Potential Tenant - 2bed with 4 kids visiting weekends

5 Replies

Hi, I'd love some opinions. I have a potential applicant for a 2 bedroom townhouse that I'm renting that fits all requirements except one concern. He's divorced/separated and he will be the only adult on the lease. He let me know his 4 kids will be spending many weekends there. This puts us over the 2 person/room rule. Initially my thought is to say no before running an application, but I'm wondering if it's not a big deal because they are more "guests" than full time residents? Has anyone navigated a similar situation before? Thanks!

We had a similar situation. It worked out fine. We rented to Dad and the children were listed in the rental agreement as occupants as well, even though it was not their primary residence. We have a "guest" rule, which limits the number of nights a guest can stay 14 nights during any 12 month period (unless if we give written approval to allow a longer stay for extenuating circumstances.) We wanted to differentiate that the children were not "guests", but indeed had rights of tenancy under their Dad.

Although we typically set our maximum at 2 per bedroom, with this situation I'd be fine with using the HUD guideline of 2 per bedroom + 1 = 5.

Their may be more wear and tear, perhaps damages too, so be sure to keep current with your periodic inspections. Charge for damages as they occur or as you discover them. Also, make sure Dad informs his children of the property rules and supervises the children when they are visiting.

Ask yourself if you would rent to them if the kids were permanent occupants.

If mom dies, gets seriously sick or goes to jail you will have 5 permanent tenants till they give notice to move.

When approving applicants you must consider all conceivable possibilities in determining if you wish to risk accepting anyone as a tenant. From there you choose the lowest risk best candidate that passes all screening requirements. Set your standards first and religiously stick to them dropping all applicants that do not immediately pass the preliminary requirements. If you decide your total occupancy is set at 3 persons then this applicant is immediately disqualified. 

Screening applicants is intended to find reasons to not rent to someone.

Thanks everyone for your input. At this point we're going to go forward with a showing for this potential tenant knowing that worst case scenario is we have the 4 kids moving in with him full time. Also appreciate the HUD +1 rule insight - I usually just allow 2 person/bedroom.