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Excuses!

Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on December 31, 2017 @17:27

                              
I have had a (1) tenant renting in my 1 bedroom condo for over a year. Her lease expires July 31, 2018. She is the only one on the lease agreement. She is married, her husband lives in another home out of town due to work. She rents the condo to be close to her family without living with them.
She called me saying the washing machine was not working.
Then called and said she had her husband fix it so do not come.
She is a clean woman who lives simply and has kept the unit nice, since we provided her with new carpets at move in she doesn't even wear shoes in the house. Overall she has been an okay tenant. In the past she has been easy to work with when repairs are needed and she is up to date on rent. Through today. She has not paid January rent yet. Usually pays on the 3rd.

Long story short. I went to check to washing machine and found the 1 bedroom PACKED to the gills with boxes, cabinets in the kitchen so full the doors don't shut, a BED in the front room. Her husband has MOVED IN and has 2 small children on the weekends. ALL WITHOUT asking.

This is a one bedroom unit, intended for 1 maybe 2 people. Now it is being used as a storage unit with 4 people living there without prior permission.

The tenant is smart and knows the system...she knows she is obligated in the lease until July 31, 2018. BUT if we ask her to leave, she will get OUT of her lease agreement and not have to pay if we are unable to find another tenant.

There is NO WAY we can show the unit the way it is and this is a BAD time of year to find another tenant. Meaning if we ask her to move out at the end of January, I will be left with an empty unit possibly for a few months.

On top of all this I need to go out of town on business, so if I was to ask her to be out, I would have to hire a property manager, which I hate...I have NEVER had luck with property managers...the ones I have tried don't take care for my unit as well as I do.

Please give me your advice on this matter.

1. Am I better just to wait until her lease is up (pending she stays up to date on rent) and have her move out then in July 31st. AND make some stipulations, like paying extra as the lease states for the 2nd adult, AND telling her she needs to remove the boxes and put in storage. Which she says she can not afford...so she probably would not comply.

2. OR do I tell her she needs to be out by the end of January and wait to even show the unit until after she is out. People can't even see the walls right now...boxes are piled 5 feet high.

I am open to all advice and input.
Thank you for your help.
[ Reply ] [ Return to forum ]

Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on December 31, 2017 @17:46 [ Reply ]
Just FYI.

I would work on 2 points before asking Tenant out:
(1) Use -
a. the max 2 persons in 1B1BA in a condo in VA
I live in a condo in VA. My community allows only the max 2 people living in 1B1BA.

b. how long can 4 people are allowed to stay in your unit? Is this mention in Rental Lease?

(2) give her a window to correct this - Since she had been a good tenant, just send her "Violation Notice" to ask her to correct this and back to the same old day within 5 days(TBD). Hope this works out successfully for this case.
Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on December 31, 2017 @19:45 [ Reply ]
You will have to abide by HUD's guidelines as pertaining to occupancy limits based on the usage and size of the rental.
You may find that you are violating the Fair Housing Laws by limiting occupancy to one or two occupants. That could lead to a charge of discrimination.

Tenants may live any way they wish as long as it does not violate health or building codes. You may find a personnel dislike of the way the tenant is living, but it appears that's not enough to warrant any violation notice. There's a good change that your requiring paying extra for and additional adult may be illegal under the circumstances.

Terminating the lease because of the tenants living habits can also lead to a charge of discrimination.
Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on December 31, 2017 @21:26 [ Reply ]
1. please check how many adults and infant or kids are allowed for your unit.

2. If more than 1 adult is allowed, what about infants or kids are allowed or not?

3. Well, if 1B1BA is ok with single family, then Are you willing to add "her husband" and kids to the LEASE? I would screen on Husband and increase the RENT and change other terms in LEASE. Of course, T pays the not-refundable Tenant screening fee.



Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on January 1, 2018 @12:06 [ Reply ]
You need to be very careful with how you tread here. You did not specify your state, so you need to be aware that many states' laws have this situation covered...a landlord cannot determine if a tenant lives with their immediate family. They are married, they have children, and the laws provide them a right to live together.

You do have a case where tenants needed to notify you of a change in occupancy...but it's a notification, not asking your permission.

Again, be very careful how you approach this situation.
Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Poster (Washington state) on January 1, 2018 @18:41 [ Reply ]
I posted the question.
I am in Washington State.
I will see what the housing authority says on how many occupants for a 1b/1b condo.
Re: Need help with a tenant situation please by Anonymous on January 3, 2018 @16:42 [ Reply ]
Hello, I just saw your post asking for advice. Let me first say, I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal advice. You must do something and act quickly even if only to send a written letter they are in breach of the contract and provide a deadline of when to cure the breach. I suggest go back with MTM in hand ready to be signed and have them hand over the new rent amount in full, or you can hand them option “B” notice to cure or quit and be prepared to enforce either one if not honored.

But to address your two questions:
Please give me your advice on this matter.

1. Am I better just to wait until her lease is up (pending she stays up to date on rent) and have her move out then in July 31st. AND make some stipulations, like paying extra as the lease states for the 2nd adult, AND telling her she needs to remove the boxes and put in storage. Which she says she can not afford...so she probably would not comply.

Remember you don’t charge by the “adult” so what does your lease state? Does it read something like, $50 a month for each additional “occupant” added to the lease? If so, you would be adding 3 “occupants” and that would be $150. In keeping with discrimination laws, you are not making distinctions and asking about children/adults, you only ask how many “occupants” and apply your lease terms accordingly. I must warn you it can go either way because there is controversial arguments on both sides over this fee. If you give them a notice and time to get a lawyer or research it, it can end up costing you much later. But if you go armed with the agreements in hand and enforce your rights and their breach and present it to her just right you can come out ahead of the game in a more powerful position. The more time you give them, the more control you surrender, the more opportunity you provide them to find out the games they can play that will end up costing you money as they live in your rental withholding your rent or setting the pace for you to dance to. If you do nothing and don’t set the pace to say what happens next, courts look at this as a waiver that you were okay with the situation because otherwise you would have asserted your privileges and legal remedies to correct it.
2. OR do I tell her she needs to be out by the end of January and wait to even show the unit until after she is out. People can't even see the walls right now...boxes are piled 5 feet high.

I am open to all advice and input.
Thank you for your help
I wouldn’t bluff unless you know how to do it and back it up! If you say to them I’ll let you move-out by the end of January, what does that mean? If they move out they are no longer on the hook for the remaining lease term if you try to rent it but can’t? Does it mean that by their bodies being out is good enough, even if they had to leave some of the boxes behind? As they are moving out, they say hey this is too much work, we’ll just leave all these boxes here until we get settled, the landlord can still show the property but better make sure our stuff is secure. Let’s say now they have moved to another state where the husband was living before and think it’s too troublesome to come back for those boxes, now they’d rather sue you and claim there were expensive items left behind. This problem can be as long or as short as you allow it. Be sure not to be vague and ambiguous. She signed a lease, she breached the lease, and there are consequences for that! They will be trying to avoid those consequences and you need to present your options as the lighter penalty.

First decision is do YOU want to keep her or try to get this situation out of your rental? Stay in the driver’s seat! Don’t surrender your power, she breached the contract not you. Is it cheaper to keep her and do a new agreement? If so, this time, please make it a month-to-month!

Deciding factors of what your next moves should be:
What is best for you, your rental and the tenants?
A lease is not your friend it ties your hands. You would have had more options had you and your tenant agreed to sign a month-to-month.
Do you keep the current lease and act on the breaches to (a) mutually sign a new agreement (b) serve them to cure or quit?
Do you:
• Mutually sign a new month-to-month agreement
• Put husband on the lease – now you have 2 debtors you can pursue and not just one
• Use this to serve as a warning you are a landlord who enforces his written policies, but fair. Let this serve as notice not to violate the terms or there will be consequences, next time it may be 30 Day Notice to Vacate
• You can make them love you and respect you if you handle this right. This is actually a golden opportunity to regain control, keep them but under your new agreement and rent.
• Also a good time to let it be known rent is due BY the 1st, and there is no grace period. Remember, whatever you allow creates a waiver.

Teresa (www.IETenantMatch.com)

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