My Tenant Lease has max of 3 days stay for guests but

12 Replies

New tenant wants to know if I will authorize her relatives (1 adult and 2  kids) staying a month each summer.

What are the Cons of allowing this?



That by a month she really means indefinitely? Or other tenants hear about it and think it's ok? Or a host of other "give them an inch they take a mile" issues.  I'm not saying don't allow it, but you may want to consider increasing her rent for that period, especially if you pay any of the utilities.  Good luck!

Not indefintely, just one month. I do not pay any utilities. 

I could increase rent due to "extra wear and tear".....$? 50%?

If your lease doesn't specify I would suggest creating and documenting a policy.  I have the following in my General conduct section of the lease:

i) Not to permit any person to occupy the Premises other than those persons identified above. Guests of Resident staying a maximum of seven days are permitted within any given ten week period and do not require authorization by Owner. All unauthorized occupants shall, in addition to any other remedy, result in imposition of a per day charge of $10.00.

A max 3-day stay is a little unreasonable to begin with IMHO. So when I visit my Aunt, that is residing in your property,  on a 1 week vacation, I can stay with her for 3 days, hotel for 1 day and back with her for 3 days?...

As far as a rent increase, if you have a Max Stay Provision, then you should also have a remedy for that provision to address violations of the Max Stay which in most leases are an increase in rent per person for the period of time beyond the "Reasonable Stay". IF your lease does NOT contain such remedy and you try to stick them with more rent, my guess is it wouldn't hold up in court if they didn't pay and you tried to sue them for it (Disclosure: I am NOT an Attorney so you should consult with one regarding this opinion.)

To me it sounds like a Summer Vacation Stay, and so be it...I assume your Lease at least covers that the Individual stated in the Lease is responsible for ALL actions by their Guests and as such if something goes wrong, then you have legal recourse to act.

Bottom line is, use your Lease Agreement to determine the limitations and remedies and if it doesn't contain both, then consult your attorney before having a stressful conversation with your tenant and draw up a new lease for the renewal so this doesn't occur again to you.

Real Estate Investing is a People Business.../

Good Luck!

Doesn't really matter what your lease might say, saying no or charging more (try justifying that to a judge, even in Texas) is clearly getting involved in defining family status, relatives are relatives, part of the family. One month is reasonable once a year.

You going to tell a tenant they can't have a baby, can't adopt an 8 year old, can't be a foster parent?

See what HUD has to say, if the residence can support the family under its accepted living standards, they can be there, but you can't pack 5 kids in a 10x12 bedroom.

You can put anything you like, almost, in a lease, enforcing it is another matter, get a tenant who understands their rights more than the landlord does or can cause trouble, and may likely be warranted.

Let's face it, most mom and pop landlords don't have a clue as to what they are doing when they lease a residence, they are leasing part of the owner's rights in title, rights of possession with quiet enjoyment, yet, they still like to think the can lease those rights and remain entitled to them at the same time. Don't feel bad, many Realtors don't get it either.

The rights can be limited, but not beyond what is customary, accepted and reasonable, if you limit the rights too far, you're not really entitled to the full boat of rents you may be charging, tenants rent more than the roof and toilet. It's not your castle anymore, it's the tenants castle. Limit the use of the property and you limit your ability to charge for the use.

These aspects of rights leased are paramount and the basis of tenant-landlord law, looking for any excuse to reach in a tenant's pocket for a mother-in-law staying for a few weeks is absurd IMO, how do you justify additional wear and tear, are you implying the property conditions is so poor, that the toilet is so fragile that its use by one or two people for a couple weeks or a month is likely to cause it to cause a measured financial loss through depreciation, that such use is that much more than what can be reasonably expected? Really?

And, the tenant probably has a security deposit, what is that for? If granny rips off the door falling, the tenant is already responsible, so, is granny a significant damage risk, is some 4 or 16 year old, can you show that?

The tenant is generally restricted to lawful uses, they can't run a crack factory in the kitchen, they can't put ten kids in there or 3 other unrelated adults, you probably already have ordinances restricting the rights of possession and tenancy. If you lived there, you couldn't do just anything you liked either. The rights you have to possession are granted to your tenant by your leasing the place! What you could have done, they can do!

I get a little burned when I hear of helicopter landlords hovering over tenants infringing on their lives, trying to look for another 50 bucks, controlling their family relationships, dreaming up bogus claims as a justification to gig the people who are buying your property for you. Nothing personal toward the OP or anyone posting, it's an attitude and a misguided one that gets carried away at times.

Might study up, beyond a definition of "rights of possession" and "quiet enjoyment" and the definition of "family" as amended by HUD along with "reasonable accommodation" as well as what "tenants rights" include. Simply following what some other landlord gets away with in some other state can get you in trouble too.

If you can't trust your tenants, don't rent to them, if you can't trust anyone, don't be a landlord.  :)    

Originally posted by @Eric S. :

Not indefintely, just one month. I do not pay any utilities. 

I could increase rent due to "extra wear and tear".....$? 50%?

 50% increase in the rent?   I guess the extra guests are really going to wear out that roof a lot faster or something.  Not sure where your logic is on this one unless you're just looking for a way to squeeze some extra profit out of a tenant.  

I would just judge based on reasonable occupancy for the unit,  if they pay for utilities it is no added cost to you.  I say beyond 7 days in my lease that they need to let me know but that is normal in the area and not typically followed to the letter.  The 7 days is for the situations like you are talking about here when someone comes for a longer stay they say hey I got some extra people here, this is who they are and how long they will be here. I don't hassle people on this point.   The tenant who asks is not going to be the big problem, it is the one that moves in a whole additional  family in and doesn't even call.  If there are any issues it could bring up for you then discuss it up front (parking, use of town resident facilities and programs). good luck

Thank you all, for the input. We decided to allow it.

I apologize to those that I offended. Interesting people on here!

@Eric S.

The standard TAR Lease Agreement already has language included in it to limit the number of days guests may be on the property so it may be advisable to use that lease format at the next renewal.

@Bill G.  I'm going to presume your post was about more than my response, but just in case, I thought I would clarify.  All I was saying was, in response to a request for cons, consider any added trouble (financial or otherwise) to yourself and other tenants (if applicable).  And if there is added cost, consider passing that to the tenant, but in any case put whatever policy you decide on in writing.  You'll note even my own policy is for unauthorized guests, and I would likely only try to enforce if an issue came up (and I don't intend to helicopter over anything, that's certainly not a good use of my time nor would it foster a good relationship with the tenant).  I completely agree that you need to be fair and consider that this is the tenant's home.  However, if, for example, this tenant lived above another tenant who worked nights and wasn't used to having two kids tromping around upstairs while he's trying to sleep....well, that could end up causing everyone a lot of trouble.   I completely appreciate the points you made and the call to keep common sense in the loop here - I'm trying to do just that while also being a good businessperson and steward of the resources I've been blessed with.

Eric, Melanie, my post was not directed at anyone and Eric, I certainly wasn't offended.

Actually, I've been somewhat "engaged" with some tenant's issues here and my comments were arising from recent matters.

However, points made as a reminder, common sense should prevail. We often get caught up in seeking profits that really stretch fairness.

I've been responsible in setting such standards and seeing to enforcement of rules for a Large PHA, over 1200 units including multi-story apartment complexes.

Keep in mind that a day sleeper has a choice too, the pitter patter of little feet overhead is part of life in an apartment environment, can't say kids can't be there nor must other tenants tip toe around to appease someone who keeps odd hours.

HUD prevails over any state or municipal matter, but all real estate is local. It is common for family structures to change during a lease, it can be sticky as some will allow a "live-in", that is a different issue and is usually not tolerated. :)

We have it built into the lease that the only adults that are allowed to live in the unit are those that signed the lease.  Everyone else is an unauthorized adult and they are allowed to stay no more than three nights a month.  If anyone is staying for longer, they have to fill out an application and get put on the lease.

If they don't, we will evict the original tenant for violating the lease.  This isn't a camp ground, it is an apartment building.  

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