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srwells

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 

I have a couple that want to become foster parents. Is this something that I have to allow or can I refuse?

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,779
Reply with quote  #2 

I don't think I'd refuse.  You might be seen as discriminating against children.  Just let them know they need to stay within your area's occupancy limits (and HUD guidelines.)

srwells

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
I get your point about discrimination however 2 things:
1. They rented it out with only their names on the lease. It says in the lease that they will not sublet or allow anyone else to live in the house other than the people on the lease. Isn't the decision to allow anyone else to live in the house mine?
2. Isn't becoming foster parents the same as running a business out of their home, like running a day care. If they asked me if they could run a day care out of their home and I refused couldn't you say that was discrimination against children?
LIFELINE

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Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #4 
Sounds like you're not too keen on the idea.  You could point out the  lease agreement regarding number of people living in the rental and suggest they may be able to add another when they renew their lease.  This gives you time and leverage to cancel the lease with them in the future if you so choose.
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Annette
http://www.Lifeline-Property.com
OHlandlord

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Reply with quote  #5 

They aren't subletting or allowing someone else to live in their house.  They are caring for a dependent child.  Very much the same as if they suddenly found themselves pregnant and had a child (or gained custody of a child from a previously custodial ex).  Would you try to enforce that clause if they had a baby?  You had better not if you don't want sued.  That would be discriminatory.  As long as they stay within occupancy limits imposed by the city, HUD, and your properties limitations, you shouldn't have a problem with this.  It is not a business zoned by the city.  And in some states, you may not exclude tenants from running a daycare (even though it is a business.)

srwells

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #6 

OhLandlord, I am not trying to be argumentative and I appreciate & respect  your feedback. My concern is that once they become foster parents there will be different children coming in and out of the house so I will never know who exactly is living in the home. Also, I think that if I am not mistaken I do not have to allow anyone other than the people who are on the lease to live in the house. This is an existing lease which states no subletting and only the people on the lease are allowed to live in the home.

LIFELINE

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Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #7 
I don't why you are having such a hard time with this.  Again, to reiterate what others have responded here.  Becoming foster parents does not fall under the "no subletting" category.   Also, you could stipulate that only one child at a time can occupy the home but I would not go as far as to say that they cannot permit any children at all.  In addition, you could also remind them that any damage to your property is their responsibility.  As long as the rent is paid, you should not concern yourself with this.  
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Annette
http://www.Lifeline-Property.com
RH

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #8 
srwells I guess you could take the hardline fundamentalist landlord approach if they were to foster children and make them go through all sorts of hoops in order to try and make them leave or give up the idea. However, if the couple are good tenants now who take care of your property and pay the rent each month then why would that suddenly stop when they have children in the house? What I would do is tell them great your doing something to help these children and as long as you only foster one at a time ( or whatever limit you set according to occupancy limits in the lease) then they would have my full support. This would go a long way in 'fostering' a good relationship between you and your tenants rather than an 'adversarial' relationship going into the future.
srwells

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #9 

Thank you for your reply. I did do some research and yes, I would have to allow foster children under HUD. This couple wants to take 3 foster children over the ages of 8 however the woman's mother is currently residing there and of course with my 2 per room policy it means that one of them would have to sleep in her room with her. I will not permit a non related adult that is not one of the foster parents. Of course that is unacceptable. Do you agree with that? By the way I never said that by taking foster children that was subletting the rental property. I am not an idiot. I referred to the fact that when they rented the property they were the only ones on the lease. By the way for everyone who is responding to this posting my degree is in social welfare and I worked for Child Protective Services for many years as both an investigator and a supervisor so I am very familiar with the foster care system. My major question was as a landlord am I putting my owner in a situation if they have an non related, non custodial adult in the room with one of the foster children. I say YES!

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,779
Reply with quote  #10 

Even though the 2 tenants' names are the only ones on the lease, you shouldn't say that no one else can live there.  You are correct in that you can say no other adults can live there (with the exception of certain local areas that have their own laws about this).  But a couple that signs a lease with just their names on it should be permitted to have children move in later.  Whether these are their biological children (a pregnancy during the lease period), the child of one tenant (perhaps from an ex-spouse), or a foster child, refusing a child when there is no occupancy violation will get you sued.  As long as their is no violation of occupancy, and there is no restriction imposed by the facilities (ie- not enough sq. ft., not enough hot water, not enough sewage facilities, some physical reason more people can't live there), minor children should not be refused.

srwells

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #11 

I don't have a problem with the 3 foster children moving in. What I do have a problem with is that the couple also has another adult living there in a 3 bedroom home which means that one of the children who is over the age of 4 would have to share a room with her. She would be an unrelated adult who would not be one of the foster parents. This is what I am opposed to. If this was a 4 bedroom then it would be okay. I have 2 people per room unless one is under the age of 4 which none of them are. I guess I would have to make sure the woman's mother is not living in the house then it would be the foster parents in one room, 2 of the children in another room, and the 3rd child in the 3rd bedroom. I just will not allow 3 foster kids with the woman's mother in the home.

elm2003

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi! I am coming from the other end of this discussion. My husband and I are renting from his aunt and uncle until we can save up a down payment to buy his grandparents house from them. We have been married 11 yrs, are 40 and 35 and cant have kids, so we would like to adopt from foster care (Foster to Adopt). They are concerned about the liability on their end, and are telling us they are against us doing this. I have two questions 1) Can they legally do that? 2) Can anyone give me information that would prove to them that they are not liable?
Rentingandowner

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #13 
Wow... So I am an owner in PA, but I rent in MS (military)...
The people I rent to in PA have 5 foster kids, they were originally just the couple. They now have 5 foster kids and the biological child of the one. Foster care is NOT day care, it is not a business. It is opening your heart and your home to a child who is abused mentally, physically and/or sexually, neglected or abandoned. How can you even be debating this? If the couple would recieve costody of their 10 biological children, there is nothing you could do about it. My tenants were good before they took in kids and they still are.
I am also a qualified foster parent. In case you don't know the screening we go through, let me enlighten... There were approximately 13 home interviews asking questions involving finances, relationships and anything else they decide is appropriate, in addition, you have classes, home inspections (which continue biweekly by different court appointed officials after placement), you also have FBI fingerprint background checks and police clearances. Hopefully, that helps with any trepidation.
My landlord told me today that I cannot have foster kids in my home. I will be leaving here when my lease is up, I refuse to not be allowed to take care of others. I will also be writing a negative review online. She said she wouldn't charge me rent to keep my stuff here if I get deployed (3 years from now), because I'm such a great tenant, but I cannot have a foster kid (my home is only approved for one or two).
It is clear to me that several people don't understand what foster care is or how it works.
Your house is inspected twice a month, if it is trashed, the kids are removed, all foster parents know this!
Rentingandowner

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #14 
Just to update. I have contacted an attorney over my landlord telling me that I cannot have foster children without her approval...

It is ILLEGAL to ask someone if they are a foster parent before they sign the lease. It is also ILLEGAL to tell someone they cannot have children, including foster children. It is considered family status discrimination. In my case, because I cannot have children and my landlord knows this, it is also medical discrimination. If she gives me anymore trouble, I will be hitting her with a lawsuit that is worth more than what she is planning on selling this place for.

I now have a foster son who is far quieter and desturbs far less people than the dog in the unit across from me...
Yeps

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #15 
As far as the child staying with an unrelated adult, foster care would never allow that. They probably plan on really putting three in one bedroom. which foster care will allow as long as all the children are the same sex and they each have their own bed, and dresser. A benefit of letting people Foster while they rent from you, is foster care has counselors come, therapist come, case managers come every week. They have rules in the house must be clean, fire extinguishers, emergency phone numbers, stove, sinks, refrigerator all in working order. having a foster family will ensure that even though you're not able to go in and check every week what their house looks like, the foster care workers will. It actually will provide you Extra Protection on your property. It also pays money to the tenants, so that will help ensure that your rent is paid on time.
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