Adding a New Tenant to a Lease
Whether someone is adding a roommate or having a romantic partner move in with them, you’re likely going to encounter plenty of instances where a tenant needs to add someone to the lease. Like most things, having thorough and clear processes documentation are essential to protecting your business and your property.
So how do you handle adding someone to the lease? Here are a few important things to consider before your new tenant moves in.
What to Consider Before Adding a New Tenant
Do the Math
It seems like the price of everything is going up nowadays, especially water, power, and gas. If you’re adding a second person to the lease, you’ll need to decide whether a rent increase is appropriate. If utilities are included, it should be expected that the rent will go up to compensate for the extra person or that there might be a secondary security deposit required due to extra wear and tear of the property. Be sure to have an open dialogue with your old and your new tenant, and make sure that both parties are agreeable to the new lease agreement. Speaking of…
Create a New Lease
Another tenant can change a lot of variables of a living situation, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re covered should anything go wrong. Some important things to consider include whether there’s a joint rental agreement, updated move-in and move-out dates, and any new costs.
How to Add an Additional Tenant to Your Lease
Have Your Current Tenant Submit a Written Request
Like all of the paperwork involved in rental housing, a written request by your tenant protects you, your property, your business, and your tenant.
Check All Applicable Laws and Regulations
While adding just one more person to a property may not seem like cause for legal trouble, there are occupancy limits and bylaws to consider. Be sure to check with all applicable governing bodies to make sure that your property stays in compliance.
Get a Rental Application
Just like you did with your first tenant, make sure the second tenant submits a completed rental application. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – requesting, receiving, and storing documentation like this will help you in the long run.
Conduct a Background Check
We can’t stress this step enough. Your current tenant may be amazing, but there’s no guarantee that the person they’re requesting live with them is the same. Before you sign off on anything, be sure to use a screening service (like Tenant Verification Service) to make sure that you’re minimizing risk.
Not convinced you need to screen tenants? Check out our blog post, 4 Reasons You Should Screen Tenants, for more information.
Have Both Parties Sign the Updated Lease
Adding another tenant means the terms of the current lease are going to change. Make sure that both parties sign (and understand) the updated lease.
Whether this happens tomorrow or five years from now, it’s important to have certain policies and procedures in place to protect yourself. The best way of doing so is always by thoroughly screening your applicants with a trusted screening service. Visit Tenant Verification Service to get started!