Tenant letting their son live in my shed

27 Replies

Good tenant always pays on time. Recently had plumber come out to the property. Plumber told be that the tenants son , his girlfriend and babie who are not on the least are now living in the shed in the backyard. Is this legal? Should I be concerned about them living in a shed?

Hahaha.  I don't even know how to respond.  You definately need to have a discussion with the tenant about why the tenant thought that was acceptable...without billing them for shed rent.

If it is a building that has no plumbing, heat or power. They can't stay it is not habitable. Everyone one over 18 has to be on lease if you want them to stay. Your tenant really has little say in the matter.

Anyone can sue for anything. Now that you know there is a baby living in your shed, I feel you are obligated to act.

If you want them to stay they need to be on the lease. I would advise you raise their rent as well. Do a thorough background check....You don't want any drug addicts ruining your investment. 

Originally posted by @Will Gunn :

Good tenant always pays on time. Recently had plumber come out to the property. Plumber told be that the tenants son , his girlfriend and babie who are not on the least are now living in the shed in the backyard. Is this legal? Should I be concerned about them living in a shed?

I can only imagine the legal liability if something should happen ( they bring a propane stove in and it causes a fire and people die) I don't think your insurance would cover it either since you are aware and took no action. 

 

I don't know much about your shed. But make sure you document everything(with photos) and talk about it with the tenant. If worse comes to worse, in which they stay forever. Have photos and documents on what happened in order to protect yourself in court. Even now, write down the date you found this out. Lastly you might be able to lock them out from the shed. As it's a shed shed. There may be liability issues, so do partake with caution.

I would think the only obligation might be, again might be, talking to child welfare.  If they indeed sleep in an unheated shed.  Maybe they’d qualify for some sort of housing help with the child.

It is not legal to live in a shed. I would notify the Tenant that you are aware of what's going on and demand the unauthorized people vacate the property immediately, subject to your inspection in 24 hours. If they refuse or fail to comply, evict.

I would also consider changing your definition of "good" tenant. A good tenant is more than someone that pays on time. Sometimes, you get tenants that pay on time just to keep you from looking too closely at everything else they are doing wrong. A good tenant doesn't violate the terms of your lease, doesn't add people or pets, doesn't park cars on the lawn, doesn't break their lease early, etc.

Originally posted by @Will Gunn:

@Bjorn Ahlblad

If I let them stay and they continue to live in the shed. Can that have any negative consequences for me or my property? Can they later sue me or can the city fine me?


 

If you ignore the issue after it is brought to your attention, that can be seen as implied consent. Thus, any negative effects will fall to you as you have "given permission." This is a HUGE liability. Do not let them live in your shed.

Originally posted by @Will Gunn :

Good tenant always pays on time. Recently had plumber come out to the property. Plumber told be that the tenants son , his girlfriend and babie who are not on the least are now living in the shed in the backyard. Is this legal? Should I be concerned about them living in a shed?

I'm not a lawyer so don't take this as bona fide legal advice.  It's always a good idea to speak with a lawyer first regarding legal questions.  

In my non-lawyer opinion, no, if this is in fact true, it's almost certainly not legal, and you could be in for a lot of potential problems if you don't put a stop to this situation.  What happens if a neighbor reports this to the city?  What happens if someone in the shed gets hurt?  Would your insurance company deny a claim and would they be able to sue you personally?  

Now that you are aware of it, if you don't say or do anything you are implying permission.  You need to go to the property and verify this information immediately.  If it's true, talk to a lawyer about next steps.  

We had it happen once & just got the city code enforcement guys involved to render the humble garage abode condemned for habitation. They showed up with the cops & evicted the squatters so we were off the hook as the bad guys for discreetly reporting it. These kids had an extension cord running from our tenants  apartment & were running a torpedo LP gas heater & BBQ inside the garage. They had cajoled their elderly aunt into letting them stay in the garage, and she was definitely glad to see them gone.

I then heard they just moved to a storage shed facility for $90/month to do the same. Apparently they have a substance abuse problem & refuse any help. 

 I would definitely move on getting them out of the shed as soon as possible, by any means necessary.  Using your local building enforcement authority would be a great place to start.  Even without notifying the leased tenant prior, you can use enforcement as the bad guy, if you are concerned about possible retaliation in some capacity which can happen.  Not to mention the liability . . . if something hazardous were to happen to these individuals/or the structure as a result of these occupants, your insurance coverage and possibly your lively hood could be impacted. 

I had a squatter living in a shed on a property a few years ago. Took me a year to get him removed, as he was a professional squatter. Luckily I got wind that he had been arrested for something and I moved quickly to get a writ of possession and move his things out. I have a long thread on the topic here if you're looking for some entertainment.

Originally posted by @Will Gunn :

Good tenant always pays on time. Recently had plumber come out to the property. Plumber told be that the tenants son , his girlfriend and babie who are not on the least are now living in the shed in the backyard. Is this legal? Should I be concerned about them living in a shed?

lol, do you have pictures of this shed? Like what kinda shed are we talking about here? Is there electricity, heat, water etc? Or is it like Bubbles shed in trailer park boys?

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here