Profile picture for wonkytonkgrrl

people not on lease living in rental house

We have discovered our tenant's daughter, who is listed on the lease as living their from time to time) and her boyfriend are now living at our rental house full time. The daughter never signed the lease and we know nothing about this boyfriend. this is a small home in and with twice as many people living there as we agreed to, we're worried about the double wear and tear on the place. We don't want to evict these tenants, but we do want to do a background check on these other folks and get them officially on the lease. They have also added a second dog when only one is on the lease.

Any suggestions for how we should proceed?

What rights do we have as landlords in Cook County, Il for this kind of situation?

Any advice from seasoned landlords would be greatly appreciated.
  • August 19 2011 - Park Ridge
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for jampzalktcu25
i like to have my nane annoymous im in dallas tx im a tennant that odsurves other tennants that that have other tennants that lives with them for years at a time even the live on maintaines lives on property haves family lives with him
  • 2 days ago
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The Tenant violated your lease, by bringing in others (not on the lease), as well as an additional dog.  Stay focused on that.  You will need your attorney to get involved to write a letter to your Tenant.  You can then state your requirements (i.e., move out and responsible for term of lease, get background checks, additional rent, etc..whatever applies) and your Tenant will need to either clean up or move out.  If you continue to look the other way, it may be in your Tenant's favor.  Swift action needs to be taken. 

No different than if a Tenant is late in rent.  Immediately send out the five day notice.  You will find that good tenants will make sure late payments never happen again, or you will find out what kind of tenant you truly have in there and begin eviction proceedings sooner, rather than later. 

Many times Tenants know how to play the game and add additional tenants, pets, late rent, etc.. and become your worst nightmare. 

Do take action.  Good luck. 

  • March 25
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Profile picture for sunnyview
It is a mistake to let people live with you. You can get legal advice, but you need to give them notice to move. Read the law or get legal advice and give your cousin and her squeeze notice that they need to vacate within 30 days or they will be required to pay increased rent from zero to $1000 per month effective 30 days after you give notice.

The notice needs to be in writing to each tenant separately, delivered legally to each by a server or by registered mail to each if your state allows that. If they refuse to go, you'll have to file a formal eviction in housing court.

Time to give your leeches the boot. No more nice. Play hard, play legal. In 30 days, demand rent and give them immediate notice to vacate if they don't pay. They obviously think you will let them use you until you get evicted.
  • March 24
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Profile picture for foundinthevalley2009
I have let my homeless cousin and her boyfriend come and stay with me they are not on lease and will not leave the police say they can't make them that I have to file for eviction on them how is that correct for the state of Indiana, in Indianapolis? Can somebody please tell me how to get them out of my house before my landlord finds out?
  • March 24
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Are they paying on time? Is the house being taken care of? How is your relationship with the tenant? I would politely request the two new tenants to fill out a credit and background check. I'm a huge proponent of you get more bees with honey when it comes to your tenants. Ask them why they have an extra dog too but be understanding. Maybe an additional dog deposit would be in order.
  • July 14 2012
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The amount of deposits you may collect in total may depend on what the law says. For example, in AZ you cannot require more than one and one half times the monthly rent in deposits (unless the tenant offers to). You are also bound by the lease which should say how much in total deposits are required.

Also, how old are the daughter and her boyfriend? If they are minors, you may be forced to allow them (well, her anyway, unless they are "family) under Federal Fair Housing laws. Unless, your lease specifies there is a certain allowable number of occupants per bedroom.

What you need to do, and do it NOW is give them a written notice, as applicable in the landlord and tenant laws in your state, that they are in breach of contract, and unless you get the appropriate info to properly screen them to add them to the lease, you will be forced to evict them if they do not leave. You may be entitled to collect damages such as actual cost of eviction.

I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed in your state so this should not be taken as legal advice. I do recommend you consult with a local real estate attorney before you proceed.

The worst case scenario that often happens in these cases is that the original lessees move out, leaving behind the new "tenants" that you have not approved. Since they are not on the lease, it becomes more difficult to collect rent, they can trash the place and it not go on their rental history. You will still have to evict them (forcible detainer) to get them out. This is also a classic way for wanted felons and people with judgments to escape creditors/child support. Do NOT allow them to live there without doing a background check.

Here is the Illinois Landlord & Tenant Act.

Best of luck to you!
  • August 28 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"..if the property is taken care of and they pay their rent on time you may just leave the situation alone..."

That is a bad idea. The longer you let them live there without any contract, the more likely you will have to accept them as de facto legal tenants that you will eventually have to give due process of law to. Act now. Either give them the boot or get additional deposits and a contract.
  • August 27 2011
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Profile picture for AlGordon
another sticky situation..if the property is taken care of and they pay their rent on time you may just leave the situation alone..however the landlord usual pays water and sewer..if these charges are increasing then there's probably more people taking showers etc..if you approach them they will say there's a small leak that you as the landlord might want to call in a plumber to check..now this is another expense that you don't need..so you have to weigh how much longer the lease has, if you want to go thru eviction proceedings, and how easy it is to get new tenants in your area..good luck
  • August 27 2011
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In you lease it should state that people staying over x amount of days must notify the landlord. One way of taking care of the situation would be to first question the leasee and let he/she know that you are aware of the situation. Ask them to correct it. Call them later and say , Well I've thought about it. They can stay , I am going to raise the rent 150 each adult and 50 per child. The leasee may freak out.
They never live there "part time". It's always , This s my ____ she's just going to stay while ____.
I had a couple with 1 child and pregnant move in. I would go over and see , the boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend (also pregnant). It was OK , I was thinking they just moved in and it's a new place. I go over next week, still there, next week, still there. I brought up the scenario of pay and they left.
  • August 19 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think you need to start by reading your lease. Most leases do not allow guests to stay beyond a set time without owner permission. The dog is another issue. If you are not opposed to another tenant dog, you need to collect a pet deposit and put the dog on the lease. The same goes for the new residents of the of the house.

If you are not opposed to the daughter and her boyfriend, you can send a notice that the extra residents are a violation of your original lease agreement and then give them the option to move or to fill out an application and be added to the lease with an additional deposit. Every name that you have on the lease is another "pocket" you can sue for damages in court if you do have repairs to make when they eventually move out.

You can not let this slide, but you can put them on notice and then get better security from them without going through an eviction. There is an excellent landlord/tenant handbook here from Southern IL Law School that has a lot of helpful information. Hope it helps.
  • August 19 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here is a link to the Illinois Landlord/Tenant guidelines with some phone numbers for advice.

Some of your rights may be determined by the way the lease is written related to pets and number of occupants.   
  • August 19 2011
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I am not clear as to what your concern is. You say that with twice the number of people there may be excessive wear and tear, but then you seem to just want to put them officially on the lease without increasing the rent or security deposit.
What if their credit report comes back not so hot? Are you still getting the rent on time? Do you want to hassle of throwing them out even though the rent is on time? I think you are opening up a potential can of worms unnecessarily.
Perhaps the easiest solution is to ask for an increased security deposit because of the extra people/dog and possibly increase the rent a bit if they can afford it. Get applications on them to see if they have jobs. Perhaps put them onm the lease although if the people currently on the lease have decent credit/jobs it is their responsibility still. Speak with the tenants on the lease to learn the whole story. Perhaps it is a temporary situation. Lots of people are losing their jobs and doubling up.
The eviction process is long and a huge hassle. Try to avoid it.
  • August 19 2011
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