized occupant. They have 7 days to get the guy out or they all go and have to pay the lease termination penalties. If you choose you can just non-renew them at the end of the month.

Hope this helps.

Gwen (@Mathew Deines ),

From my little understanding is it is state dependent.  California is very tenant (and squatter friendly), along with I believe Florida (article about a deployed service member coming back to his house and squatters having moved in a law enforcement can't kick them out).  Have you attempted to contact the 'friend' that let him in?

I don't think this is your problem.  I want to know about extended guests so we can run a background check on them and add them to the lease, or if it is a sublet I want to do a background check and get written consent from the others in the apartment.

This is over and done with, as far as you are concerned.  What are they expecting you to do about it?  At best, the room mate might have to cough up a portion of the rent for the time this guy occupied the other's room, but that would be up to them to handle it.

Good luck,  I rent to college kids too and it is always entertaining!


I would bring this situation up with a local real estate attorney and fill myself in more completely on landlord/tenant laws and rights but you can also think that if you rent the house to 4 adults knowing at some point from the start they will each take one of the rooms you provide lock and keys for each room. Do you want to keep renting the house for general use or do you want to rent out individual rooms?

To me this does not sound like something that should be or is your problem and you are right it is a dispute between tenants. However do consider that if you are going to continue to rent to various college students these kinds of situation could and do arise so you might put some wording in your lease that will help your renters manage the use of the building and resolve or prevent common disputes. 

Stick to your lease. If your lease says guests are allowed up to two weeks, then stick to that. After the two weeks are up, serve a lease violation and follow through.

Always stick to what you have in writing.

Does the lease specify who gets which bedroom? etc.

Stick to what you have in writing.

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