How to Deal with Long Term Guests

welcome-434118_1280-PDDealing with Long Term guests in your rental.  When you rent three bedroom apartments, you will get extra tenants moving in periodically.  Sometimes it is a new roommate to help pay the bills.  Sometime it is a relative or friend who just got evicted, or a move-in boyfriend that cannot get accepted anywhere else, someone from out of town for a wedding or funeral.

The best way to avoid the extra tenant syndrome is get better tenants.  Better tenants do not need extra roommates; they have enough money to afford the rent.  They do not even want a criminal staying with them.

One of my posts explains a horror story that started with a long term guest.

The second way to avoid extra tenants is to know what goes on in your property.  Whether it is a regular inspection, a periodic drive-by looking for extra cars, or a personal visit to replace furnace filters, drop off papers, pick up rent, etc.  It helps to be aware of your property.  Know if it is actually a visitor, or a new tenant.

Once you identify the extra tenant, find out who they are, why they are staying there, how long they will be there.  Often, the situation will resolve itself in a few days.  If a week goes by, you need to take action.  Find out the tenants name and date of birth.  Drop off an application for them to fill out.   Do a preliminary screen on the court site web page.  You need to be aware of what happens at your property, who is living there, and take action to avoid issues.

One thing for sure, if you have more tenants than you originally contracted for, you will have more wear and tear, and most likely less profitability.

To summarize.  Avoid extra tenants.  When they are found, know who they are and how long they will be there.  Get an application filed out, and submit it to the background check company.  Or get rid of the ‘guest’ immediately.

Extra guests are generally someone that will be an issue in the near future, and cause extra expenses in the long run.

Have you ever had a long term guest? A relative that stops by for a visit and stays? A friend who needs a place to stay, just for a day or two (and they stay…)?


8 Replies to “How to Deal with Long Term Guests”

  1. The PoP’s from Planting Our Pennies have an excellent way to keep tabs on their rental. Mr. PoP mows the lawn every week. This won’t always get you into the unit, but if the inside is trashed, chances are good the outside is, too. Another way to gain entrance frequently is the change the furnace filter every month. The renter will not change it, but won’t really object to you changing it, either.
    Make sure you have an appointment, you can’t just barge into the unit.
    Neither of these strategies will work for you, NNLL, but maybe a tip for others with fewer properties?
    (PS I love your site! Learning so much. Thanks for filling out our 10 Questions!)

    1. That is a great way. I used to hand-collect all of my rents. That gave me some face time with each renter, every month. I was generally invited in for a few minutes and got a decent view of what the place looked like, and who was living there. After about 12 units, collecting rent was several hours…

  2. Heh, I was one of those renters who had a long term guest. Of course, even as broke as I was back then I still took very good care of the unit and even painted it back to white when I moved out

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