How to Deal with the Issue of Tenant House Guests

28 Oct How to Deal with the Issue of Tenant House Guests

When a tenant leases a house or property, he should be able to feel the space is his home for the duration of his lease. This includes setting up his things, decorating and entertaining guests — within reason. One area that has potential to cause tenant issues for landlords is tenant house guests.

A recent article in the LA Times deals with this and since it is a topic of concern to many landlords, we wanted to share it here on our blog. The most important thing for landlords to remember is that they can determine the rules about house guests from the word go. You must clarify exactly what you expect from your tenants in the rental agreement.

This is where stipulations about house guests should be clearly outlined. A well-written agreement should prohibit any guest from staying on the premises of the rental property for a given amount of time, often anything more than 20 days. Landlords should also ensure that the leasing agreement contains a clause that forbids any adult from living in the rental property unless they are a signatory to the agreement.

Having these types of clauses in the leasing agreement give landlords the ability to act when house guests appear to be staying long-term. One option after the decided upon time (likely 21 days) is to give your tenant a three-day notice to see that the house guest is removed.

If you are already dealing with a situation in which you did not specify house guest regulations in the lease, things get a bit trickier. If a house guest stays for more than 30 consecutive days, he becomes what is known as a tenant-at-will. In this case, he is free to stay as long as he wishes, or until the original tenant, who is now the landlord for this particular guest, asks him to leave.

If your tenant has a house guest who will not leave and you lack regulations about the issue in the lease, your main course of action to take would be to terminate his tenancy.

Hopefully, it won’t get to that point because you have a lease in place that outlines what is expected and permitted for house guests. It is important to also cover issues of parking, even for short term guests. If the tenant has a designated parking spot, his guests may alternately park there. If tenant guests are parking in other tenant parking spots, this is another issue that will need to be dealt with.

The bottom line is saving yourself lots of stress and headaches by having in place a lease agreement that clearly explains everything expected of tenants and their guests. This way, you won’t have to deal with the unnecessary stress that being a landlord can bring.

Another great way to save yourself some stress is by enlisting the help of a professional property management company such as MPS. Metro Property Services sets clear tenant expectations for all prospective tenants which helps you avoid many problems down the road.

If you’d like to learn more about the professional property management and leasing services we provide, contact us for details at 310-220-4495 or visit us online. We look forward to hearing from you!