This is a first for me. I have a couple who was living in one of my units with their kids. I got a call from the woman tenant this morning, indicating that the male tenant, hit her, and she filed a protection order this morning. The male did not sleep there this weekend, but still has keys.
The female tenant, wants to continue to stay there with her kids. But the man is still legally on the lease, and has a right to half of the security deposit.
In this situation, what are my options, or in your opinion the best pathway forward.
other than this, they have been good tenants, who paid on time and were clean.
I'd like to keep her there with her children.
The security deposit is for the apartment not the individuals on the lease. It is up to the tenants how the security deposit is split only upon move out and it is returned to them.
The deposit stays with you and they work it out between them. She will owe him money.
If she qualifies under your screening criteria to manage the place on her own then she can stay otherwise they both go.
I personally would get rid of them both since this situation will likely be ongoing drama.
As long as the rent gets paid , the rest is of no concern of yours . Dont get involved with family issues
Could not agree more with what others have said. This is an issue between them and you have nothing to do with their marital issues. Stay out of it and if it impacts their ability to pay rent, go through the eviction process like you would normally.
Ok. But the male tenant is still on the current lease.
Does he still not have a legal right to be there, unless that is amended, and a lease signed only with her?
Check your state laws, as sometimes victims of domestic violence are afforded special protections and rights. Especially prior to evicting, as was previously mentioned. Additionally, often times the order or protection will prohibit the defendant from being at or around the protected party's residence. Both of these factors will supercede any language in your lease.
As to the deposit, if/when you have to return it, give it in a check stating "Mr AND Mrs Tenant." The bank should, but probably won't, require both parties to sign off on the check to cash it. It'll be out of your hands at that point.
Thank you for all the input.
One last question, the tenant, wants to change the locks on the unit.
My question, should she pay for it? And am I able to change the locks anyways, since the male tenant, is still on the lease?
Obviously I don't want to be liable for locking him out of the unit, but i also want to ensure my tenants safety.
Changing the locks , yes you can , BUT both tenants are entitled to keys . They are both on the lease . Now if she pays someone to change the locks and gives you a set of keys , to the best of your knowledge she has also given him a set .
Years ago when I was in my 20's a neighbors down the street were going thru a break up . ( no protective order in place ) She changed the locks and wouldnt let him in . So he started throwing bricks thru the windows of the house ( they owned the house ) She called the cops , once they showed up the cops asked him to stop . The husband asked " is it against the law to break my own windows ?" The cop said " Well no it isnt " The guy said " I will leave in 5 minutes , I only have 3 more windows to go " Cop waited , the guy left and then the cop arrested him for having no insurance and the wrong tags on his truck . As far as the windows , it didnt help when she got a protective order
If there is still time on the lease, I would not change the lease to just her just yet. They may get back together.
As long as the rent gets paid at the moment I would not do anything to get involved. If the rent stops I would check with a landlord tenant attorney in your area. There may be certain rules and notice that have to be sent to him at another address etc. She may qualify for emergency housing/section * help with the rent without him around and may actually need a pending lawsuit to get the funds and be able to get you paid.
Bottom line, tread softly for the moment but seek a competent attorney in your area (and be sure to ask if they have any experience in this type of situation, not just a standard eviction)
Are you in Indiana? If so, please read the Indiana tenant laws. Domestic Violence victims have rights and one of the rights includes having the landlord change the locks at the landlords cost.
Now, I am not a lawyer, so the fact that the aggressor is on the lease may complicate things. I would contact the housing authority in the community the property is in or contact a lawyer today.
Yes, I would check your local laws. I was just reading about Indiana. I believe there is a tenant right to have the locks replaced for security reasons. Probably on your dime. Do some research and talk with attorney to be safe.