Landlords love having a long-term tenant, but how far should a landlord go in being lenient? Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions like this from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals. Send him your question in the form below.
Dear Landlord Hank:
I have a long-term tenant that has been in one of my units for 14 years. Pays rent on time and does cut the grass, but that is about all.
In the last year he has been trying to help two young women that are on drugs to get clean; they are also on probation. He knows he can’t have anyone live in his apartment who is not on the lease, but he hides the women so no one will know. I have given him two written notice,s but he disregards the warnings. He states they just come to visit and are not living there.
He has been such a good tenant and I don’t want to make him move, but what to do? I can’t prove anyone else lives there except for the tenant. One of these women even picked my lock and I found her in my bathroom one morning. I should have called the police but I just chased her out and informed my tenant about it. She claims the door was unlocked, but she still had no right to come in through the gate and then my BACK DOOR. It seems to me my tenant is pushing me into a corner to dare me. Any suggestions?
It’s great to have a long-term tenant, but sometimes the tenant thinks you’ll be lenient or forgiving due to the length of stay, etc.
This tenant is putting you at risk by inviting known criminals to your property (sounds like you live in a duplex?), and, as you know, drug addicts support their habit by stealing.
Do you have a lease with this person or is he living month-to-month?
I would talk to him and tell him that you are not renewing his lease and expect him to move out by whatever date is consistent with your current rental agreement. I would also hand him the notice in person.
If he doesn’t move as requested, then you may have to evict. You are the boss and you don’t want to feel uncomfortable in your own home. Good luck.
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