Not the Usual Tenant Issues

Posted by Teresa on July 31, 2009 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

for-rent-sign-in-yard on tenant screening blogManaging rental property is really about managing people—and since there are all kinds of people, you’ll be dealing with all kinds of unusual and interesting requests from tenants. Just when you think you’ve heard them all, a new tenant will ask for a favor, or a prospective tenant discloses something you’ve never dealt with.

Here are a few issues you might not have encountered before:

A prospective tenant intends to run a daycare from your property: You’ll definitely want to run this by your insurance company and possibly even your attorney. In case of injury, any liability could be considered shared between you and the day care provider. You may not reject their application solely for this reason in certain states. Check your local and state laws to protect yourself. If everything checks out and you feel comfortable with the situation, you’ll also want to check your local zoning laws, and require your tenant to hold liability insurance with yourself named as additional insured.

On the flip side: you discover a tenant is running a daycare without your permission: If the tenant did not disclose the business up front, you may have grounds for eviction.

A new tenant wants to prepay a year’s rent: At first glance, this might not seem like a problem. But you should definitely check out the tenant’s income source by running a background screen. If they have legitimate income and otherwise pass the screening, you might want to consider the request. But don’t spend it all at once—six months down the road, they may decide to move!

If you allow pets in your units, should you allow a pit bull? Check with your insurance company. They usually have a list of “vicious” dogs that are not allowed under their coverage. Even if the dog is friendly and well-behaved, if your insurance company says “no,” you should, too.

If you don’t allow pets, what about a seeing eye dog? We’ve covered this topic in this blog before. Service animals are not considered pets, and are not subject to pet restrictions.

If you do allow pets, should you charge a pet deposit for a service animal? While you are certainly allowed to, most landlords do not. Again, since service animals are not considered pets, your normal pet rules do not apply.