A lease is a legally binding contract in which a renter agrees to use your property under certain conditions. One such condition may be regarding the number of people allowed to use the rental unit. If the lease authorizes one person to make use of the unit, and yet two or more people live there, that is a complete violation of the document. How do you handle an unexpected renter whose name is not on the lease? Hampton Roads property management professionals advise the following.
The Easy Way
Kicking your renter out for violating the lease should be your last resort. It is not an ideal financial decision for one to make, so you need to consider other alternatives. First look at the resident’s history; if they haven’t given you problems before, there’s probably no need for you to have them leave. Eviction involves legal fees, and you need to make time for court proceedings. Besides, keeping a vacant property will cost you money, especially if it stays vacant for a long time. So, what do you do?
One option is to get the unexpected occupant’s signature in black and white. Add them onto a new lease after conducting a thorough screening. You need to pull their credit information and do a full-on background check. You might want to honor the penalties outlined in the old lease first, though. After all, your occupants need to know you mean business when it comes to leases. After that, you can go ahead and amend the lease you have, drafting a new one that will include the surprise occupant. This might even present itself as an opportunity to raise the rent, to accommodate the new resident or adjust for new changes in the market.
The Hard Way
You need to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the extra occupant is, in fact, living in your unit. Maybe the neighbors can serve as witnesses. Perhaps there is a surveillance camera that picked up on this person entering and leaving the unit at the same time every day. Anything that can prove someone’s intention to live in your unit without running it by you is admissible.
You can’t just start removing your occupants’ stuff because they violated the lease. You need to give them a written notice and make sure they receive it. This will give them enough time to get their affairs in order, and it’s the civil and legal way of doing things. Make sure you have a clear date by which they should have moved, and be sure to confirm that they have moved.
Get The Experts
There are far more important things you need to be dealing with other than a dishonest renter. When someone rents your unit, and they find themselves dealing with a rent estate advisor, there’s a different dynamic that comes into play. As an individual, renters are less likely to take you seriously than when they have to deal with an established company.
It is best to enlist the help of a company deeply rooted in the region you’re investing in. If you require Hampton Roads property management, you’re better off with a team that’s been managing properties in the area for a while.
Keep in mind that eviction and rental property laws may differ from district to district and from state to state. That is why you must work with specialists that have worked in the area for a while. You can’t venture into unfamiliar terrain with a guide that’s unfamiliar with the terrain as well. Hampton Roads property management calls for a team that knows how to navigate the Hampton Roads area's processes.
Giving You A Break
There is no telling what drama may unfold from an unauthorized occupant. Involving yourself can turn it into a personal situation, so it helps to have someone else handle it all for you. Remember, you’re a property investor, and there’s nothing fun about confronting residents when all you could be doing is collecting money and giving orders.
Detaching yourself from the day-to-day activities on the property can help you focus on building up your portfolio even more. You need to be exploring new opportunities, spend time with loved ones, and pursue your passions and hobbies, not getting into legal battles over broken lease agreements. Consider how a rent estate advisor might help you deal with renters who decide to try outsmarting you. You could be on the other side of the world, knowing your property is being watched over and taken care of by legitimate real estate experts. There is no need to worry about paperwork and local laws; you can have all of that taken care of and more. All without lifting a finger.