Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement

Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement: Tips to Maintain Harmony and Peace Among Roommates

Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement: Tips to Maintain Harmony and Peace Among Roommates

Most of the time, it is convenient for landlords to lease a property to a single person or a family. However, it is inevitable that in some scenarios, the landlord ended up renting a property to roommate tenants—reaching a multiple tenant lease agreement then. Though it is fun to have roommates and all; it might be troublesome for the landlords when conflicts and different perspectives arise inside the room. 

For this reason, here are some tips that landlords should keep in mind to manage and maintain harmony and peace between co-tenants. 

Tip 1: Request a Roommate Agreement for Co-Tenants

Though a landlord isn’t particularly involved in the agreement between roommates, a landlord should be reliable enough and request co-tenants to have rules and regulations including the do’s and don’ts involving their personal belongings, using other’s stuff, etc. 

In this case, they can easily address and fix issues based on the documents that they had signed. In addition to this, this may remind them to act accordingly, to avoid misunderstandings and offending their roommates. 

This agreement may carry various things, including cleaning schedules, noise problems, division of bills, borrowing things, etc. 

multiple tenant lease agreement

Tip 2: Require a Joint Liability in Your Multiple Tenant Lease Agreement

For the landlord’s protection, a landlord should be made everyone accountable for the action of the other tenant. Say, in terms of violation of the lease, failing to pay rental fees or damaging properties. Though it may sound unfair, this is actually a good provision that will not only be favorable to the landlord, but this will also remind roommates to be mindful of their actions, as one mistake could affect everyone. 

Aside from joint liability, you as a landlord should be closer and advise your co-tenants that they should act like one. Though they might have differences, tell them that they should think several times and weigh the cause-effect of every action they will do. 

This may especially apply to college students who were sharing rooms or co-workers. Express that they can’t just say,” they didn’t do it,” or “they don’t know,” as even if privacy should be respected, having care and support for each other should be observed. 

Tip 3: Don’t Grant a Sublease 

As it is not uncommon that there will be unexpected events that could happen among tenants, (e.g. wanting to live with partners, or moving out) sublessors are not responsible or jointly responsible for any obligations on the rental agreement. 

To make sure that your co-tenants and you as a landlord are protected in this kind of happenings, don’t allow subleasing, and make sure that all of your tenants will sign a lease agreement. 

Tip 4: Remind that Security Deposit Will Be Via One Check

A landlord should not allow tenants to get a security deposit individually when the term ends. Surely, a roommate may leave while others stay, but remind them that it will only be transferred once the unit is completely vacated as well as all the damages were assessed. 

It will depend on your co-tenants how to divide it, as well as what will be the conditions when an additional or replacement co-tenant moves in. 

Tip 5: Screen Original Tenants and New Tenants Fairly 

When a co-tenant moves out, the other tenants will surely look out for another roommate that will take the other tenant place. Thus, it is a must that a landlord should treat the original tenants and replacement tenants fairly, and proceed with various screenings and processes that you do for the others. You shouldn’t lower your screening standards just because the original tenants are excellent. 

Do a background check, discuss your terms and regulations on a meeting together with the original tenants, and make sure they understand and will comply with the multiple tenant lease agreement you set. 

Tip 6: Appoint a Spokesperson or Representative of Your Co-tenants 

Just like in a classroom or office, there’s always a leader or president, and the representative work will be the same. The multiple tenants’ representative shall have all of the information of their roommates, as well as contacts. In this case, a landlord won’t bother contacting everyone individually, to talk about things including concerns and problems inside the shared unit.

However, make sure to remind the representative that they can’t act like a leader but an older brother/sister instead of whom the younger siblings can confide with their issues about the agreement, and deliver it to the landlord. Everyone should be comfortable with the representative as well to give their information and trust them their money and stuff. 

On the other hand, the co-tenants should also take note that the representative will not be responsible for everything, but will only act as the spokesperson of them, including discussing maintenance, repairs, and letting them know of your schedules. 

Tip 7: Require a One Rental Payment Check 

To save time contacting your tenants individually, you can insist on an individual rental payment check that will cover everyone in the shared unit. This will also practice Tip 2, wherein if a tenant can’t pay on time, they can work as one to fix their financial issues since they all agree with joint liability. 

Thus, if one tenant can’t pay, you will still receive a full payment regardless if the other tenants should still pay the full amount.

Tip 8: One Lease with All Tenants’ Name on It 

This is still involved in the ‘joint and severally liable’ provision, which will assure you that everyone is fairly and equally responsible for everything in the signed documents. 

Tip 9: Suggest Your Tenant’s to Have Renter’s Insurance 

In any case that something unfortunate happened due to a tenant’s negligence, Renter’s insurance can cover up the damage cost of it.

Tip 10: One for All, All for One 

Your multiple tenant lease agreement requires joint and several liabilities, so you might want to use this as a motto for the shared unit. This can be posted on the door or wall to remind your tenants of the “One for all, all for one” system. One for all means that even if only one tenant pays the full rental payment, then it covers everyone then. It shouldn’t matter to you. However, all for one means that a single mistake of one person is the responsibility of everyone. 

property left behind when a tenant moves out

Property left behind when a tenant moves out – 10 things to know!

Property left behind when a tenant moves out – 10 things to know! 

        When a tenant moves out, whether they have been evicted or the lease ended, the process is debilitating for landlords. Most of the time, there are items left by the tenant. Dealing with properties left behind by the tenant can be stressful and hassle for landlords. It is not uncommon for them to encounter this scenario. 

           Most of the time, landlords would encounter garbage left by the tenant in the unit. Disposing of these items is easy. On the other hand, if a tenant encounters personal possessions like fixtures and motorcycles, it is a different story.

A landlord may face serious liability if he/she disposes of it or sell it right away. What must a landlord do with the items and goods left behind?

property left behind when a tenant moves out

1. Identifying the property

What are the properties left behind? The landlord may dispose of the stuff that can be considered garbage. On the other hand, items like medication, documents, and other personal items must be safely stored.

After securing the property, the landlord may notify and contact the tenant about their left property.

2. Why did the tenant leave? 

Determining why the property is abandoned can help the landlord deal with the properties left behind. In dealing with this situation, there are different reasons why the tenant has left:

  • After the duration agreement ended, the lease ended, some tenants do not renew their lease and move out. 
  • Evicted – some tenants who do not abide with the lease are given a termination notice. 
  • Disappeared – for some reason, some tenants would disappear and leave their properties behind. 

Whatever the reason why the tenant has left, their properties must be handled with care and be secured safely. 

3. The legal stand of the landlord

Each state has its laws regarding the properties left by the tenant. In California, tenants have 18 days to recover their personal belongings. Recovering the properties left behind has a price – they must pay the storage cost to the landlord.

Through this process, it gives the tenant time to collect their items and properties. 

4. Secure the property

A landlord may create a list of the items and photograph them. Through this process, you will be more organized, and it will save you time later. Also, it can protect the landlord from liabilities and damages to the properties left behind. 

Securing the property does not mean keeping the property. It only means that a landlord should secure the properties in safe storage. You may create a list of the expenses that this storing may cause. 

5. Notify the tenant

Even though the process may be stressful, the landlord must contact the tenant regarding their property. Write a notice informing the tenant about the property or properties left behind. Below are some of the information you may include in your notice: 

  • Include the list you made and the photos you took for them to identify if it’s their property.
  • Make sure that there is a deadline included in the notice. It will give the tenant an ample amount of time to claim their property or properties.
  • Inform the tenant on what will happen with the property if they will not claim it. 
  • If there is a charge for storing the property, make sure they are also aware of it. 

6. Tenant claims the property.

The tenant responds to the written notice, prepare their items and belongings on the date agreed upon. Also, prepare the list of expenses from storing the property. In most cases, the landlord charges the tenant on the storage cost.

7. What if the tenant did not respond?

The tenant did not respond to your notice, there are different ways to handle it. Depending on the state, they have other laws in dealing with properties that have not been claimed.

In California, the landlord can sell or give away the property if it is under $700. However, if it is more than $700, he/she may call the county and sell it on public auction.

8. What if the landlord did not follow these steps?

A landlord may face liabilities if he/she will not safely store the property and notify the tenant. It may take a lot of time to do these processes; however, it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Plus, it can save you from facing charges and liabilities to the tenant’s properties left behind. The tenant has the right to file a case against the landlord if this happens. 

9. Preventive measure

Including abandoned properties in your lease

To save the landlord from the hassle and stress of properties left behind, create or revise your lease agreement. The revised lease agreement will inform the tenant regarding their responsibility in maintaining the unit clean after they move out.

Part of this lease agreement is removing any property after they move out of the unit. Before they leave, the tenant should be informed that the place should be the same before their time of occupancy. Pro-tip, you can give the tenant a move-out checklist. It ensures that there will be no property left behind after they move out. If the tenant did not follow the agreement, there could be sanctions. 

10. Preventive measure – screen your new tenants

It can take up your time; however, screening your new tenants can save you from the hassle of dealing with property left behind. Before you accept new tenants, you can do a background check on how they deal with their previous unit. You may also contact their previous landlord on how they left the unit if there are any properties left behind. 

In some cases, some tenants would still leave their properties behind. If this happens, you can follow the steps mentioned above. It can be stressful and debilitating. However, it can save your liabilities and future charges. Who knows, your tenant may thank you in the future for storing their property safely and might give you something in return.

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How Much Does a Property Manager Charge

How Much Does a Property Manager Charge?

Through a property manager, handling your property can be at ease. A reliable property manager can be an asset to your property’s investment which is why a lot of real estate investors hire property managers to handle their property. 

The property manager manages the property at a price. Several factors can affect the cost that a property manager will charge. Also, it can depend on the amount of workload you will delegate and include in the contract with your property manager. There is no fixed amount on how much a property manager will charge, however, there are variables you can look at when you are considering hiring a property manager. Here are some of the factors that a property manager can charge you: 

Breakdown of Fees When Hiring a Property Manager

Management Fee

In hiring a property manager, there is a basic pay of 8% to 12% that comes from the monthly rent from your tenants. It includes daily management of the property such as collecting monthly payment for rent, interacting with tenants, inspecting the property, and a lot more. However, this is just the basic management fee. There are other fees that you need to consider. 

how much do property managers charge

Maintenance Fee

Do not be surprised that there is a maintenance fee. Expect that you need a maintenance fee to keep the property free from damages and repair. It includes property inspection to prevent and to fix the damage right away. There should be a reserve fund repair for unexpected damages that may occur. Through this, it will keep you from the hassle and stress of damage costs. Pro-tip, discuss with your property manager the daily maintenance of the property in order to prevent future damages and repair. 

Lease Renewal Fee 

A property manager may charge you for drafting paperworks and adjusting the terms and conditions of the agreement for the lease renewal fee. In some cases, some property managers may not charge you, however, if they charge you, it is either the amount of flat rate or the percentage of rent. 

Tenant Placement Fee 

When a property manager placed a new tenant, there could be a tenant placement fee. Tenant placement fee includes advertising the property, screening of the tenant, moving procedures, and preparation of the lease. Its cost could be the same as a flat fee or a percentage from the rent. Depending on the conditions in the contract, you can refund the tenant placement fee if the tenant is evicted or breaks the lease. 

Vacancy Fee

Even if there is no tenant residing in the property, there are still certain bills that you need to pay. Whether there is a tenant or not, you will still pay the monthly mortgage. If you have other tenants residing in your building, it would be easier to deal with it. Aside from the monthly mortgage, there is also tax property every month. Dealing with tax property is stressful if there is no tenant residing in your property. You might want to find a new tenant as soon as possible. In addition to this, you will need to prepare the unit for the new tenant. It includes repair, painting the walls, and cleaning. These are also additional fees that you might need to add. 

Eviction Fee

Evicting a tenant can be stressful. Thankfully, your property manager handles it with ease. For this process, it might cost a lot since you will need a lawyer in processing your eviction. Aside from the payment for the lawyer, you still need to pay your property manager for handling it and doing the process. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars in this process. 

Early Termination Fee

If you plan to end your contract with your property manager, there are underlying costs for this process. Its costs usually depend on your terms and conditions with your property manager. Either you pay for the cost of early termination fee or you will face the court for the breach of contract. For your next property manager, make sure to discuss the other miscellaneous fee including the early termination fee. 

There is no standard price on how much a property manager can charge. However, there are variables that could influence the cost, it includes the following: 

Property’s size – depending on the size of the property that the property manager is handling whether it is a commercial or residential property, the size determines the cost. The larger the property, the higher the cost will be. 

Property’s location – if the property is located in an area whereas it requires higher pay rent, you will also pay higher for your property manager. Contrary to an area wherein it only requires lower rent payment, you will also pay lower to your property manager. 

Miscellaneous fee – there could be other extent of services payment for your property manager. Your payment will depend on the amount of work you will delegate to your property manager. If you hire him/her to just collect the rent, then you will pay lower. However, if you have given your property manager to manage and handle tenants, collect rent, handle maintenance, and other tasks, you need to pay higher. 

how much do property managers charge

Do I Need To Hire A Property Manager? 

If you are looking for a property manager, you might want to consider these factors before making a decision. Also, it is vital to discuss the terms and conditions comprehensively. Hiring a property manager can help in handling your property with ease. It is not easy to manage a property especially if you are alone. Through a property manager, the workload can be easy. It has a price to pay, however, you can save yourself from the hassle and stress of handling a property. 

As property owner, you need to understand that handling a property can be difficult and tedious especially if you own a larger property. Hiring a property manager can be an investment and asset for your property. Make sure to consider these steps when hiring a property manager, it can save you time and money. 

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When does a guest become a tenant

When does a guest become a tenant – How To Create Your Guest Policy

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant?

If you own a property, every day there might be different people coming in and out of your property. Tenants can invite visitors – whether friends, family, boyfriend, or girlfriend, it is a common scenario if you own a building or a property. Your tenant’s guest may stay for a couple of days or a certain period. In some cases, your tenant’s boyfriend or girlfriend may start living with them. Now, lies the question, when does a guest become a tenant? There is a thin line between a guest and a tenant.

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant

The Thin Line Between Guest and Tenant

To start off, let us first define what is a tenant. A tenant is someone who imparted in a written contract with a landlord. They are occupying the property under a lease or a rental agreement– in other words, they have a right within the property. On one hand, some tenants who are college students stay within the property and go home during summer break. On the other hand, there are also tenants who moved out of their house and wanted to live independently.

Now, let us define what is a guest. A guest can be a visitor of your tenant who visits during the day or stays for a couple of days. Normally, they are invited by the tenant and they do not have any legal rights to the properties. Guests can be a friend, a girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, or a nanny.

Your tenant has solely the right to invite guests to their rented place or room, however, when can be this an issue? In some cases, there are guests who are staying for an extended period of time.

Signs that a guest turns in to a tenant:

·         They are paying the rent

·         They are receiving mail at the property

·         They are staying for a long period of time

·         They have a key to the property

They are paying the rent

If the guest has started to pay the rent but they are not on the lease, you might face some problems as a landlord. Whether they are just staying for the night or cooking dinner, there is no harm in it. However, if they started contributing to the rent, it can be a warning sign. You may face legal problems in the long run if you accept payment from guests who are not on the lease. If you accept any payment from non-tenants, it can only mean that they can be granted the same rights of your tenants. Also, if they fail to pay the rent, you will not have any papers to back you up since they are not on the lease.

They are receiving mail at the property

In some cases, there are guests who changed their mailing address to your address. This is a huge problem. They are not just staying for one night or so, but they have plans on staying long term. This is already a warning sign. If you happen to see this happening, it is important to have a conversation and discuss the matter with your tenant before making an action.

Guest Mail

They are staying for a long period of time

Some guests stay for a couple because they are out of town. However, if they are staying every night in the premises of your property, they might be staying not just as a guest. Also, if a guest stayed for more than two-weeks, you need to have a conversation with your tenant. It can pose a serious problem if it is not taken into hands right away. Maybe, it is about time to talk to your tenant about long-term guests.

Can you see these signs to your tenant’s guest? If you have noticed these signs, what actions can you do as a landlord? Why is it important if you have guests that turned in to tenants to be on the lease?

They have a key to the property

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant the key

No one should have keys to the property other than the tenants. If they are going out for a couple of days during the weekend or holiday, they must inform their landlord about it. Especially, if they are going to ask their friends to look for plants or pets during the time that they are away. In that case, the landlord will not have suspicion about who is going in and out of their property. It can be a direct violation on terms if a guest or a visitor have a key to the property.

Preventing the Problem

Can you see these signs to your tenant’s guest? If you have noticed these signs, what actions can you do as a landlord? Why is it important if you have guests that turned in to tenants to be on the lease?

If your guests that turned into tenants are not on the lease, it can be a problem. Since they are not part of the lease or the written agreement, they are not liable and responsible for the property.  As a landlord, you have the rights to decide on the matter whether you will amend the lease of your tenant or increase the rent. It is important to confront and fix the matter right away as a landlord. By fixing the matter right away, you are protecting your legal rights as a landlord if the tenant has violated the lease. The main purpose of amending is not to increase the rent but to have everyone accountable in the lease.

Establishing rules and a clear line of communication with your tenant about their responsibilities and welcoming guests is a must. In some cases, your tenant may ask you if a guest can stay there for a couple of days or nights, if this happens, you may discuss your guest policy and rules to your tenants. Also, you can have them sign an agreement on long term guest agreement so problems can be prevented. It is important to have established rules on how long a guest can stay in the property.