Renting to Multiple Occupants Can be Sticky

Renting to Multiple Occupants Can be StickyI received a call from a young man on a house that I currently have available for rent. I always ask a series of questions when a prospective tenant calls on a property.

I asked how many people would be occupying the property. He told me 3. 

Is there one person that earns enough money to cover the monthly rent?

He indicated that the rent would be split three ways and each occupant would pay their portion to the landlord.

Unfortunately, I don’t care for situations like this.  As a landlord, I do not want to collect money from 3 different people living in the same house.  Sometimes one party has their money and one of the other parties or both of  other two don’t. I want one check, from one person, covering the entire monthly rent.   They can work out the money amongst themselves and figure out who owes whom what money.

What happens if one of the occupants decides to move out?  Then, the other two don’ t have enough to cover the rent?  In turn, they have to sublet the house to someone else so they can pay the bills. This can turn into another precarious situation.

Years back I purchased a rental, with the tenants in place, on a month to month lease.  They were roommates. When I went to pick up the rent, one occupant would have half of the rent, but the other wouldn’t have her half.  This went on for another month. It was like pulling teeth. Neither wanted to be responsible for pulling together the rent and paying in one lump sum. I told them they needed to have it figured out by the following month.  They could bicker amongst themselves over the money. They did begrudgingly figure it out, and I received one check from then on for the rent.

Be careful when renting a property, that you know exactly who will be paying the monthly rent. Stipulate in your lease who the responsible party will be that pays the rent. Otherwise, you may be treading on thin ice.

This article is authored by

Sandy Shores REALTOR®,  Melbourne/Palm Bay FL Real Estate

Brevard County Real Estate & Investing

I also buy, sell, rent, own and manage Investment Property.

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