Roommates, your rules
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
     
     
Roommates, your rules (by Sarah [FL]) Apr 15, 2019 7:48 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by JKJ [MA]) Apr 15, 2019 9:08 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by NE [PA]) Apr 16, 2019 3:57 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by S i d [MO]) Apr 16, 2019 5:05 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Apr 16, 2019 5:44 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by AllyM [NJ]) Apr 16, 2019 6:01 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Apr 16, 2019 6:10 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 6:17 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Apr 16, 2019 6:31 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Apr 16, 2019 6:34 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 6:55 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Apr 16, 2019 7:05 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Apr 16, 2019 7:50 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 8:00 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Apr 16, 2019 8:10 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 8:26 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Apr 16, 2019 8:31 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by JB [OR]) Apr 16, 2019 9:17 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by Jan [MO]) Apr 16, 2019 9:59 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 10:19 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by Sarah [FL]) Apr 16, 2019 10:58 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Apr 16, 2019 12:30 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Apr 16, 2019 2:58 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by Jeffrey [VA]) Apr 18, 2019 8:48 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by mike [CA]) Apr 18, 2019 11:59 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by mike [CA]) Apr 18, 2019 11:59 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Apr 18, 2019 12:35 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by Bernie Rabinowitz [IL]) Apr 18, 2019 1:43 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by Honey [LA]) Apr 18, 2019 2:32 PM
       Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Apr 19, 2019 7:49 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Apr 19, 2019 7:53 AM
       Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Apr 19, 2019 8:09 AM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

Roommates, your rules (by Sarah [FL]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2019 7:48 PM
Message:

What requirements do you have for the roommate applicants? Invariably one moves out due to some unforeseen drama of the other. Who can show me the drama free way? Are these folks considered ď familyĒ by federal authorities? Can you just pass on these arrangements? --162.238.xx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Apr 15, 2019 9:08 PM
Message:

When I sign a new tenant everyone who will be living in the unit must be on the lease and must pass a background, credit, and past evictions check. If a tenant decides they want to have someone move in, I insist they are added to the lease,but ONLY AFTER they have passed my screening process. I donít know of a way to foresee roommates from having a fight and 1 moving out. But by having everyone on the lease Iím not stuck with an unsigned roommate in my unit. --71.248.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 3:57 AM
Message:

The drama free way is simply not getting involved in any drama, ever. I rent to roommates quite often. --50.107.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 5:05 AM
Message:

Screen a roommate just like any other tenant, because that's what they become once they move in. They are signed onto the lease as "jointly and severally liable" for all conditions and terms of the lease, including making sure the WHOLE RENT is paid.

Roommate is a causal term used to describe anything from someone else living in a home to a shack up living arrangement. I don't care what they do or how they see themselves relationally. Any time we add a roommate we explain using small words...

"You are now on this lease. You are responsible for everything. If one of you moves out, you are still responsible for everything. There is no such thing as 'my half' and 'her half' of the rent. There is simply 'the rent.' If one of you damages the door or the wall, both of you are responsible for paying the entire bill, even if you were not the one who did it."

When you explain it in terms like that, I've had roomies back out at the last minute. They think they're just moving in and going to couch serf/enjoy some free rent and maybe get some action for awhile then move out on a whim. I clear them up on that mistake quickly. If one roommate wants to leave before their roomie moves out, they must pay the Early Lease Termination fee and sign away any rights to a Security Deposit Refund. It's up to them to work it out between themselves.

. --173.20.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 5:44 AM
Message:

I consider roommates as I do any couple. I don't care if they sleep together or separately, same process of screen, lease, full deposit in trust account, full rent paid on rent due day.

If, when they leave, they go separate directions, both agree in writing to split the deposit. Or one will agree the other gets the whole thing (depending on their own arrangements.) Deductions are made according to the lease: any damage or dirt comes out of full deposit before splitting.

If one leaves before the lease is up, that's between them. Deposit stays with the house until the final person leaves.

Almost always, it turns out one person is the dominant personality - the one we have the most interaction with. --50.82.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:01 AM
Message:

I would put whoever has the best credit on the lease. That's the one that will stay in the apartment if the other one leaves. That one can manage the room mate and the room mate can then leave if necessary and life goes on. --173.61.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:10 AM
Message:

Ally, most people who go the roommate route are quite young, often just out of school (or IN school) and can't afford the place alone and don't HAVE credit to speak of. --50.82.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:17 AM
Message:

I get as much or more drama from married couples who separate or divorce. So I don't distinguish THEM from roommates! --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:31 AM
Message:

I require each roommate to qualify separately. Most of them can't, or they wouldn't need a roommate. That's my way to keep roommates out.

That varies by state. I can do it but, in California, the combined income must be used to qualify the group, so know your local law.

It's all well and good to require each new roommate moving in to apply and qualify, but there really isn't any way for a landlord to know who is moving in or out if no one notifies the landlord.

I get applications from people all the time where the landlord has lost control and has no idea who is in the large group living in his house. It's a college town which makes it worse, but it can happen anywhere. --98.146.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:34 AM
Message:

I also see a lot of applicants coming out of one of those commune homes who are applying by themselves, but I have a strong suspicion that the whole group plans to move in once the housing is secured.

Which, of course, means that some of the roommates can't pass a screening. --98.146.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 6:55 AM
Message:

"I require each roommate to qualify separately. " Do you do the same for married couples? if not, that would be discrimination on basis of martial status --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 7:05 AM
Message:

Oregon, of course you will know who is living in your house if you keep an eye on your properties? --50.82.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 7:50 AM
Message:

Some of the PM companies require roommates (meaning anyone not married) to have lived together for at least a year prior to renting, to cut down on situations where people move in and find out they don't get along. Does anyone here do this? --72.188.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 8:00 AM
Message:

J, I don't discriminate on the basis of marital status, so I treat married couples the same as roommates.

I have had married couples who move in and find out they don't get along. The divorce rate is 50%. Nothing special about saying "I do" that guarantees they stay longer than roomies. --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 8:10 AM
Message:

True, David. I did have a married couple sign a lease and a few months after move in they had got divorced. Although I think there's still a better chance of the married couple staying together for at least a year lease than roommates who've never lived together and may barely know each other.

Do you require anyone who rents from you to have rented together as a group before?

--72.188.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 8:26 AM
Message:

I require them to have some kind of pre-existing relationship . In order to avoid them finding roommates on craiglist or facebook --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 8:31 AM
Message:

I don't care where they find them, they all go through the same application and screening process. --50.82.xxx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 9:17 AM
Message:

Sid, what do you do if the second or subsequent roommates then want to leave early before lease end? You also charge them the entire ELT fee also?

I wonder about the legality of charging one exiting tenant the ELT when there is still a paying tenant within the building making regular rent payments.

Just curious if you have ever run this by an attorney to ask about the legality. --24.20.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by Jan [MO]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 9:59 AM
Message:

I do exactly what Oregonwoodsmoke does. I require each adult tenant to meet all rental qualifications individually. This means they can't "combine" incomes to meet the income requirement. They also must meet all other requirements - enough rental and employment history, minimum credit, etc. Each adult tenant is jointly and severally liable for all lease terms. I do not accept co-signers.

As a result, I don't have a lot of roommate tenants. Which is how I like it. Two people whose primary reason to live together is a need/desire to split the rent are not my idea of quality, long term tenants. One will very likely move out, either during the lease term or at its end. If she moves out before the lease is up, and the remaining tenant wants a new roommate, you're now spending time and energy qualifying the new roommate, adding him/her to the lease, etc. No thanks.

--144.191.xxx.x




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 10:19 AM
Message:

"what do you do if the second or subsequent roommates then want to leave early before lease end?"

There a few options for what a LL want to do should one lessee move out early

1) nothing. The roommate can move out, but they still jointly bound by the lease to pay rent, damages caused etc

2) negotiate with all lessees to remove that person from the lease prior to lease end

I don't find any upside to doing 2. " charging one exiting tenant the ELT" the leaving tenant has not "Terminated" the "lease" if you choose to do nothing. --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by Sarah [FL]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 10:58 AM
Message:

Great comments. I like the idea to make sure each roommate can afford it on their own. To throw a big wrench into the mix......if we screen each roommate to meet the three times rental amount, etc, what about the married couple .......do we screen them as individuals this way as well? The law sees them as liable for each othersí bills, sure, other than that, if all adults are screened the same, can we apply this to only the roommates ? --66.87.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by David [MI]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 12:30 PM
Message:

depends if your state bans discrimination based on marital status --144.250.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by Oregonwoodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Apr 16, 2019 2:58 PM
Message:

{{{[[[...... Oregon, of course you will know who is living in your house if you keep an eye on your properties? ......}}}}}

Only if you park your surveillance van across the street for a couple of weeks and keep track of everyone going in and out.

Tenants are allowed to have friends visit and even to spend the night. So seeing a person going in and out frequently doesn't mean they live there.

You have to give 24 hour notice to go in and even then, you can't look in their dresser drawers to see whose clothing is in there.

It's against the law to take their mail out of the mailbox to see who is receiving mail there.

It's easier to hide an unauthorized tenant than it is to hide an unauthorized dog and the dog can be hidden pretty well with a little extra effort.

If your tenants want to lie about who is living there, it is tricky to prove otherwise. Guessing or suspecting won't hold up in court. --98.146.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by Jeffrey [VA]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 8:48 AM
Message:

J (FL), don't make "relationship or rooming history" a stipulation only for non-married individuals. Simply say to any pair (whether married or not) that as part of your criteria, renters are given a point for every prior year that they have been staying in the same house, up to say a maximum of three or five points (years). --72.214.xx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 11:59 AM
Message:

i ALWAYS tell them straight out that leaving and swapping in a tenant ALWAYS benefits the guy leaving and OFTEN shanks the new guy. I make them repeat that and nod their head that they get it and accept reality.

my lease treats that as a move out and i reserve the right to charge a fee for the lease drawing with the new "crew"

i have a form that says the guy moving has entirely cleaned the place, steamed the carpets and left it hospital clean and the new guy agrees it is in pristine and new condition and that all damages will be charged to the "last men standing". this usually means the last persons in get the whammy and i tell them that straight out. the party inbound gets the same scrutiny that the original tenants get and i make the new guy and all others agree that i can share their credit report with the others and discuss the wisdom of being in business together. i have had this occur several times in my more desirable rentals...it usually gets a LITTLE testy at the final move but the documentation and plain language i use is dispositive of any complaints as their signatures are all there in blue ink. when they moan about a charge i remind them that i made them "repeat after me and not their heads" that they FULLY understood the way it would end. i

my fee for this MASSIVE HEADACHE is $350 --76.176.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 11:59 AM
Message:

i ALWAYS tell them straight out that leaving and swapping in a tenant ALWAYS benefits the guy leaving and OFTEN shanks the new guy. I make them repeat that and nod their head that they get it and accept reality.

my lease treats that as a move out and i reserve the right to charge a fee for the lease drawing with the new "crew"

i have a form that says the guy moving has entirely cleaned the place, steamed the carpets and left it hospital clean and the new guy agrees it is in pristine and new condition and that all damages will be charged to the "last men standing". this usually means the last persons in get the whammy and i tell them that straight out. the party inbound gets the same scrutiny that the original tenants get and i make the new guy and all others agree that i can share their credit report with the others and discuss the wisdom of being in business together. i have had this occur several times in my more desirable rentals...it usually gets a LITTLE testy at the final move but the documentation and plain language i use is dispositive of any complaints as their signatures are all there in blue ink. when they moan about a charge i remind them that i made them "repeat after me and not their heads" that they FULLY understood the way it would end. i

my fee for this MASSIVE HEADACHE is $350 --76.176.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by J [FL]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 12:35 PM
Message:

Thanks Jeffery. I don't have a point system set up in my criteria though. --72.188.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by Bernie Rabinowitz [IL]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 1:43 PM
Message:

--205.178.xx.xx




Roommates, your rules (by Honey [LA]) Posted on: Apr 18, 2019 2:32 PM
Message:

When 2 or 3 , usually young people, over 18, come to rent from me, I certainly run credit checks, charge everybody the fee, sign one Lease, and take the whole deposit, divided by the 2 or 3 applicants. Then I explain that one of them must be the "money changer". I want one check for the entire amount of rent, each month. IF SOMEONE MOVES OUT, they replace'em. Because I don't return any deposits before the lease expires. If the party moves out on his/her buddies, they go to their buddy/roommate for their part of the deposit and when a replacement roommate is found, he/she pays the portion to the deposit to the original tenant. That goes for damages too, cause I tell'em all that in the end, whoever is the last tenant standing will be accountable for damages, deposits refunds and excellent referrals.

Landlords can't choose roommates for their tenants. Cruise Ship companies used to do that and it was often just for a week or two, and you don't see that happening anymore! --24.252.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Apr 19, 2019 7:49 AM
Message:

Jeffrey was polite. I'll be more direct.

Yikes! I see several posters on this thread who are breaking Federal Fair Housing Law. Please review your criteria and have it in writing.

You MUST treat EVERY APPLICANT the same, married, fiance', shack up, roommates, students, CL 'seeking roommate', met at a bar last night...

**You cannot treat married and non-married differently.**

You cannot define "family". (I know, someone will challenge me on this buy YOU can be the public test case, not me. And with all the same sex movements do you really want your name on the front page of the paper?)

If you require each "non-married" person to qualify for the whole rent individually you must do the same for "married" persons. So no stay at home Moms or persons with part time income or 20 year old students in the home.

If the one person can afford the rent why do they need a platonic roommate?

One reason for people rooming together is to share the expenses. This helps us get homes rented AND helps us get our rent.

I do not see married couples staying longer than other "pairs".

When one wants to move out we allow them to pay the ELT to remove their name IF IF IF the remaining person can afford it on their own or can find a suitable replacement who passes our screening. If not the departing roomie's name stays on the lease no matter where they sleep.

Have a written criteria which treats everyone the same and be able to prove it on the day the Fair Housing Office comes knocking on your door. (they do that ya know!)

If you are worried about longevity include a specific, documentable criteria that you include on EVERY screening.

Stay safe and legal gang!

BRAD

--73.102.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Apr 19, 2019 7:53 AM
Message:

Sarah

Drama free? Like NE said - stay out of it.

-Solid screening for stable people

-Solid lease to protect you when their feathers fly

-ELT fee. Get PAID to let them go

-Don't answer the phone. They are less likely to leave a message about their drama.

-Business relationship, not friends.

We rent to many roommates pairs and it works fine.

BRAD --73.102.xxx.xxx




Roommates, your rules (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Apr 19, 2019 8:09 AM
Message:

Another thought...Lemonade from lemons .

If the pair splits we often rent a lesser priced home to the remaining person.

We recently had a couple break up the day they moved in. We moved each of them to one bedroom apts. No need to pay the 60 day notice period and the ELT.

BRAD --73.102.xxx.xxx



Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster


Reply:
Subject: RE: Roommates, your rules
Your Name:
Your State:

Message:
Roommates, your rules
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from Mrlandlord.com every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: