Managing Your Property

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Jim Bryant
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Lease-holder gone, lease occupant still on property

Jim Bryant
Posted Sep 12 2022, 21:37

So we had a crappy tenant who didn't pay rent and we began eviction paperwork.  According to our other tenants, he's gone.  However his wife, an occupant on the lease, remains.  She swears up and down that she is merely moving her stuff out and will be  gone, but her full departure date keeps slipping. 

My question is, since  she is  not the lease-holder and is not paying, do I even need to legally evict her (along with her husband)?  Can I just call the cops and say she is trespassing.  I'm pretty sure she is just milking the situation, at least that is what experience tells me.  

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Kevin Sobilo
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Hanover Twp, PA
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Kevin Sobilo
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Hanover Twp, PA
Replied Sep 13 2022, 03:24

@Jim Bryant, in most places even if this occupant leaves you need to go to court to get your property back to have it declared abandoned because the tenant didn't clearly turn it back over to you.

Separate of that, this wife has the right to occupy the property just no responsibilities to you under the lease like paying rent. So, she can stay there and never will she be burdened with having to pay you because that is what you agreed to. She is not trespassing, you signed a document giving her permission to occupy the property.

I'm curious, why wasn't the wife a tenant? Were they getting divorced so the plan was for the wife to move out or something? Otherwise I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't make a wife a tenant so that they would be a responsible party under the lease.

So, unfortunately since the house is still occupied you just evict all the tenants and occupants as usual. 

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Chris Seveney
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
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Chris Seveney
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
Replied Sep 13 2022, 03:52

@Jim Bryant

You will need to evict. If you do not have a property manager I would get an atttorney to handle it for you. While most states can be done by landlord I rather pay an attorney to get it done right

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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan Gesner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Sep 13 2022, 05:12

The problem is that you're not taking control of the situation. She is in control of your property. I recommend you hire an attorney and lay the hammer down. Maybe she'll take you seriously when she realizes you aren't fooling around.

  • Property Manager Wyoming (#12599)