Landlord's Corner: How To Handle Long-Term Guests
Sanket Sharma, a 32-year-old banker, has been living in a rented apartment in Delhi's Mayur Vihar area for past two years. Two months back, one of his friends shifted to his apartment. While Sharma's friend had planned to crash into his apartment for only a week, but unable to find another property to rent, he became a long-term guest.
But, could he legally live in Sharma's rented apartment without informing the landlord? Shouldn't the landlord have a new lease that names Sharma's friend, too?
Who is a long-term guest?
Apart from the name mentioned in the lease or the tenant, whoever visits the tenant is a guest. While it is ok for someone to crash at someone's accommodation for a day or two, or hosting a family member for a week or two, it is a different thing altogether if this timeline stretches beyond 15-20 days.
A landlord should be careful in case of long-term guests, because unlike in case of a tenant, you won't be able to screen the guest. Moreover, in case they try to harm your property, or violate any rules mentioned in the lease, there will be no ground of eviction.
Long-term guests may include:
*A girlfriend or boyfriend moving in
*A friend who is trying to settle down in the city
*Family member/s on a vacation to the city
*Retired parents moving in for months with the tenant
*Tenant having a sub-letter
*People your tenant is renting a room such as travellers
Here are three quick tips that will help a landlord handle a situation where your tenant has long-term guest/s:
A proper lease agreement
When making a lease or a rent agreement for a new tenant, make sure you add the clause for long-term guests. Add details about the tenure beyond which a person will be considered a long-term guest. Mention your expectations from the guests about abiding by the house rules. Also, in case the guest is staying beyond the granted permission or the number of days mentioned in the lease, the tenant will have to take a landlord's due permission.
However, make sure you are not too stringent when adding the clause.
Have the sub-letting clause
Many landlords fall prey to a situation where the tenant sublets the property or rents out room/s to travellers, minting money out of it. Make sure you have the clause where you prohibit sub-letting the property or list out the rules of subletting.
Communicate with the tenant
Communication is the key. In case your tenant approaches with a request to have home a guest who will stay for more than 15 days. Before you grant a permission, know who the guest will be, the purpose of the long stay and the background of the guest. If you think the request seems genuine, go ahead and give your approval.
Once the timeline the tenant gave is over, take a follow up whether or not the guest has left.
However, make sure this doesn't become a practice.