May 3, 2020

Common Lease Violations and How to Prevent Them

It’s a good idea to get to know neighbors and build a relationship where they feel comfortable communicating issues around the property. Good tenants can act as a second set of eyes on your property and other tenants, alerting you on any lease violations they may see. Unfortunately, even the best of tenants are susceptible to committing lease violations. It may be difficult to deal with lease violations the first time around. Jensen Properties has years of property management experience and systems in order to prevent and resolve any lease violations. We have put together a list of common lease violations you may experience. 

Unauthorized Pets

You’ll sometimes discover a tenant has brought a pet into your property without your knowledge. This could be because they were trying to avoid a pet deposit or perhaps they were unaware pets were not allowed. Sometimes when a property is advertised to ‘accept pets’, tenants assume they can add one at any time without prior approval or communication. Whether you find out via a neighbor, vendor, or just by sheer luck, it’s important to communicate with the tenant and address the lease violation. 

Nevertheless, It’s important to be careful when speaking to a tenant about the unauthorized pet. Remember, service and emotional support animals are not considered pets! Both service and support animals are protected and cannot be considered unauthorized pets. It’s possible that they forgot to give you a letter from their doctor stating they require their animal. Read our blog post about The Need-to-Know for Service Animals & Emotional Support Animals

Unpaid Rent 

More likely than not, you’ve had a tenant pay their rent late or maybe even refused to pay rent. For situations like this, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The best way to safeguard against tenants who refuse to pay rent is to do a diligent job screening your applicants. Jensen Properties has found that a thorough screening process should include  credit, income, rental, and criminal history check. You should also consider making paying rent easy by allowing your tenants to pay in person or online. Regardless, we always recommend you charge a late fee for delayed or unpaid rent. 

Unauthorized Tenants

Typically, an unauthorized tenant is someone that has been living in the property for an extended period of time such as 14 days or more within a 12 month period. Your lease should specify the differences between a resident and a guest. Generally, landlords require all persons over the age of 18 to submit an application and be financially responsible for the property. You should talk to your tenant if you discover signs of unauthorized tenants. Work on a plan for them to convert the prolonged guest into a tenant or, if outlined in your lease, fine them for the unauthorized tenant. 

Resolving a Lease Violation

Most landlords like to give their tenants a warning when they violate their lease. If the warning gets ignored or you deem the violation warrants more than a warning, you can issue them a 3-day notice. A 3-day Notice to Cure Breach or Perform informs the tenant that they have three days from the day the notice is served to fix the violation. It gives them the option to either comply or vacate the property. If they refuse to resolve the issue, the next step in the eviction process would be filing an Unlawful Detainer. 

Let Us Help You

Jensen Properties has plenty of experience resolving lease violations amicably. Call us or send us a message so we can help you in resolving any issues you are running into. We will provide a free rental analysis and come to you in person when you’re available. 

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