If you think about it down the road Josh, please keep us updated on this particular lease and let us know how it all turns out.
@Josh Thomas as a PM myself, it throws red flags. We had rented previously to 4 people, 2 couples in their mid 30's & the wives had been BF since they were 7 yrs old. We had each person fill out an application and explained that they each needed to fill out separately so we could run individual credit checks & backgrounds (all 4 came up clean) & they all signed the lease with the understanding that if one was evicted, they could all be evicted, and still be held liable for the rent until the home was rented again. Everything was good for about 4 months, we received a call from the "lead" wife that they would be leaving for vacation to AZ to see her sister-in-law for Thanksgiving, she was dropping her rent by the office, the other couple was staying home & would have their rent in on time. When the couple returned, the other couple had moved out, left a note they would bring the rent to the house after he got paid & they didn't hear anything from them for 7 years before the BF called & said she was sorry, her husband was very controlling & he decided it was time to leave suddenly. Needless to say, it left the other couple holding the bag for their portion of the rent which nearly bankrupted them, & ruined their marriage. Took the "lead" wife years to dig herself out.
Make sure your renters know what is in store. Have another paper drawn up that they all must sign stating they understand the risk and are willing to move forward. As a PM by profession, I wouldn't do it again & I know my boss is of the same feeling. Good luck!
I'd do month-to-month for this group rather than a lease.
I DO feel rather uniquely qualified to chime in on this;
I am the head of a 6 person all-roommate household that has been in existence for almost 20 (!!!) years. We are a much larger house than most (5 bedroom, one occupant per bedroom), but because of that we are MORE stable -- one person's job move just means we find a new roomie rather than vacating the house.
Originally we were all on the lease (jointly & severally liable), however we are now on a month-to-month (for 10+ years). As people moved out their replacements were put on as "occupants" rather than "leasors" . This structure gives me the legal right to ask problem roomies to leave. We run mostly as a Co-op, but on the very few times we have had to ask a person( to leave for serious behavior issues or failure to pay rent) it's now me delivering the bad news, & I have the legal clout to back it up if needed. Since I am responsible for the rent the owner gets paid no matter what happens. We divide the rent by 5, but use the den as a 6th bedroom with that person's rent going toward utilities (and TP & paper towels, etc) as well as a "house fund" for appliance repair/replacement, & vacancy factor. This system has worked extraordinarily well, & has allowed us to spend some $ on small maintenance & improvement items as well (next up - replacing the 20 year old carpet on the stairs!).
For what it's worth, I also own a rental, & have several times rented to young male roommate households with no problems (though rural CA is different than urban CA). I have never had to ask them to leave, but they did tend to move sooner for work opportunites or marriages. The house wasn't kept as clean as with the best of my family tenants, but there was also no significant damage either (unlike my "bad" family tenants). There were also FEWER problems with additional occupants or animals. I did ask for co-signers & interviewed the parents when they were moving out on their own for the first time. IMHO not accepting prospects with recent DUIs also cuts down on a lot of problems.
We have rented to a similar situation in an sfr. 1 woman, 2 guys, 1 baby. No one married but a "couple" and a buddy. This has proven to be a pretty unstable situation but we made it VERY clear before we signed a lease that everyone was on the lease and each was individually responsible for the entire amount of the rent. If we had to file an eviction or other action it would be against each of them. Since they have been in the property (about 8 months now) they have had rent issues three times but have always wound up paying it plus the late fees. The problem with non married couples is there's no legal obligation for support and it's pretty easy to go into and out of a "relationship" when there's no legal ties at all. If a situation is "sketchy" but not a clear "no go" we will usually require additional security deposit with the provision it will be returned if they pay perfectly for the first 6 months. If not, it's retained until move out.
Dang. I'm not sure how some of you find qualified people to rent your properties. Your screening process is more strict than some banks require for a mortgage lol.
I don't see what the problem is to be honest. 3/4 already lived together before. Previous landlord gave them good reference as well.
If you are really that worried about it then require inspections every quarter and/or a little bit more in security deposit. All of them are moving to a new city together, why wouldn't they want to live together for the first year or so?
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