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lronald

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a Tenant that moved in after signing a one year lease that required her to give me notice before moving in another person.  I observed another person living there and asked her about it and was told that he was her boyfriend.  I told her that he could not stay because he was not on the lease.  She asked if there was any way that he could stay and I told her that  he must fill out an application which would require a credit and background check.  She later called me and told me that he would not be moving in.  Now  I have noticed a different person staying there but have not yet made inquiry about that yet.  

My question is:  If the tenant allows another person of whom if I am unaware and don't know their identity to stay in the apt, how do I legally remove that person or must I evict her to get remedy?

Any response would be appreciated.

Ronald
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #2 

It is always difficult to prove another occupant lives in the rental.  Even if you see him there daily, the tenant will say he is just visiting.  This is why you need explicit language in your lease or agreement about what constitutes another tenant or occupant.  Your only choice in the lease violation is to send written notice of the violation to the tenant with instructions to cure it.  If she doesn;t, you would need to eviict the tenant "and all others".  You would have to prove the violation in court.  This can be difficult to prove to a judge.

gooch228

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 

I have this same problem. I am in the middle of evicting these tenants and they allowed another person to move in. It sucks to say but the tenants have more rights then the property owner who invests alot of money...


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Landlord Long Island
PerduePropertiesMN

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 

I just had this happen today.  A new tenant moved in yesterday and today she tells me that the father of her 2 daughters will be living there too - I had only approved her and the daughters during the initial application process.  I told them he needs to fill out an application and be approved and they told me he had a criminal history - a felony drug charge 10 years ago.  I told them I don't approve any felony history so she can live there but he can't, so she offered to move out.  Fortunately I was smart enough to start her on a month to month lease so she will move out after the 60 day notice period.  However he made it clear that he will 'be around' the place while they live there and that I will see him there.  I reiterated that he cannot live there but I believe he intends to until they move.  I've only been doing this a couple years, is there anything I can do about this?  Also are there any other recommendations on how to handle a curveball like that?

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #5 
Not much, I'm afraid.  You've found one of the LL's deepest quagmires.  PROVING that someone else is LIVING at the unit.  Not just staying there temporarily, visiting, coming by, etc.  It is one of the hardest things to do.  Best advice, watch and wait it out.  Hope he behaves until she has to be out.  Keep an eye on the municipal court records.  If he shows up there, check the "details" section for an address for him.  If he gives the rental address, send a cease and desist letter tothe tenant to not have him live there.  Send them a copy of the municipal record as proof he told police he lives there.  Hopefully they will move quickly.  If not, send all paperwork in his and her name, and all others.
PerduePropertiesMN

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #6 

Thanks for the reply OHlandlord!  I was hoping you'd weigh in on the topic.  So last night I was thinking about it and wondered about this option - the guy claims that the issue is in the past - what if he's telling the truth? 10 years ago is a long time.  How far back do you look at criminal history?  I'm considering taking his application and looking at the rest of his record.  If there aren't other outstanding red flags maybe I just bump up the rent $50 and leave them on an ongoing month to month lease, making it clear that I will terminate it if there are any issues.  I owner occupy the duplex so I'll have a good idea if he's up to anything.  I don't want to go through the whole process of turning over a tenant unecessarily, the initial applicant got a great reference from her previous landlord.  Thoughts?

kleinline

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #7 
It has been a while since this thread, but thought I'd ask anyway --

I have this same issue with a long term tenant.  Her yearly lease is up, and I switched her to tenant-at-will last month, since I was worried about the boyfriend living there.  It is clear that he does live there when I've needed to do repairs on the unit, however he is a student and has no income, so would not pass my checks for the unit.  I told her she is not allowed to have a roommate who is not on the lease.  She says he can live with his parents instead, but they clearly have no plans to move him out.

I did the only thing I could think to do, and that is raise the rent.  She now tells me she can't pay that amount, since the bf isn't chipping in. I think I will have to let her go, after 3 years.  

What is your advice for explaining to tenants the reasons WHY they can't just move someone in who is not on the lease?  She's a great tenant and I want to be frank with her, but am not sure how much information is too much.

For instance, the danger that she might move out and her boyfriend might stay puts me at risk of having to do an eviction.  Too much info?

MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #8 

kleinline,

Don't bother with an explanations.  If what you meant by "She's a great tenant" was that she keeps the unit clean and paid the rent on time, then by that definition she's great.  However, she won't follow your rules, which is unacceptable in my book.  I suggest that it's time to part ways before things get worse (and my experience with instances like these is that they usually do).  So I would proceed with serving her a notice to vacate.  It she asks why (and she most likely will), just point out to her that you've already made it clear to her that no one is to be living there unless they're on a lease.  Based on my past experiences with other tenants like her, she'll likely be very upset with you and try to work a deal with you to where he's gone and it will just be her living there. 

You have a couple of options at that point: 1) you could just ignore her and move forward with severing ties with her and get the unit back or 2)you could write up a document that states what you've already told her in the past (no adult occupant is allowed to live there unless their on the lease) with a statement that failure to comply will result in termination of her rental agreement with you.  You can do either option, but based upon my past experiences, you're probably going to be much better off in the long run if you just stick to the first option.

kleinline

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks, MikeT.  That is good advice.  

I live in a 2 family house, and have been feeling that this tenant is just too great a risk now that the boyfriend is there (I only have the one rental unit).  She has always paid her rent on time - in fact when I rented to her initially we had an auto-deposit set up so I don't even have to look for a check.  I'd lowered the rent $50/mo so that we could arrange the banking, and over 3+ yrs her payments have always come through on time.  I had wanted to make the unit affordable for a single occupant, and I've never raised the rent until now.

You are right - she is already trying to work out a deal, since she says she can't afford the increase ($100/mo).  In the past, I've rented the unit for $250+ per month more than she is paying now (and even then the unit was priced well below market), so this tenant has been getting quite a deal.   I think if I just stand firm on the rent increase she will decide to move, taking boyfriend along with her.  

Am I required by law to serve a notice to vacate, or is a verbal/informal request enough?  Just wondering how formal I need to be, as she lives in the same house.  I try to do things by the book, but am careful not to seem unfriendly to my tenants...especially when they're on the way out.
MikeTfromCA

Registered:
Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #10 
You have to first decide whether you're running a business or a charity.  I'm not sure how your rental unit stacks up with your completion in the area, but either way it sounds like your charging way too little for rent.  A good rule of thumb if you want to be a successful landlord is that you should never be their friend or the 'nice guy/gal'.  That's not to say you need to be a jerk (you definitely don't want to be that), but be as courteous and respectful to them as a manager would be in any other type of business. 

Yes you are required to serve a 'notice to vacate' if you want to terminate their rental agreement with you and get the unit back. Keep in mind that you can ONLY do that if they are on a month-to-month agreement, or at the end of a lease (this is why I only do month to month agreements).  Also you're required serve a 30 day written notice to them any time you raise the rent (60 day if you're in CA and you raise it more than 10%).  If they fail to pay you the new rent amount after you've served the written notice, then you may proceed with the eviction process by first serving them with a 'pay or quit' notice.
kleinline

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #11 
Mike, I ask myself the same question all the time - business or charity??! 

I'm in Massachusetts, and gave the tenant 60 day notice of the rent increase.  That is the 2 month tenant-at-will agreement I offered her, to give her time to think about the increase and whether she wants to re-sign at the new rate, minus the roommate.

RE: price - the reality is that I am a small-time landlord, have to live next door to my tenant, and ultimately charge under-market rates because it gives me a wider pool of solo applicants to choose from, besides fewer vacancies. There is a method to the madness.  BUT there is a line too, and this tenant is in violation of the lease.

I have never had to serve a notice to vacate before, but have also never done tenant-at-will until now.  All my other tenants have left at the end of their lease, or broken lease early.  Guess it's time for me to learn!  

I really appreciate the professional advice!
Mmags17

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinline
It has been a while since this thread, but thought I'd ask anyway --

I have this same issue with a long term tenant.  Her yearly lease is up, and I switched her to tenant-at-will last month, since I was worried about the boyfriend living there.  It is clear that he does live there when I've needed to do repairs on the unit, however he is a student and has no income, so would not pass my checks for the unit.  I told her she is not allowed to have a roommate who is not on the lease.  She says he can live with his parents instead, but they clearly have no plans to move him out.

I did the only thing I could think to do, and that is raise the rent.  She now tells me she can't pay that amount, since the bf isn't chipping in. I think I will have to let her go, after 3 years.  

What is your advice for explaining to tenants the reasons WHY they can't just move someone in who is not on the lease?  She's a great tenant and I want to be frank with her, but am not sure how much information is too much.

For instance, the danger that she might move out and her boyfriend might stay puts me at risk of having to do an eviction.  Too much info?


* It's been since 2013, but I had to say something when I read this. (The idiot Mike T ? who replied to your statement will receive this too...not to worry). It's now 2016; God willing, you are no longer a landlord....I hope you read this over and realize how CRUEL & COLD HEARTED your response was. You gave a 60 days notice to a "GREAT TENANT OF 3 YEARS."(YOUR OWN WORDS). A 'GIRL', I will assume, because you referred to her boyfriend as "a student". So, this very mature 20ish couple who take care of their apartment, and ARE NEVER LATE ON RENT, these GREAT TENANTS (because guess what sweetheart - U JUST ACKNOWLEDGED HIM AS MORE THAN AN OCCASIONAL GUEST...U WENT TO FIX THINGS IN THE APARTMENT WHILE HE WAS THERE, AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE BALLS TO ADDRESS THIS IN PERSON)....U asked them so nicely to leave. And taking Mike from Ca's advice on PROCEEDING with an eviction after the mandatory 60 days rent increase. That's how you treat your GREAT TENANTS OF of 3 YEARS! You pitifully asked if "you're running a charity?" PLEASE. This is a perfect example of GREED. I pray that student boyfriend graduated from Law School and now OWNS YOUR HOUSE; or he's a HEART SURGEON who runs into Mike from Ca and CAN'T DO A DAMN THING TO HELP HIM DURING A HEART ATTACK. Your a horrible person who didn't even have the decency to sit and talk to your tenants of 3 God Damn Years! You disgust me. I could go on & on about your & Mike from Ca's inconsiderate behavior....but honestly, I'm laughing because I have a gut feeling that the both of you have (or will be) punished by the 1 person RIGHTEOUSLY to do so. Slumlord
Mmags17

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinline
It has been a while since this thread, but thought I'd ask anyway --

I have this same issue with a long term tenant.  Her yearly lease is up, and I switched her to tenant-at-will last month, since I was worried about the boyfriend living there.  It is clear that he does live there when I've needed to do repairs on the unit, however he is a student and has no income, so would not pass my checks for the unit.  I told her she is not allowed to have a roommate who is not on the lease.  She says he can live with his parents instead, but they clearly have no plans to move him out.

I did the only thing I could think to do, and that is raise the rent.  She now tells me she can't pay that amount, since the bf isn't chipping in. I think I will have to let her go, after 3 years.  

What is your advice for explaining to tenants the reasons WHY they can't just move someone in who is not on the lease?  She's a great tenant and I want to be frank with her, but am not sure how much information is too much.

For instance, the danger that she might move out and her boyfriend might stay puts me at risk of having to do an eviction.  Too much info?


* It's been since 2013, but I had to say something when I read this. (The idiot Mike T ? who replied to your statement will receive this too...not to worry). It's now 2016; God willing, you are no longer a landlord....I hope you read this over and realize how CRUEL & COLD HEARTED your response was. You gave a 60 days notice to a "GREAT TENANT OF 3 YEARS."(YOUR OWN WORDS). A 'GIRL', I will assume, because you referred to her boyfriend as "a student". So, this very mature 20ish couple who take care of their apartment, and ARE NEVER LATE ON RENT, these GREAT TENANTS (because guess what sweetheart - U JUST ACKNOWLEDGED HIM AS MORE THAN AN OCCASIONAL GUEST...U WENT TO FIX THINGS IN THE APARTMENT WHILE HE WAS THERE, AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE BALLS TO ADDRESS THIS IN PERSON)....U asked them so nicely to leave. And taking Mike from Ca's advice on PROCEEDING with an eviction after the mandatory 60 days rent increase. That's how you treat your GREAT TENANTS OF of 3 YEARS! You pitifully asked if "you're running a charity?" PLEASE. This is a perfect example of GREED. I pray that student boyfriend graduated from Law School and now OWNS YOUR HOUSE; or he's a HEART SURGEON who runs into Mike from Ca and CAN'T DO A DAMN THING TO HELP HIM DURING A HEART ATTACK. Your a horrible person who didn't even have the decency to sit and talk to your tenants of 3 God Damn Years! You disgust me. I could go on & on about your & Mike from Ca's inconsiderate behavior....but honestly, I'm laughing because I have a gut feeling that the both of you have (or will be) punished by the 1 person RIGHTEOUSLY to do so. Slumlord
Mmags17

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTfromCA
You have to first decide whether you're running a business or a charity.  I'm not sure how your rental unit stacks up with your completion in the area, but either way it sounds like your charging way too little for rent.  A good rule of thumb if you want to be a successful landlord is that you should never be their friend or the 'nice guy/gal'.  That's not to say you need to be a jerk (you definitely don't want to be that), but be as courteous and respectful to them as a manager would be in any other type of business. 

Yes you are required to serve a 'notice to vacate' if you want to terminate their rental agreement with you and get the unit back. Keep in mind that you can ONLY do that if they are on a month-to-month agreement, or at the end of a lease (this is why I only do month to month agreements).  Also you're required serve a 30 day written notice to them any time you raise the rent (60 day if you're in CA and you raise it more than 10%).  If they fail to pay you the new rent amount after you've served the written notice, then you may proceed with the eviction process by first serving them with a 'pay or quit' notice.

* It's been since 2013, but I had to say something when I read this. (The idiot Mike T ? who replied to your statement will receive this too...not to worry). It's now 2016; God willing, you are no longer a landlord....I hope you read this over and realize how CRUEL & COLD HEARTED your response was. You gave a 60 days notice to a "GREAT TENANT OF 3 YEARS."(YOUR OWN WORDS). A 'GIRL', I will assume, because you referred to her boyfriend as "a student". So, this very mature 20ish couple who take care of their apartment, and ARE NEVER LATE ON RENT, these GREAT TENANTS (because guess what sweetheart - U JUST ACKNOWLEDGED HIM AS MORE THAN AN OCCASIONAL GUEST...U WENT TO FIX THINGS IN THE APARTMENT WHILE HE WAS THERE, AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE BALLS TO ADDRESS THIS IN PERSON)....U asked them so nicely to leave. And taking Mike from Ca's advice on PROCEEDING with an eviction after the mandatory 60 days rent increase. That's how you treat your GREAT TENANTS OF of 3 YEARS! You pitifully asked if "you're running a charity?" PLEASE. This is a perfect example of GREED. I pray that student boyfriend graduated from Law School and now OWNS YOUR HOUSE; or he's a HEART SURGEON who runs into Mike from Ca and CAN'T DO A DAMN THING TO HELP HIM DURING A HEART ATTACK. Your a horrible person who didn't even have the decency to sit and talk to your tenants of 3 God Damn Years! You disgust me. I could go on & on about your & Mike from Ca's inconsiderate behavior....but honestly, I'm laughing because I have a gut feeling that the both of you have (or will be) punished by the 1 person RIGHTEOUSLY to do so. Slumlord
kleinline

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #15 
@Mmags17:
Wow, clearly you have never been a small time landlord with a single unit located in your own home.  I am not a professional landlord who can afford legal proceedings, even with a great tenant.  Nor do I want to enter into the quagmire of a bad relationship with even a good tenant.  

Know that I DID tell my tenant that the boyfriend wasn't allowed to live in the unit (something I did not need to discuss w/her boyfriend - that is her responsibility).  Know that I DID try to work out an arrangement with her where he could move out and she could stay.  I live near a college campus, and have *never* and will never rent to students (even employed students) - and guess what, it's OKAY for me to have that policy.  In MA I can - by law - discriminate because I have an owner occupied home with under 4 units.  I literally have only ONE unit.  

A landlord who strictly abides by the law is not cold and heartless, just cautious.  Please keep your nasty comments to yourself if you can't add anything productive to this thread. 
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