Advice for tenant applicant that needs 24 hour care

7 Replies

I have a 2/1 apartment for rent and got a call from Blick Center. They have a young man aging out of the youth facility that needs a place to live with 24 hour care giver. His issues are medical, he has seizures, so wears a helmet. He would be the one signing the lease but they pay his bills. It sounds like a long term tenant but I am concerned about a couple of things: If he doesn't keep the place clean, or is loud will I be able to evict. Quiet enjoyment is written into the lease and the case worker assures me that he is quiet. She also said that the night shift person has to be awake so will most likely be cleaning. I have a call into my lawyer to have her look over the lease. They also want to move in a week early to get it ready for him. I am willing to let them have a week of free rent but not before they give me a security deposit and the months rent. I am also kinda nervous about what kind of questions I can ask. Anyone have experience with something like this?

No experience.

Be careful what questions you ask, can't relate to the disability.

You could go with a month to month agreement rather than lease if you are concerned you will want to end the agreement for an issue other than non-payment.  You could reduce risk of the unit not being taken care of by inspecting.

If the full time care giver is there they should clean. Noisewise an overnight caregiver also has to be quiet enough for him to sleep. I would meet the applicant if you are going considering renting to him. I would be more concerned on if he qualifies and in speaking with him if he legally can sign the lease. Cleanliness and noise are issues for any tenant. Also if they are requesting modification they do this at his expense. Read ADA.

Why would you consider this applicant. Are you desperate to rent or simply considering the first applicant. You are entering a grey area regarding accommodating for medical reasons that may  negatively impact you down the road. You goal in screening should be to mitigate risk. A applicant not consistent with the norm is higher risk.

Personally I would not go down this road. Tell them you are still accepting applications.

How would this Tenant provide any risk?  The facility pays on his behalf, they babysit him it sounds like, and clean up after him on a daily basis.  What's not to like?!

I would charge them for the week.  You need a signed lease and security deposit, and the lease starts when they take possession (which is the day you give them keys, whether to move in, prepare for him, or just store a box.

More important to the lease, you need to make sure that you clarify terms about altering the property, and having it restored upon him move out.  That should be at his expense (in both directions).  So, you should make sure that the terms are clear, and agreeable to you.  You wouldn't want them to make alterations and then leave it that way for you to deal with afterwards.  You also should have awareness as to what they are proposing to alter in order to make it accessible for him.

I wouldn't shy away from this Tenant.  I would just want to have clear lease language for the terms, and of course, charge from possoession.  There are no free days.  

@Ronda R. This is a great question and definitely a very unique and rare situation. I'm interested to see what others have to say tbh. In my opinion I'm against this because this tenant is a huge liability in my opinion. Usually as a landlord you want to avoid risk and this is definitely a big risk allowing him in your place. Yes he will be taken care of but who says they take GOOD care of him? I don't want to be a negative nancy but how do you know they are telling the truth? They could just be saying whatever you want to hear to get him in your property. You also as a landlord have to think about what others next to your apartment may think. I'm assuming there are other rooms and buildings in the area. Would you want to live next to someone like that? Will this be a drawback for a young couple or family that wants to live next to your apartment? It isn't all negative though it does sound like they could be there for a long time. Ask them how long they plan on staying there and I would honestly charge them a bit more. I would most definitely charge them for that week that they need to "prepare" for him. Also like others have stated do make sure to get everything in writing. Depending on how long they plan on staying I would start out with a month to month lease and go from there. You don't want to get locked in to a 2 year lease and figure out the kid is a psycho and the caregiver doesn't take care or clean up after him like they should. Just really sit down and weigh the pros and cons for this situation. As you stated this is a very tricky situation since he is disabled and once he is in it may be very hard to get him out. I would keep accepting applications and see if you can find a much more convenient and dare I say normal tenant. Good luck and I hope it all works out!

@Michele Fischer yes, I have been concerned about the questions I can ask. Going month to month is an option but I, as most of us do, hope for a long term tenant that will respect and take care of the place. I am thinking frequent inspections and a clearly written lease will give me an out if they are not taking care of the place.

@Colleen F. That is what I am thinking. It seems like a really good deal for me. I pay for water sewer trash and according to the caseworker, the caregiver will not be doing their own laundry or showering there. With a 2/1 I could expect to have 4 people in there otherwise. As far as the modifications, I will add that to the lease. They have already told me that they have a maintenance guy that will come in and add a bar to the bathtub if needed at their expense. It is a 2nd story apartment and they assured me he can do stairs so I don't believe there will be many apparatuses necessary. 

As far as meeting him, I am an out of state investor that is there frequently. I will be there Next month but after the move in date.

@Thomas 

@Thomas S. This apartment has been vacant since 3rd week in November and all applicants up to this point have had glaring red flags, and there have been very few. I knew it would be tough because of the holidays and cold weather. He was one of the first hopefuls that I got and actually seems too good to be true. In this last week though, I have been getting numerous calls. I think it has probably warmed up a little and people are anticipating tax refunds. A friend told me this was the best time of the year to look for renter because of that very thing.

@Cara 

@Cara Lonsdale The risk I was wondering about was an injury due to seizure because of the stairs.

All of you have said that you would charge them for the week and if I had read this before I sent an email a short while ago, I would have but I already committed to a free week as long as I have the full security deposit and rent with signed lease before they get keys. Lease states start date including that week.

I am hoping that this truly works out as I am hopeful to work with this company again in the future.

@Ronda R.   Why don't you put a hold harmless clause in the lease.  Make it an acknowledgment that there are stairs, and by signing the document, he acknowledges that he will hold you harmless of any injuries resulting from the presence of the stairs.

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