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Landlords don’t make the same mistake this one did


photo courtesy of_lalagabrysiaOne of my clients who owned rental properties prior to me knowing him had one of them he wanted to put on the market because the clients weren't paying their rent. I advised him that if they weren't paying, then more than likely, the property was going to be in less than salable condition when they got it back and that the tenants would probably not make it easy to sell. So my suggestion was to have them evicted prior to putting the home on the market.

He went of over to the property and the person on the lease agreed to be out by the 1st of November, but there was a problem. There was another adult living there who wasn't on the lease. He told me about this person and I told him you need to get that person to sign on the lease or it may be harder than you think to get the person out. And that while he was at it, he should even get the person who said they would be out by the 1st sign a 30 day eviction notice.

My seller decided that he didn't need to do that and the person didn't move out on the 1st as promised, but was out by the 7th with a little talking to. However, the other person is still there and has no plans to leave. He asked why and she told him that she has no money and no place to go. He told her that if you don't pay rent and don't move out, neither do I! This just upset her and she slammed the door in his face.

Now, the problem is getting her evicted without her being on the lease. There was no contract and now he has to spend money to hire an eviction company to get her out and spend money in court.

So, if you have a rental property make sure you have everyone over the age of 18 sign the lease agreement so you don't have the same problem that this landlord is now having with his property.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 10 commentsRespect Realty LLC • November 27 2008 12:53AM


Good situation and right down my ally. I'm not a lawyer and not sure of the laws in every state but would guess that if the landlord has a provision in the lease that guests may stay no longer than 6 days 23 hours and 59 minutes without written consent of the landlord there will never be a problem like this. I know, it's verbose -it's also exact. If the landlord really wants to be specific they could add that for every person not named on the lease as qualified tenants the monthly rent will escalate by 10% per head retro to the initial date of arrival. I used to say from the first night the guest overnighted in the home ... don't do that either, they may work nightshift. Still I am betting the person can only be considered a tenant on a month to month basis and must vacate with a 30 day notice (possibly published in the legal rag). Again, I'm not an attorney, just a Doctorate of Hard Knocks.

Posted by Ken Cook, Content Marketer/Creator (Content, coding, marketing, host.) over 11 years ago

Hmmm, I wonder if the person is a trespasser rather than a tenant.  If so, that may make them subject to criminal law.  A good attorney up front may save a lot of grief later (no, I'm not one).

Posted by Richard Dolbeare, R(B), R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

He should have just phoned the police and reported a trespasser in his property.  If the tresspasser cannot show a lease or proof of tenancy the police will remove them from his property.  It reverses the onus from the property owner to have to remove the squatter and places it on the squatter to prove they have the legal right to be there, ie. a lease.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 11 years ago

It is wiser to have an attorney in the deal up front than to wait until things like this happen.  too bad!!!

Posted by Jean Groesbeck, Broker, CRS, e-PRO, ABR, ASP, CNE, IMS (Compass) over 11 years ago

Todd, I have done the as prescribe above. I called the police and told the trespasser they were coming. By the time the police showed up he had moved a lot of things. In the landlord business a sign of niceness is a sign of weakness. IF they are not on my lease or rental agreement then I don't know them.

Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago

Wow.  Your client should have listened to you.  Tenants can be a real pain, especially if you get one like that.

Posted by Carol Swain, Realtor, Bucks County, Pa (Keller Williams Real Estate) over 11 years ago

It is so difficult to foresee this type of problem. Have it written in the lease naming all the people that are living in the home. This will avoid this problem.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) over 11 years ago

As a former landlady...add to that the number of folks who actually live many landlady lessons....and so former is what I choose to be,..happy holidays.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 11 years ago

Thanks for that tidbit. Good idea, never thoght about having everyone sign over 18. But, makes sense. Good reminder.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

There are some scary things going on out there!  I heard of a guy that bought a home at auction but someone decided to "move in" before him.  It is a long story but they can't get him out!  Not the police, no one.  No lease but he said he has permission to be there.  Go figure.  I hope that your guy gets it figured out! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Cristal Drake, Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate (Prudential California Realty) over 11 years ago

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