First Rental Property

5 Replies

Hi everyone, my name is Nuno and I'm extremely excited join the BiggerPockets.com community. Around April 2017 i started reading a lot of real estate books and after two-three months of learning (almost 6-8 books), I decided to buy a new home in a better neighborhood and turn my old house into a rental property. 

I used the knowledge I learned to go through the process of scheduling the showings, doing the showing, taking applications, and screening tenants. After a 2-3 weeks, I finally accepted an application and sent the tenant the acceptance letter to a family of three adults and two children (husband, wife, wife's mother, and two boys). I sent a follow-up emailed to the applicants to schedule the lease review/signing and I explained that all adults have to sign the lease. They responded to me via email requesting to not have the wife's mother sign the lease agreement and that they are making other living arrangements for the mother so her stay is temporary. I was hesitant to adhere to their request because everything that I've read tells me I should have all adults sign the lease agreement. I ended up responding saying that the wife's mother has to sign the lease to acknowledge that she understands the rules listed on the lease agreement. I also mentioned that only the two heads of the house hold (husband & wife) are responsible for paying the rent. They didn't seem too happy with my response so I have been wondering:

  1. Am I doing the right thing by insisting that the wife's mother sign the lease? 
  2. If the applicants ask me to add a clause to the lease agreement to specify that the wife's mother is not responsible for the rent, should I do it?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

- Nuno

@Nuno Pereira our contracts say the same thing. I don't know all the technical reasons for having that clause, but as far as I'm concerned, as an adult they are legally responsible for any damage they might cause, so we require them to be on the lease. At the end of the day, you decide what's in the contract. Something to consider is if you bend the rules for them this time, when will they want more rules to be bent. Might be a red flag that you need to consider another applicant.

Hi Nuno, and welcome to the Bigger Pockets Community!  You are definitely on the right track with having all adults sign the lease.  I have been in a similar situation and I always counter that when "mom" moves out I would be happy to do an amendment to the lease to show that now only two adults are living in the home.

Hope this helps!

Your counteroffer was extremely reasonable. Their insistence that "Nana" not sign anything is giving me that bad vibe. As I am typing this post, I am trying to figure out why she would not want to sign the lease, even with the clear understanding that she wouldn't be held responsible for the rent, only damages.

Most people would say move on to the next applicant. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

Wow, thanks so much for the amazing feedback! Sounds to me like the right thing to do is requiring her to sign the lease and if she refuses, move on to the next applicants. That makes logical sense, I will go with that approach.

Chris, Tayla, and Terry thank you for the advice.

- Nuno

I just want to give the folks who replied to my original post an update. I took your advice and enforced that all three adults sign the lease. On October 10th, we reviewed and signed the lease and received a bunch of compliments and thanks from the tenants on how organized and thorough I was. I want to thank you guys and give a big shot out to Brandon Turner because that is what made all this possible. 

Nuno

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