Did you find unauthorized tenants in your rental property? A rental or lease agreement stipulates how many people are allowed to live in a property—and who they are. Should a tenant have other people living in a unit than are indicated on the agreement, they’ve violated the lease.
Whether it’s extended family, close friends, a new girlfriend, or roommates that move in mid-lease, every resident of your property must go through the screening process and be on the lease. Follow this advice from a Salt Lake City property management company if you find more people living in a rental than are on the lease!
What To Do About Unauthorized Tenants
How can you spot extra people living in your property? A consistent schedule of property inspections is an excellent way to keep an eye on your property and make sure only the people on the lease live there.
An “unauthorized” tenant isn’t only someone who has moved into the spare room of your Salt Lake City property and lives their full time. Extra residents can include:
- Long-term guests who are “visiting” for weeks or months without leaving
- New roommates that aren’t on the lease
- Someone who subleases your property from the tenant
- A girlfriend or new spouse that moves in mid-lease
- People who aren’t on the lease after your tenant abandoned the property without notice
When a rental owner or Salt Lake City property management company recognized that an unauthorized tenant is occupying a unit, they have options to resolve the situation. A person living in your property who isn’t on the lease can create a liability situation for you if something goes wrong. You’re also losing valuable income from non-paying tenants.
Assess the Situation
Ultimately, when you find an extra person (or two) in your property, you must:
- Put them through your routine tenant screening process and add them to the lease
- Work with them to vacate your property
Start by delivering a written notice to the tenants on the least. Let them know that the extra person in the property must be qualified to live there by passing the screening process and added to the lease, or they must move out by a specific date.
Use the Rental Application
Your written notice can include easy access to your rental application where the unauthorized person can fill it out to begin the screening process. Conduct a thorough background check as you did for the approved people living in the Salt Lake City property. If they meet the criteria, the lease can be amended to include this tenant as an official tenant. If this is the case, owners can also ask for an additional security deposit amount or increase the monthly rent amount to accommodate more tenants.
If the first tenant isn’t willing to add their guest to the lease or ask them to leave, work with a property manager and your legal counsel to legally remove the unauthorized person from your property.
Assess Penalties (If Necessary)
In some cases, your tenant might not realize that a long-term guest becomes an unauthorized resident if they’ve been in the property for weeks (or months). Make sure your lease clearly describes “approved” residents and what happens when residents allow unapproved people to live in the property.
For subleasing situations or if your tenant uses your rental as an Airbnb, it might be appropriate to assess penalties for unauthorized use of your property.
Prevent Unauthorized Tenants
Preventing extra people in your property is better than dealing with them after they’ve moved in. Your tenant screening process should help you identify trustworthy tenants before they move into the rental. Review the lease in detail and make sure new residents understand who is allowed to live in the property. Allowing a clear process to add a roommate or new spouse can help renters be more forthcoming when they want or need to add another resident to the rental.
Keeping a close eye on your property also helps eliminate the potential for extra residents! If you don’t live near your Salt Lake City rentals to conduct routine inspections, work with a property manager to set up a detailed lease, keep an eye on your properties, and enforce the lease when they recognize extra tenants or other problems that violate the rules.
Authorized Tenants (Only) Help Protect Your Salt Lake City Rentals!
Applying a thorough screening process and allowing only authorized tenants to live in your rentals helps keep them safe—while protecting your bottom line! If you own multiple properties in the area, keeping up with who is (and who isn’t) an approved tenant can be challenging.
The right Salt Lake City property management company is the answer to monitoring residents and protecting your investments! Reeder Asset Management helps investors benefit from thorough lease agreements and our schedule of routine inspections. We also waste no time enforcing the rules when we see violations in your properties. If you’re dealing with unauthorized people living in your rentals, let’s talk about how we can help resolve that problem for you!