Boyfriend Squatter alert

32 Replies

Hi All

One of my properties is being renting to a single, female student. The lease stipulates no visitor can stay more than 48 hours without being added to the lease. Her boyfriend is now staying at the property for 48 hours, leaves for a few days and then comes back for another 48 hours. When I confronted her she said that he never stays more than 48 hours. Anyone have any tips or dealt with this before? I feel like they are just gaming the lease to avoid having to add another renter. The rent includes utilities to having him at the property so much is increasing my cost.

Would it make any difference if she had a different male over for 48 hours every couple of days? Sounds like she's not violating it. The added water/electricity is going to be very minimal from 1 person to 1 1/2 people averaged over the month. Is there an increased rent if he was on the lease? And out of curiosity, how are you monitoring her visitors so frequently?

Hi Bill - 1) no it wouldn't make any difference if it were a different male - it just bothers me that someone is living at the property half-time rent-free. 2) this unit is a basement unit below my primary home - so I can see his truck parked out front when he's here. Sounds like maybe I just need to let it go 

New clause to new leases.. 10 days cumulative in any 1 year gets added to the lease.  If this is hydro included.. I add +$100 per person added to lease.  No more than 2 persons per bedroom total etc. 

Single female students tend to attract single males . its been going on for some time . He is not living there , he is there for 1 thing only . And studying isnt it . You are the landlord , not her father .

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Single female students tend to attract single males . its been going on for some time . He is not living there , he is there for 1 thing only . And studying isnt it . You are the landlord , not her father .

You're missing the point. The OP is not concerned about morals, but rather a possible lease violation. 

I would keep an eye on them, and modify your lease at the next opportunity to something like was mentioned....

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

@Bruce Woodruff  I wasnt getting moral , maybe a bit sarcastic . Sounds like she is feeding him and having a little fun , doesnt sound like he is moving in 

I agree 100%. But I'd still keep an eye open, especially because he lives there and it's so easy. I doubt there's any trouble afoot.....

does your lease increase by the number of people?  You say he is living there rent free, how so?  She is paying rent, your lease says someone can stay for 48 hours to be added to the lease and they seem to, by your own words be honoring that.  But what exactly happens after 48 hours other then the second party being added?  Does your lease address that?

Doesn't seem to be a squatter to me by your own lease definition.  

@Adam Kruse this is going to seem rude and harsh but some of the best advice I ever received in real estate is this:

“Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be rich?”

Almost every single day a tenant or a contractor or a lender or a neighbor does something to me that I deem unfair. I have been much happier once I realized that I can still do very well even when I ignore these inequities.

If this is your only complaint of her then give yourself permission to just let it go. 

It sounds to me like the included utilities is what is eating away at you since you're losing more money in the bills than the tenant signed up for, even if it isn't super significant, its something. I think those variable expenses are more stressful than the fixed because there's some illusion of control. My partner leased somewhere in MA where the landlord had stipulated in the lease how much electricity he would be willing to pay for and if it went over that amount, the tenant would pay it. Most leases are full of the history of what the tenants put the landlord through over time, so like others have said, editing your lease and letting go of things that are not violating it per se will preserve your own peace more down the road. The nice thing about a lease is that there is an end. My realtor also said that she did month to month leasing with her tenants at first before signing a year long lease. If I were renting out a space in my own home especially, I would want to have a tenant-at-will first to see what potential issues could arise that could be addressed before a long term lease was signed. Also, when approaching a tenant about an issue, its best to focus on the behavior you want to see from them rather than pointing out what they are doing wrong. Most people respond better to being asked to do something else rather than being criticized and told how they are wrong or bad. Criticism just activates defensiveness and then you just have an argument and tension following, not a solution to the problem. Good luck!

In your future leases add 'in any calendar month" so it reads 'more than 48 hours in any calendar month'.

@Adam Kruse choose another battle, or another way is “lose the battle, win the war”. This issue is because you see his truck. You live above him. You feel violated. Its not really about increased expenses. I would settle for your tenant issues if this is it.

@Adam Kruse So if mom comes in from out of town for a week she’s required to be added to the lease? Seems like quite the policy, no offense. I’m as right wing as it gets but all in all she is playing in the boundaries of your lease agreement. I’ve seen campgrounds do it where you can use passport America for 2 days in a 30 day period, I’d recommend next time putting that in there, 48 hours over a week span or something.

thanks @Todd Powell and @Jeremiah Lewis some really good advice. Sounds like just letting it go is best. Beyond the utilities, I was also worried about the liability of having someone basically living at the property 1/3 of the time who has no background check and not on the lease at all. Sounds like I'm over-thinking it and more than likely it will be fine. I'll be sure to add some different language to the lease next time preventing abuse

Originally posted by @Adam Kruse :

@Will Gaston this isn't rude or harsh at all - really probably the best advice I received. Thank you!

I know what this is like first-hand. The guy probably parks his unmuffled truck right out front in a limited parking situation, slam his door as loudly as possible as he gets out a great big bag of dirty laundry, saunters in like he owns the place. She's cooking for him down there, washing his leopard-print briefs in a shared laundry, OF COURSE he's the kind that audibly grunts out every bowel movement and bellows his way through coitus.

And when he's there he's ALWAYS there, as he is obviously allergic to anything resembling gainful employment, the maintenance requests are now coming at a 3x clip as everything easiiy breakable down there is trashed, the friend wearing the cut also comes over on his motorcycle...yep.

Next time lesbians, Adam. A nice quiet professional pair of lesbians.who just want to be left alone. If I could cater exclusively to them for my househack, I would.

When I was single, I stayed at my girlfriends apartment several days a week. I also brought my laundry over and did it there to save money. I am not saying because I did it that it is right, but I am saying what you describe is very common.

Two considerations

1. She is not violating the lease or even "gaming" it. She is following your rules. If you don't like the rules, change them with your lease renewal. We stipulate no overnight guests can stay more than 7 days at a time or combined total 14 days through the year. 

2. Having two occupants in a one bedroom or efficiency is normal occupancy and domestic partners would have some protections under familial status per fair housing. There is an exception in your case because you live at the property, so you are not required to follow Fair Housing. If you didn't live there, you would have trouble liming it to one occupant legally.

One option is level with your tenant. Yes, the lease says 48 hours but the intent was just that you would have occasional visitors. I can change that clause on future lease renewals, but my preference is to just work together. I don't mind your boyfriend being here, but since I pay utilities, it is costing me $X more per month. Can you please pay $X additional and that solves the problem. She may say no, but if you approach it in a non threatening manner, she may just work with you. Worse case you deal with it until lease renewal. 

I would not stress over it. What she is doing is normal and she is not breaking your lease. Having had bad tenants, I assure you this is pretty tame. I could probably never have tenants living on my property because I get too annoyed, haha.

@Adam Kruse I get where you're coming from, but I would just ignore it. If you had an out of state rental, there's no way you would know this is going on. 

Some annoyances just come with the territory. I'd be more bothered if she had multiple people staying over, but +1's are very common, and likely does not make a huge dent on utilities. If it's something you'd like to address in the lease, just take this as a learning opportunity to add an additional clause to your lease, and don't extend her lease since it bothers you.