Wanted opinions on a situation I find myself in. For a long term assignment in PHX AZ I have rented a home. I am there typically 2 weeks each month. As many of you know I have rental units, predominantly SFHs in 2 different states already, TX and MO. I'm now up over 50 units. So I think I have a decent handle on how to be a LL.
I do not have a lease agreement or rental agreement on the home I rent in PHX. I have keys, I pay the agreed amount as scheduled directly into the owner's bank account each month, and I keep receipts to show that I am paid current.
The house is a SFH in an HOA community where the HOA apparently has not granted the owners permission to rent out the property (the owners informed me I was going to be classified as a "guest" as far as the HOA is concerned. That is fine with me, that's between the owners and the HOA)...and the owners use the home a few times a year when they come to AZ for holiday (it's their 3rd home.)
The house is fully furnished down to the spoons, has a pool, the rent is half what I would otherwise pay in a similar community, is safe, quiet, and comfortable. It includes all bills. I have been in this arrangement for over a year. Up to now it's been great, although the owner's wife is a busy body, and the neighbors are nosy.
I keep the place immaculate and take care of it as though it were my own.
The discount in the rent is such because I accommodate the visits of the owners when they come into town several times a year. I schedule my work obligations around them, I park my car at another address (a friend's) so it's not in the driveway when they are in town, and I pack my clothes into Rubbermaid containers so they can use the guest suite (where I usually sleep) for their house guests when they are visiting. Up until this week no issues whatsoever.
This past weekend the owners had their cleaning lady in the house to retrieve her check (with about 30 minutes notice), and I happened to be out to dinner with a family member, who was in for a weekend visit. My family member was sleeping in the master bedroom rather than sharing a bed with me. The master bed was unmade and I guess the housekeeper informed the wife about the unmade bed, which generated a terse text message about
"We have an arrangement that you use the guest room - blah blah blah." I simply responded that I had a family member in town over the weekend who has a bad hip and that the other beds were too high for her to sleep in (true.)
But the bigger issue it seems to me is that I have an out of state owner who doesn't know the AZ laws about notice and/or use of premises. Her husband is an attorney, so I presume that once he takes a look at AZ LL/Tenant statutes he's going to see that nothing I'm doing is unreasonable (whether I use their room or not), nothing is in writing, so it's considered and oral agreement backed up by them granting access and me showing history of rent payments...and hopefully the wife will simmer down. I'm well within my rights as a tenant, HOA or none.
Without a written agreement I expect the rental agreement defaults to a month-to-month oral agreement where state statute governs. I was going to get some consensus on the board as to what the possible downsides are.
The LL can't dictate to me who I can and cannot have over (my kids are coming out to visit this weekend as well as their father), and frankly I could smoke (I don't) or have a pet (I don't) as well. I do have a boyfriend, who a couple of the neighbors have met, and he does stay over at times. Nothing out of the ordinary there. When he snores I do sometimes sleep in another room, but I am not renting a room, I am renting an entire home, as such I have use of the entire home and nothing is held in reserve since there is not a written agreement.
I just want my privacy respected, and the LL to give me the reasonable notice if they are planning on entering the premises (48 hours per AZ statute.) Worst case they could always decide to give me a 30-day notice to vacate...which would mean I need to find another residence by May 1, but I thought it was odd them freaking out about the unmade bed when I keep the place in immaculate condition, have a very light footprint in the property and as a LL myself understand well the advantages and disadvantages of what I am doing seems really silly to me.
I figure worst case scenario I may call the husband (the attorney) and have a conversation directly with him. I think the wife is being unreasonable and if necessary a conversation with the lawyer husband may help him educate the wife about what is and is not reasonable in this case.