handle-multiple-roommates

Is there any special way for property managers to handle multiple roommates per lease?

Common Issue

This is a common issue for landlords and property management companies. My first advice is to spell out the details of guests and roommates in the initial lease. Be upfront and make sure you specify all the details that you want up front. Ask the new tenants, do you plan to have frequent quests or visitors? Depending on their answer, you may want to include those individuals on the lease.

Avoid Mistakes

If it’s not in the lease, don’t make exceptions, unless you want to update the current lease. Make sure you are protected as much as possible. If the tenant falls on hard times and needs to bring on a roommate to help with expenses, make sure you are aware of it.

You will want to have that roommate complete an application and go through the same background screening as everyone else. Screen them as if they are a new tenant for you. A good Property management software usually offers the ability to easily run tenant background checks.

Disagreements between Roommates

Let’s face it, when you have multiple people living together, there is the potential of disputes. That holds true for married couples as well friends and family members.

Roommates can file for restraining orders against each other if their relationship goes south.

Lease

If the tenant has violated the Lease by having unauthorized guests or tenant, I suggest issuing a ‘Notice of non-compliance’ immediately. Don’t wait for a problem to arise. Check with your state but a common notice is one that allows the tenant to remedy the situation by having the guest move out within 7 days.

If they fail to move out, issue a “notice of termination” to the tenant and take appropriate action.

Tough Spot for Property Managers

This is a tough situation to be in if you are a landlord or property manager. Don’t waiver on your decisions or from the lease agreement. If so, you will weaken your case should this situation end up in civil court.

If you are too nice, you will pay the price when you have to go through this again in the future.

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