Gun control for tenants?

100 Replies

Hello everyone, I recently heard Kathy Fettke talk about this on her podcast. I’ve yet to purchase my first rental property, though I am taking steps towards accomplishing that goal, and it’s one question I hadn’t even thought of. I’m not a gun person (I’ve never even fired one, let alone own one), but I’ve always considered myself to be supportive of 2nd Amendment. But as I think about being a future landlord, I don’t how I would feel about allowing tenants to pack heat lol. How does the BP community feel about this? Do any of you prohibit guns in your rental units? How do state laws affect what you can or cannot say about guns in your leases?
Originally posted by @Marvin Barrera :
Hello everyone,

I recently heard Kathy Fettke talk about this on her podcast. I’ve yet to purchase my first rental property, though I am taking steps towards accomplishing that goal, and it’s one question I hadn’t even thought of. I’m not a gun person (I’ve never even fired one, let alone own one), but I’ve always considered myself to be supportive of 2nd Amendment. But as I think about being a future landlord, I don’t how I would feel about allowing tenants to pack heat lol. How does the BP community feel about this? Do any of you prohibit guns in your rental units? How do state laws affect what you can or cannot say about guns in your leases?

 It's not really your business either way. The tenants might also (gasp) have sex outside of wedlock on your property -- also not your business. Who knows, they could even potentially be vegans. Who cares, and why would you care? The vegan could stab you to death with a carrot slicer, or the gun owner could shoot you with a gun, or the [obscene sexual reference here that leads to death], and you're just as dead in any of these three cases. No point in worrying about this, it's a waste of your IQ points and time.

There was a post about guns not too long ago.  Even if you made your rentals "gun free zones," potential tenants aren't going to tell you that they have them anyway.  And tenants with bad intentions definitely aren't going to care about your "no guns allowed" sign.

Someone in the other thread said to just approach every situation as if the person was armed.  If the relationship between you and a tenant gets that bad where you fear for your life, have the Sheriff's department handle the eviction and just keep your distance.  The other option is to get your CC permit. I helped managed hundreds of units for 7 years and my mom had done it for about 20 years, and never once did we feel threatened to that extent.  There have been stories where landlords have been killed by tenants, but the chance of it happening is extremely low, and they can just as easily kill you with a knife, bat, etc. Don't let it stress you out and keep you from getting started.  

@Marvin Barrera

This is the forum that @Chris Szepessy mentioned. 

Bottom line: you can do anything you want, it is your property and the 2nd Amendment does not apply to private citizens. That being said, what benefit do you gain from banning guns and how do you enforce the rule?

Around 15 years ago , a landlord was killed by the tenant by a tire iron ( lug wrench)  . 

I ban the following 

knives 

hammers 

tire irons

baseball bats

sharp pencils 

scissors 

swords

In other words I either have an empty house or I rent it to someone who passes screening . As far as guns , I dont ask , and I dont care .

I would never want to deny someone their constitutional, human right to defend themselves.

Thanks for your responses. I wasn’t really thinking a situation where I would be in danger as I’m most likely going to invest out of state. Just curious as to what is the norm in terms of guns and leases

You can't prohibit guns in your rental.

You can and I would make the possession and/or ownership of a gun in the unit breach of contract and grounds for termination of the lease.

You don't have to respect a tenants 2nd amendment right to bear arms. That's between him and the constitution not your lease.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

I would never want to deny someone their constitutional, human right to defend themselves.

I take it then you would also never want to deny them their 5th Amendment right not to incriminate themselves if they commit a crime on your property.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

@Ihe O. dead men don't talk.

Go troll someone else.

You mean you don't respect the rights to freedom of expression under the 4th amendment  to point out the pitfalls of selectively applying the constitution in a rental policy.

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Originally posted by @Genny Li :

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

@Marvin Barrera  for someone who is considering owning rental property, guns should be very far down the list of concerns. The fact that you think this is even important enough to focus on tells me you need to spend may more time getting educated before making a purchase. I could name 100 greater concerns off the top of my head.

Originally posted by @Ihe O. :
Originally posted by @Genny Li:

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

 lol. Because you’ll be looking in their drawers? Otherwise you find out because they already shot your walls...

The people you don’t want having guns don’t care about your rules about them.  This isn’t like a tenant with a 65 lb dog or a hoarding issue. Guns are pretty easy to hide. 

Originally posted by @Genny Li :
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:
Originally posted by @Genny Li:

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

 lol. Because you’ll be looking in their drawers? Otherwise you find out because they already shot your walls...

The people you don’t want having guns don’t care about your rules about them.  This isn’t like a tenant with a 65 lb dog or a hoarding issue. Guns are pretty easy to hide. 

That's not how deterrents work.  You don't go looking for non-compliance.  You state them and oftentimes those that don't want to abide, be it no smoking, no pets or no guns will find somewhere else to live. 

Originally posted by @Genny Li :
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:
Originally posted by @Genny Li:

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

 lol. Because you’ll be looking in their drawers? Otherwise you find out because they already shot your walls...

The people you don’t want having guns don’t care about your rules about them.  This isn’t like a tenant with a 65 lb dog or a hoarding issue. Guns are pretty easy to hide. 

I've seen a gun, smelt weed and seen cigarette ash and an unmentioned pet in all but one of my rentals. The thing is people don't hide these things, the gun was lying on the dresser, the tenants teenage daughter let me into the parents bedroom to inspect something while they were out and I saw it and she saw me see it.

On the continuum of landlord challenges, law-abiding gun owners are among the least of your concerns.  Most gun violence is caused by the criminal element whom do not respect the rule of law nor what it says in our leases.  As someone said earlier, screen the person for the standard metrics and evaluate their character on your interactions with them.

Originally posted by @Ihe O. :
Originally posted by @Genny Li:
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:
Originally posted by @Genny Li:

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

 lol. Because you’ll be looking in their drawers? Otherwise you find out because they already shot your walls...

The people you don’t want having guns don’t care about your rules about them.  This isn’t like a tenant with a 65 lb dog or a hoarding issue. Guns are pretty easy to hide. 

I've seen a gun, smelt weed and seen cigarette ash and an unmentioned pet in all but one of my rentals. The thing is people don't hide these things, the gun was lying on the dresser, the tenants teenage daughter let me into the parents bedroom to inspect something while they were out and I saw it and she saw me see it.

 Your last two posts seem to contradict one another.  The first posts says "state your rules and oftentimes they'll find a different place to live." Your second post basically says that you "found non compliance in all but one of your rentals."  You just proved that potential tenants WON'T find a different place to live if they don't agree with your rules up front, they'll just do what they want until they're caught.

Originally posted by @Ihe O. :

I've seen a gun, smelt weed and seen cigarette ash and an unmentioned pet in all but one of my rentals. 

With all due respect, it sounds like your problem is with tenant screening.

Originally posted by @Chris Szepessy :
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:
Originally posted by @Genny Li:
Originally posted by @Ihe O.:
Originally posted by @Genny Li:

Given where I’m looking to purchase, *I* will be packing heat when I’m alone on my own properties. :)  I wouldn’t deny them the same protection.

Forbid it and the ones you don’t want to have guns will get them anyway and you won’t know until too late. Nothing good can come of such a policy, really. 

Nothing good except encouraging such people to find a gun tolerant landlord who won't terminate their lease instead of renting from me who will if I discover it.

 lol. Because you’ll be looking in their drawers? Otherwise you find out because they already shot your walls...

The people you don’t want having guns don’t care about your rules about them.  This isn’t like a tenant with a 65 lb dog or a hoarding issue. Guns are pretty easy to hide. 

I've seen a gun, smelt weed and seen cigarette ash and an unmentioned pet in all but one of my rentals. The thing is people don't hide these things, the gun was lying on the dresser, the tenants teenage daughter let me into the parents bedroom to inspect something while they were out and I saw it and she saw me see it.

 Your last two posts seem to contradict one another.  The first posts says "state your rules and oftentimes they'll find a different place to live." Your second post basically says that you "found non compliance in all but one of your rentals."  You just proved that potential tenants WON'T find a different place to live if they don't agree with your rules up front, they'll just do what they want until they're caught.

People don't tend to start out being intentionally non-complicit, it something that may happen over time and with change.

The contention that I am dispelling is that there is no point in having a rule that isn't going to be complied with because if that were true then there would be no point in having rules against late rent.