Guy Learns The Hard Way To Put All Rules In The Lease When New Tenant Constantly Has Hookups Spend The Night
by Trisha Leigh
Being a landlord, or even a roommate-landlord, is a harder job than most people think before they give it a go.
OP found himself with a two-bedroom lodging and nothing to do with the spare room, so he figured he would rent it out. He drew up his own lease, wrote an ad, and started interviewing people.
I have a 2 bedroom house. I decided that I wanted to rent out the other bedroom in the house to make some money on space I wasn’t really using after COVID. So I fixed up the place really nice:
The tenant gets:
Private, semi-attached bathroom (bathroom is actually outside the bedroom, but I put up drapes between the bedroom and bathroom so tenant can walk between without me seeing)
Common consumables! (I pay for toilet paper, paper towels, laundry supplies, kitchen supplies, etc.)
I create the lease. The lease is very barebones. It just says “you get a room at this property. You pay this much per month. Landlord covers all utilities. Your lease is X months long.”
I created the ad. In the ad I mentioned how “it’s ok to have guests over, but keep it to no more than twice per month”.
I did not put this into the lease agreement. You can see where this is going.
The guy who ended up renting from him agreed to the terms of the lease and also discussed rules, like not having overnight guests on a regular basis.
I do a showing for a prospect, T. I tell him the guest policy and he seems just fine with it. I do the rest of the showing and all seems grand. He signs the lease agreement and moves in.
Soon after moving in, though, the tenant began having girls over to spend the night multiple times a week.
The first month is grand. Anyone can fool someone for a month. But eventually you return to bad habits. His bad habit was women. He would have women over 4-5 nights per week. I did not appreciate this.
I pulled him aside to tell him “Hey, you’re having a lot of girls over. You need to reduce how many girls over or, if you’re willing to pay a bit extra for having all these girls over, I won’t say a thing.” He initially agrees with it.
When OP wanted to talk to him about it, the tenant shrugged and said it wasn’t in the lease so he doesn’t have to abide by it, even though they agreed.
The next day, he calls me down and asks to speak with me at the dining room table. It’s T and his girl du jour, G. T begins arguing, “How can you ask for more money when that’s not in the lease agreement? You can’t ask for that.”
I told him the guest policy was in the ad and that we spoke about it when he came here.
He said, “Yeah, but you can’t ask for that. If it’s not in the lease agreement you can’t do that. The guest policy isn’t in the lease agreement either, so I pay rent. I can have over whoever whenever I want.”
G piped in, “You just need to take the L on this one and write better lease agreements.”
I replied to G, “You’re not on the lease agreement, so I don’t care what you think about it.”
I turned to T, “It was in the ad. We also talked about it when you came here. You knew about this.”
T replied, “Woahhh man calm down. It’s just six months man. That’s my lease term. I’ll be out of your hair in six months.”
I replied, “Why can’t you stay at her place?”
G said, “That’s none of your business.”
“Shut up, G. I don’t care what you think. You want a problem, T? You got one. This is not cool and you know it. Why does she have to be here 5 nights a week? She practically lives here. I signed a lease with you, T, not with her. Why is she here?”
He shrugged, “Can’t help it. Not in the lease agreement man. That’s what lease agreements are for.”
I was infuriated. We talked about this. He’s choosing to follow the lease agreement.
Okay… fine… what’s a guy to do? I want him gone. I don’t want T & G teaming up against me in my own house!!
They walked upstairs and turned on the loud music in their room.
So, OP decided to make the place somewhere the tenant wouldn’t want to live.
Later in the evening, G was downstairs cooking something on the stove by herself using my pots and pans. She’s cooking for herself in my house! She’s not even a tenant but she sure is acting like one.
G tried striking up a friendly conversation with me, but I just gave her absolute silence for 10 minutes while I cooked. I took my food upstairs.
This is war. I’m going to follow the lease agreement TO THE LETTER. If I advertised a feature in the ad but it wasn’t in the lease agreement, that thing is GONE.
Everytime he complained OP reminded him it wasn’t in the lease.
Every day I took something away.
I first started by removing all the common consumables from the house. He texted me later, “Man, you removed all the consumables? You need to come down on the rent.”
I replied, “Not in the lease agreement.” He said, “It don’t got to be like this.”
I removed the drapes between his room and the private bathroom.
I took away the chairs for the dining room table.
I then shut off the clothes washer and dryer (circuit breakers were in my room) and left taped up the location of a local laundromat.
I also became an absolutely filthy roommate. I didn’t clean anything. I left bags of garbage wherever I felt like. I never cleaned the kitchen and left the sink full of dishes. “Please man can you clean up” “No.”
I had maid service. Cancelled that. I informed him of the change. “Can you come down on the rent, man?” “Not in the lease agreement. You agreed to a rental price.” “C’monnnnnn”
I turned off the breaker to the stove and left out a wall outlet single pot electric plate for him to use.
I turned off the microwave. Not in the lease agreement either.
Eventually he won the day, and the tenant moved out without any more hassle.
I actually started feeling bad for him. G started coming around less and less as I made the living situation worse and worse.
Finally, he texted me, “Do you want me to move out?”
I replied, “Yes, when are you leaving my house?”
He said, “End of the month. You’ll let me break the lease?”
I replied, “Of course.”
He left at the end of the month. I had my house back. I made for sure to make my next lease agreement way more specific about EVERYTHING.
I think everyone probably learned a lesson here, but what does Reddit think of the whole mess?
The top comment says OP better brush up on the legalities before trying again.
But this person says the rules are different when the landlord resides in the home.
This commenter thinks OP managed to walk a very fine line.
Everyone agreed it was petty (but effective).
You have to protect yourself in case your tenant turns out to not be reasonable.
This one was pretty entertaining.
It all came down to who was the most stubborn.