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Enforcing the Lease: Over Occupancy

However, occupancy terms are often violated sometime after your residents move in.  Then it can be difficult to determine whether the occupancy terms are being followed. Occupants of single-family rental homes often invite overnight guests to the home. But problems can arise when those guests stay for an extended period.  Even a frequent babysitter may appear to be living there when they actually are not. But, in other cases, residents may be violating the terms of their contract with you by subletting rooms in the property without your  permission.

Avoid accusing your residents of over occupancy without proof.  A false accusation can severely damage your relationship with your tenants. But if you suspect an occupancy violation, gather as much information as you can and then take appropriate action, starting with having a conversation with them about your perception of things.  Perhaps the renters are unaware of how they might be jeopardizing their own situation by such a lease violation.  Explain to them how any unauthorized people living in the home can put you at risk of violating occupancy laws in your area, as well as increase other liability risks around long-term guests.

Because it is difficult to correctly assess an occupancy situation from afar, or even know what to look for in the assessment, you would be wise to enlist a reputable property management company to help you solve this problem. An experienced property manager will help you avoid the murky terrain of  occupancy violations in several ways. First, they would include appropriate language in the lease itself, defining the terms of occupation.  A good property manager will properly vet potential renters, checking carefully for red flags and past violations. You should expect your property manager to schedule and perform regular property evaluations, gathering information that can identify any contract violations.  And, perhaps most importantly, he or she will help you resolve issues in a professional manner in the event of a violation, giving you peace of mind about your valuable real estate investment.

Get yourself a hands-on manager for your property so you can be confident regarding all the nuances of lease enforcement, including over occupancy issues like unauthorized residents or subletting. Reach out to Real Property Management Metro Boston to find out how we can help you more effectively care for your rental property.

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