Would you allow tenants to "overlap"?

4 Replies

Have a somewhat unique situation here.

Tenant got a job transfer out of state.  Gave me 60 days notice.  Moving out end of October.

Great tenant, pays on time, good communication, absolutely no issue.  I am happy for her, even with the lease break I will give her a glowing recommendation.

However, on the business side, I have 4 months left on the lease, and end of October is hard to rent a place, it's practically dead until January.

The lease has a two month early termination penalty.  I would have to charge that, then if I can find another tenant, I will refund everything back to her minus the days I lost rent.

Now, she has a friend of a friend who has visited her and expressed very high interest to rent her place.  She is ready to sign the lease now even if it's almost 2 months away.

I will of course have to go through the process of having her fill out an application, background check etc etc etc...BUT there is a catch.

She needs a place sooner than it's available.  If the current tenant moves out on Oct 31, I need a week to turn it around.  It can't be made available until Nov 7.  She wants to move in second week of October.  That means they will be co-inhabiting the place for 3 weeks...in a one BR unit.

I am not excited about this arrangement.  Sure they know each other, but first, I have no opportunity to really clean out the place;  There will be a period where the current tenant has a lease and the new one is an unofficial "roommate" or vice versa;  If I found a hole in the wall three months in I wouldn't know if it's caused by whom;  I have 4 units with 6 parking spaces, and that would reduce to 5 for a few weeks;  Plus other issues I haven't thought of that some of you may bring up.

Thoughts?  Should I consider it or stick with the dates with no overlaps?

If you are uncomfortable with the arrangement tell the 2nd tenant that the unit is available on November 1.  Of course you will risk losing her, but if you are that concerned then you have to do what you have to do.

First of all, this is all a moot point like you mentioned until you run her background and verify her income.  Take it one step at a time. 

I would look at it as a good sign that she gave you the heads up that she wanted to move in mid-Oct.  Theoretically she could have just hung out there for 2 weeks as a "guest" and not even told you.

If she is willing to take the place over in its current condition why hassle with her on that?

@Sam Leon Very interesting dilemma.. Have you expressed your concerns with your current tenant? It seems like you have a great relationship and  may understand where you are coming from. Maybe state that in the 31, all three of you will do a very very thorough walk through.. As a one BR unit it shouldn't take so long.

  Remember we are in the business to make money, and you have a great opportunity. Make sure that the new tenant meets your high standards of placement. Is there an option on the lease for your current tenant sublet to the new one? 

  I saw you are in Fr. Lauderdale and we should connect and meet sometime!

@Sam Leon

I agree with Nick and Michael. I do think that you have a good opportunity here.  Perhaps the new tenant could stay elsewhere and move in on November 1st.  I'd suggest doing a move out inspection on the 31st and again a move in inspection on the 1st with the new tenant. Let the tenant know that because of the short time frame, she'll move in to the place in as is condition but that you and her can make a punch list of items that you'll fix within her 1st 2 weeks of tenancy.  (That is of course considering that the improvements are easy ones to do while she is living there like patching holes/replacing doorknobs.)

If you did want to accommodate an early move in, perhaps the current tenant would be willing to accept all responsibility for any damage until the end of October... That would benefit her because she wouldn't have any lost rent taken from her deposit and she'd be helping out her friend.

Hope that helps!


I agree with the others.  Check them out, but friend of a great tenant will usually also be a great tenant.  We just (two weeks ago) had outgoing tenants who were great and signed a new lease with their friends, who passed our screening with flying colors. They didn't overlap.  How's the paint and the flooring looking? That's pretty much all the work we did between tenants in our recent turnover.

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