Tenants not getting along

6 Replies

Hello BP, I could use some help here on what my legal responsibilities are. I rent to college student here in NY State and an arguement has ensued over a desk between two tenants in which one said they owned it and let the other borrow temporarily and the other is claiming it was given to them. I was sent a text with screen shots of their arguement by the female tenant from the male tenant and it was alot of name calling and cussing but no line was crossed from either one of them ina threatening matter. The female who sent me these has know said she feels uncomfortable living with him now. Is this my responsibility? I can easily enough talk to them although I feel I am not their parent and they are now adults. Thank you.

@Dennis Callaghan   Tell them they are adults and need to sort it out.  It is a desk and they can easily buy a cheap one on craigslist or kijiji or a thrift store.

Read the lease to see if one moves out are they both still responsible for the rent...then remind them of that.  Whether the one tenant doesn't feel safe or is being dramatic, I don't know.  Given they are college students, alcohol could also have been involved.

Don't get involved in matters that don't pertain to you or the property. You're not their parent. They can figure this out on their own. Simply respond that it's a personal matter and you're not getting involved.

If she is no longer comfortable living with him, she needs to figure out how to get comfortable or buy her way out of the lease. Again, it's not your problem.

@Dennis Callaghan , look at it this way, if a husband and a wife have an argument at home because she did not cook dinner for him, and the wife reaches out to you and tells you they had an argument about it, does it mean that you have to make sure the husband is fed?  (not your responsibility, whether it is food or a table).

What I would be concerned is if you have 2 separate leases with these students instead of 1 master lease agreement. If you have separate leases, you might loose one of them and hence half of the rent. That should be lessons learned and that is exactly the reason why I don't rent by room but rather the house as a whole and I let them pick their own roommates. 

If it is one lease, just tell the girl that this matter does not affect you as a landlord and they should sort it out on their own. 

@Nik Corbaxhi

Good point. I have been doing individual leases for years but have been thinking about switching to one as you have mentioned but dont know exactly how to draft it up because I know it has to be a little different. The main one is a have alot of kids who leave for co-ops for a semester and get sub leasors in their place. I dont know if that plays well with one contract or not. I think it is time to get a lawyer involved.

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