Have your tenant’s guests made themselves at home in your rental? We have a few things that landlords should keep in mind.
It starts out with a long weekend or a few overnights here and there. Then your renter’s friend or significant other starts spending more time at the property, changes their mailing address, moves in their personal items…what do you do?
First of all, make sure to include something about long-term guests in your lease.
Check with your local laws to see how many days it takes for a guest to turn into a tenant. In some states, an individual who occupies a property for 30 consecutive days has tenancy rights. Use local laws to determine when a guest will be considered a tenant.
If an additional tenant would violate occupancy rules and an additional person is not an option, then be sure to outline penalties for tenants who violate this rule.
If you suspect someone has moved in, look for clues
Chances are, you’ll have some warning that you have a prospective tenant on the horizon. If your current renter doesn’t come to you directly, watch for these tell-tale signs:
- Extra cars
- Additional people at the unit when you visit the property
- Higher utilities
- In addition, neighbors may clue you into changes, depending on how involved they are.
Chat with your current tenant
Before talking to your renter, know what your stance is going to be. Go over the terms of the lease regarding additional occupants. Ask questions about how long the guest is staying and discuss whether or not they’re planning on using your rental as their primary residence.
Let them know what expectations there are for anyone who occupies your property. If someone is living their long-term, they’ll need to contribute rent and go through the screening process.
If a guest has turned into a tenant, then they will follow the same procedure as any other tenant when moving in. Have them fill out a tenant rental application and complete a credit report and criminal background check. Figure out an appropriate rent and cover all lease terms with them.
Be proactive about this situation so that you can make the most of it. Sure, it’s never a great situation if your renter lies to you about another person moving in. However, if you can take on another renter, then your rental will earn more income. Again, always check with local laws regarding tenancy.