Children on premises

When people move in, they usually just tell me how many kids they have, or the kids are with them.

The lease says that only children in the legal custody of those in the lease can be there.

I have run into situations where they have their “second child” visit on the weekends, of course along with the “babies daddy,” who I have not run a background check on.

What’s the best way to handle this?

Should I ID the children and write their names on the lease when they move in? Should I ID all children who come to visit?

Should I trespass the “babies daddy” as an unauthorized guest?

The first line of your post is the problem; a self-inflicted management problem.

Tenants should never ‘just move in, and tell you how many kids they have.’

What’s that about?

The lease lists all the occupants by age and relationship. Period.

Nobody gets to live there who’s also not on the lease.

If the parents are listing your property as their kid’s primary residence, then you must include them in the lease agreement. Otherwise, they’re just ‘sometime’ visitors.

Our state law says that any squatter who occupies a property for more than 30 days is automatically deemed a legal occupant. As a result, a deadbeat has to be removed by court order. Well, there’s professional squatters who know the law, and the liabilities an owner assumes when he has no lease agreement to enforce. So, if you’ve got an iffy tenant, that also brings in sub-tenants, and you’re not on the ball, you could end up losing all sorts of money and time repossessing your property.

As a result, we limit overnight visitors to 14 consecutive days.

Frankly, if the tenant is compliant; has a history of paying the bills on time; and takes care of the place, we’re enormously lenient on the long-term visitor issue. Sometimes, grandma comes to stay for two or three months at a time, and we’re not storming the driveway, waving our lease, and radioing for the ‘Grandma-removal’ SWAT team.

This assumes that ‘visiting’ Grandma isn’t crazy, and disturbing the peace, by trying to hang herself, naked, from a bush in the front yard with an extension cord. This happened.


So you ID children?

As early as what age?

Also, I only show up once per week to collect rent. Other than that, I’m barely there.

I wouldn’t know if someone was squatting for two weeks or was just visiting for 5 minutes.

If it breathes it gets listed on the lease.

Any failure to know who’s squatting in your rental is a management weakness.

However, that’s why God invented surprise visits.

It’s amazing how often the ‘trespassers’ in the house answer the doorbell. It’s like a involuntary spasm.

The worst-case scenarios are rare, so if you somehow miss a breach of lease for more than a month, it’s not like you’ll end up in court.

If you’re not dealing with late rents, and defaults then use the opportunity to charge extra rent for additional tenants. Why not?

There’s usually a way to fatten up the bottom line with a rule breaker.

  • Extra late rent? Fees.
  • Extra Dogs? Fees.
  • Extra room-mates? More rents.

But it’s not written in the lease to collect additional rent. I can’t just make up a figure.

My only course of action is to evict them based on unregistered guests.


Your tenant is in breach/default of his contract. It’s up to you to offer a cure, which includes either signing a new lease, which includes additional rent from drunk boyfriend, or putting the tenant on notice to vacate.

If your lease agreement doesn’t allow you to call the contract null and void in the event of a breach, or default, you have a crappy lease agreement.

You need to use what your local Apartment Association offers. It will definitely outline the terms of a breach (and how to cure a default, etc.).

I can definitely offer to write a new lease. I didn’t know that’s what you meant.

Yes, my lease allows me to evict based on unregistered guests.

I don’t recommend what I’m getting ready to describe, because I’m a seasoned pro, and know how to protect my assets from a character I’m about to describe, but…

If this were me, not knowing any more about this situation, I would first attempt to sign up the drunk boyfriend, after running a credit report to confirm he’s an idiot, unable to handle money; was actually evicted by a half-a-dozen other landlords, and just for giggles, is in fact, a registered sex offender. Then, I would offer him the opportunity to be added to the lease, in return for two hundred dollars per month on top of what I’m receiving now in rent. I also want an additional deposit of “x” dollars (depending on what the primary tenant had already deposited, but just to psychologically reinforce with the potential drunken, child-abusing deadbeat that nothing in life is free, and that we have a business relationship.

Now, in real life …the drunken, child-abusing deadbeat will not take me up on my offer. Why? Because he wants free sex and handouts. Why buy the cow, when the milk is free? Never mind he’s not into liabilities and accountability. That’s why he’s shoplifting a place to live from his girlfriend and from me.

Meantime, I remain the good guy, because I didn’t say ‘no’ to him living in my property. I just explained, “How he could do it,” and he chose to reject my generous offer."

*** That all said, everything is in the open. Drunk, pedophiliac boyfriend now knows the ground rules; realizes that I know he’s been living in my property; and I’ve explained what will happen to him, and everyone involved, if the rules aren’t maintained as agreed, such as forfeiture of their deposits, breach of lease, unlawful detainer, court actions, further damage to the primary tenant’s credit; perhaps a recapture of losses from the cosigner, and the list goes on. And/or drunk boyfriend can find another place to squat.


There’s nothing wrong with the guy that I know of.

I’ll offer to add him to the lease provided he passes a background check.