Creating an Apartment Guest Policy: 4 Signs a Guest Has Overstayed

As a landlord, you should expect your tenants to have guests over from time to time (learn what renters value most), but you also need to make sure guests don’t start treating your property like it’s theirs.

This is one of the most common disputes between tenants and landlords. Below, we discuss four signs that almost always indicate a guest is overstepping, and we also suggest some clauses landlords can include in their rental agreements to preclude guest-related issues from popping up in the first place.

Signs a Guest Has Overstayed

1. The Guest Is Paying Rent

It doesn’t matter if it was a verbal agreement or something in writing: if your tenant is charging their guest rent, or the guest is paying for utilities, the tenant and guest have entered into a quasi landlord-tenant relationship.

Should you become aware of this, you need to speak to your tenant immediately, as this is probably a blatant violation of the lease agreement.

Also, the guest may think they enjoy the rights that the tenant has because they pay, but this isn’t the case if their name isn’t on the lease.

2. The Guest Has a Key

If a guest has a key to your rental property, this should definitely be seen as a red flag. Especially if you only gave your tenant one set of keys, seeing a guest with their own keys is likely a sign that they had the original key duplicated, either legally or illegally.

Additionally, if you see a guest let themselves into the unit (by unlocking it) when the tenant isn’t there, this should be taken as a sign that they have their own key, which could also be a sign of subletting.

3. The Guest Is There Every Night

A tenant is allowed to have guests sleep over here and there, but if you’re seeing the same person sleep over night after night, that person should no longer be treated as a guest.

This is one reason why you should have security cameras present, as these can keep track of who comes to the property and when. And if you keep seeing the same vehicle in your driveway or parking lot every night, this should also be a sign that someone has overstayed their welcome as a guest.

However, even if a person is at the property every day—but they’re not staying over night—they’re still classified as a guest.

4. The Guest Is Getting Mail

A guest using a property’s mailing address is less common, but nonetheless it’s a sign that they’re using the property for their own benefit.

If you get wind of this, you need to nip it in the bud right away, as there’s no telling what the guest could start receiving in the mail.

What to Include in an Apartment Guest Policy

Consider putting the following clauses in your apartment guest policy to make it more effective:

  • Specify what kinds of guests are allowed. Friends and family should be allowed, of course, but what about strangers? You need to make this clear up front.
  • Specify how many guests can be present at once.
  • Specify how many nights per week guests can stay over.
  • Specify how many consecutive nights guests can stay over.
  • Specify how you will take action if the tenant or their guests violate these stipulations.

Choose Sunrise Real Estate Corp When You Need Top-Tier Property Management Services

Don’t want to deal with tenant-related issues on your own? No problem! Just hire Sunrise Real Estate Corp. As a specialized property management company in Brooklyn, we’ll handle all tenant matters on your behalf, and we’ll make sure no tenant or guest is breaching the rules you’ve set forth.

Call us now at (718) 355-9117 or visit our site to learn more about the services we’re proud to offer.

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