Most of the time, people staying in your rental properties for longer than a casual visit aren’t doing it with malicious intent or to be sneaky. They’re probably family members or partners who are simply overstaying their welcome.
However, if you notice people who are not on the lease are living in your rental, you should address it as soon as possible.
It’s difficult to tell your tenant their loved one isn’t allowed to come over, but controlling who lives in your home is your right. Long-term visitors can be a safety issue. After all, you have tenant screenings for a reason. You want to know the history of anyone who’s living in your rental.
Here’s how to deal with tenants who aren’t on the lease:
Ask for a Heads Up on Long-Term Visitors
Leases permit guests to stay for a certain amount of time. Our contract allows for guests not on the lease to stay for up to 7 days. Of course, there’s a gray area.
If tenants are having family visit from across the country or abroad, we understand they’ll need to stay for more than 7 days. We just ask our tenants to notify us beforehand.
Tell your residents at contract signing that you’re willing to work with long-term visitors if they give you a heads up first.
Add Non-Residents to the Lease
If you notice someone new living at the property (not just visiting), you shouldn’t resort to eviction right away.
Sure, the family is in breach of contract, but you already qualified the leaseholders. You know they have the income to pay the entire rent on their own, without the help of people who are not on the lease.
Pursuing eviction will lead to vacancy, realtor commissions and other expenses for you. Instead of kicking them out, call to speak with the tenant about who’s living there and ask to add the person to the lease.
This way you can come to an agreement rather than an eviction, which would be inconvenient for both of you.
How to Prevent Housing Tenants Not on the Lease
You can steer clear of conversations about guests altogether if you’re observant while qualifying tenants.
For example, if one or two people apply for a huge home with many rooms or an in-law suite, there’s a good chance other people will be living in the home, or, at least, visiting often.
Ask your applicants upfront (while still adhering to Fair Housing laws) who will live in the house. If they plan to have more people around, offer additional applications to put them on the lease from the beginning. The tenants applying could simply be unaware people staying frequently should be on the lease.
Having trouble dealing with tenants who aren’t on the lease? Contact us and we’ll help you navigate the situation.