AnUnauthorized Occupant Violation Noticeis a formal notice from a landlord to a tenant that states they have violated their lease agreement by having an unauthorized occupant live in their rental unit. The letter should provide any specific information regarding the violation as well as the consequences for failure to correct the violation.
How to Prove there is an Unauthorized Guest
As a starting point, it is important to know who is considered an unauthorized guest. An unauthorized guest, whether for personal or business reasons, is an individual that is living in a rental unit with the consent of the tenant, but they are not part of thelease agreementor approved by the landlord.
Before sending a notice, a landlord needs to have proof that an unauthorized guest is living at the tenant’s rental property. While it may take more than one piece of proof, here are some ways a landlord can prove that a tenant has an unauthorized guest:
- Personal Observations –The landlord has made personal observations of a guest residing at a tenant’s property. During alandlord inspectionor repair, a landlord may notice that there are belongings of another individual that appear permanent. Or the unauthorized guest might even be there when the landlord was at the rental unit. The landlord may also make personal observations of the guest continually entering and leaving the property.
- Tenant or Guest Admission –If a landlord asks a tenant directly they may admit it without knowing it’s a violation of the lease agreement. The guest may also represent themselves as a tenant to the landlord or a maintenance worker coming to repair the rental property.
- Information from Other Tenants –Other tenants may have informed the landlord of a guest that has been staying at a tenant’s rental property regularly.
- Security Footage –Most rental properties have security cameras to keep the tenants and property safe. Security footage may show a pattern of behavior that indicates the guest is living at the property. For instance, if the footage consistently shows the guest arriving in the evening and leaving the next morning, this would be strong evidence that this individual is more than a casual guest.
- Mail –While there may be other legitimate reasons, a guest receiving consistent mail at the property is strong evidence that they are living at the rental property in violation of the lease agreement.
- Increased Utilities –If the landlord is responsible for paying certain utility bills they may observe a consistent and noticeable increase in prices over multiple months. While the increase could be for other reasons, it may also be additional proof that an unauthorized guest is living at the property.
- Proof of Residence – A more direct way of proving there is an unauthorized guest is by asking the guest to provide proof of residence. If they are unable to produce a lease agreement or bill showing they live somewhere else, this is additional evidence that they are living at the rental property in violation of the tenant’s lease agreement.
The line between a guest and an unauthorized occupant is often blurred. While most lease agreements allow for visitors, there should be specific limits on how long a tenant can have guests stay at their rental property. If the lease agreement is vague, a landlord may have a harder time proving that a guest has now become an unauthorized occupant.
How to Handle an Unauthorized Guest
Dealing with an unauthorized guest can be a tricky situation. They have no legal right to live at the property, yet they are not bound by a lease agreement. When a landlord can prove that there is an unauthorized guest, here are some actions they can take to address the situation:
- Talk to the Tenant –Depending on the situation, the first step might be to have a conversation with the tenant. It might be that they overlooked this restriction in the lease agreement and will comply by making sure the guest stops living at the premises. If the situation is not urgent, a conversation between a landlord and tenant may resolve the problem while helping to maintain a good relationship.
- Add Guest to the Lease Agreement –In certain circumstances, the best option may be toscreenthe guest and have them sign a lease agreement. If adding them does not violate any health or safety codes this is a way to ensure a landlord can enforce the lease agreement with the guest. They can even use this as a reason to increase the monthly rent for the rental property.
- Send a Formal Notice –After talking to the tenant, or if the matter is urgent, the landlord should immediately send a formal notice that the tenant’s unauthorized occupant violates their lease agreement. A landlord can also include a copy of the lease agreement with any relevant portions highlighted to support the reason for sending the notice.
- Eviction – If the situation continues, a landlord may have toevictboth the unauthorized occupant and the tenant. A landlord needs to understand their state’s laws to know what type of notice is required and who the landlord can legally evict. This is a tricky situation as only one of the parties has a legally binding agreement with the landlord.
- Send the Tenant a Lease Non-Renewal Letter –If it’s towards the end of the lease it may be less work to simply send the tenant aLease Non-Renewal Letter. This letter informs the tenant that the landlord will not be renewing their lease when it expires. However, if this letter is ignored and either party remains on the property, the landlord will then have to begin the eviction process.
An unauthorized occupant is both a serious and delicate situation. A landlord should be confident that the tenant has an unauthorized occupant in violation of their lease agreement before proceeding with any action that will remove the tenant from their rental unit. If there is a violation though it must be addressed quickly. Having an unauthorized guest could result in the following issues:
- Potential Damages –Dealing with damages from an unauthorized occupant can be complicated. An unauthorized guest is likely to be less concerned with causing damages or being held liable since they did not sign a lease agreement. While a landlord can still seek damages from the tenant, these damages are better avoided by ensuring that any unauthorized guests are quickly removed.
- Higher Expenses –With more people living in a rental unit, there will be higher expenses. This includes any utilities the landlord pays as well as additional wear and tear.
- Occupancy Violations –There are various state and local laws that impose occupancy limits based on the size of the rental unit and the number of bedrooms. Unauthorized guests can lead to violations of these laws. This can result in unsafe conditions for the tenant(s) as well as fines and other consequences for the landlord.
- Lease Violations –An unauthorized occupant might ignore the terms of the lease agreement since they are not a party to the agreement. Whether it is the violation of parking provisions or “quiet hours” it can negatively impact other tenants and neighbors. These violations will be hard to enforce since this person did not sign a lease agreement.
- Squatters –Even if the tenant moves out of the property, there is a chance that the unauthorized occupant remains there. Evicting an unauthorized occupant can be a complicated and costly process for a landlord.
- Legal Consequences –Having an unauthorized guest can lead to numerous legal consequences. For instance, is the landlord liable if the guest gets injured while living at the property? Depending on the landlord’s state, they could be liable for any injuries to the unauthorized guest if they were expressly invited by the tenant.
- Impact on Unauthorized Guest –Living at a rental property can have some risks for the guest as well. For instance, renter’s insurance only covers people listed in the policy. If the guest has personal property damaged, there will be nothing to compensate them for the loss.
How to Write an Unauthorized Occupant Violation Notice
When preparing this letter, it is important to know what specific information to include. This letter should include the following:
- Tenant’s name
- Tenant’s address
- Professional greeting to the tenant
- Purpose of the letter: notice of unauthorized occupant violation
- Rental unit address
- Any specific information from the lease that applies to this violation
- The requirement to have the unauthorized occupant vacate the property immediately
- Consequences for failing to correct the violation
- Professional closing with an offer to contact the landlord with any questions or concerns
- Landlord contact information
- Landlord’s signature
- Landlord’s name
Make sure the letter is professional and to the point. While there may be several issues occurring simultaneously, this letter is to put the tenant on notice of this specific violation and have them correct it by removing the unauthorized occupant. Any other issues, such as damages or complaints, can be dealt with separately.
How to Send an Unauthorized Occupant Violation Notice
The landlord should send the notice in a way that requires signature confirmation to document its receipt. This can be accomplished by certified mail. Even better if the landlord sends it by restricted certified mail which requires the addressee to be the only person that can sign for the notice.
The landlord should keep a copy of this notice filed with a notation of the letter’s delivery method and any other relevant information.
What if an Unauthorized Guest Stays?
There are legal requirements for evicting either a tenant or unauthorized occupant. While this notice informs the tenant of the violation, it does not satisfy a state’s requirements for formal notice of eviction.
A formal notice to vacate or correct the lease violation must be sent to the tenant with a final opportunity to remove the unauthorized guest. The time a landlord must provide a tenant to cure this violation depends on the state the property is located. Here is a chart with every state’s required time for a tenant to cure a violation of the lease agreement before being evicted:
|State||Time to Cure before Landlord Can File for Eviction|
|Alabama||7 business days|
|Alaska||10 days for violations materially affecting health and safety; 3 days for failing to pay utility bills, resulting in shut-off|
|Arizona||5 days for violations materially affecting health and safety; 10 days for all other violations|
|Arkansas||14 days to cure a remediable violation. If a violation materially affects a tenant’s health and safety, the tenant must remedy it as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency|
|California||3 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and other judicial holidays|
|Colorado||10 days to cure a minor lease violation; no opportunity to cure substantial lease violations|
|Connecticut||15 days; except no right to cure for nonpayment of rent or serious nuisance|
|Florida||7 days (no cure for certain substantial violations)|
|Hawaii||10 days: if it continues, the landlord must wait another 30 days to file for eviction; 24 hours to cease a nuisance: if it has not stopped in 24 hours, 5 days to cure before filing for eviction.|
|Maryland||30 days unless clear and imminent danger|
|Michigan||7 days after receiving notice to restore, repair, or quit|
|Minnesota||No notice required|
|Montana||14 days; 3 days if unauthorized pet or person on-premises, or if the noncompliance is from verbal abuse of the landlord by a tenant|
|Nebraska||14 days to cure. If a similar violation recurs within 6 months, the landlord can terminate without an opportunity to cure|
|New Hampshire||30 days|
|New Jersey||3 days; lease must specify which violations will result in eviction|
|New Mexico||7 days|
|New York||Regulated units: 10 days or as set by applicable rent regulation. Non-regulated units: No statute|
|North Carolina||None specified|
|North Dakota||None specified|
|Rhode Island||20 days for material noncompliance|
|South Carolina||14 days|
|South Dakota||3-day notice to quit (no opportunity to cure) in certain situations. Other situations require no notice|
|Washington D.C.||30 days|
|West Virginia||No notice required|
|Wisconsin||5 days (no opportunity to cure for public housing tenants who have committed drug-related violations)|
If a landlord plans to proceed with an eviction, it is recommended that they contact an experienced real estate attorney. For any eviction, it can be a costly and time-consuming process. In addition, the burden of proof will be on the landlord to provide evidence that the tenant had an unauthorized guest living at the rental property.
What are the 5 most common lease violations? ›
- Unauthorized Pets. ...
- HOA Conflicts. ...
- Smoking Indoors. ...
- Noise Disturbances. ...
- Long-term Guests. ...
- Damaging Decorations.
3 Day Notice to Comply or Quit: Legal notice allowing the tenant a chance to correct a breach of their rental agreement. Notice must specify the violation and what the tenant must do to correct it. It must be written in the alternative (i.e. comply or quit).Can a house guest refuses to leave in Texas? ›
If your guest won't leave, you could be in violation of your lease. If you don't remedy the situation, your landlord could terminate your lease and evict everybody that lives there. NOTE: Although a landlord can terminate a tenant's lease, only a court can order an eviction.How do you write a good warning? ›
- The date. ...
- Title: “First written warning” ...
- The concerns. ...
- Put the employee on notice of future disciplinary action. ...
- Document verbal warnings first. Track all verbal warnings and disciplinary measures in writing at the time they are given. ...
- Determine tone. ...
- Consult with manager. ...
- Formalities. ...
- State company policy. ...
- Describe what happened. ...
- State expectations. ...
- Outline consequences.
If your landlord wants to end your periodic tenancy, they usually have to give you 90 days' notice. In some cases, your landlord only has to give you 42 days' notice.What to do if tenant refuses to move out? ›
If tenants don't leave at the end of the notice period, landlords must apply to the court for a possession order, which gives them the right to evict tenants and take possession of the property.Can my landlord evict me for no reason? ›
Your landlord will have to give you notice if they want you to leave. They have to give the reasons why they want to evict you - for example, if you have rent arrears or you've damaged the property. Your landlord will have to go to court and get a court order.Can a landlord evict you without a court order 2022? ›
If you have an excluded tenancy or licence (for example you live with your landlord), your landlord does not have to go to court to evict you. Your landlord only needs to give you 'reasonable notice' to quit. The notice does not have to be in writing. There are no set rules about what's reasonable.What is a letter of non compliance? ›
Noncompliance Letters & Hearings
The Court will send a Noncompliance letter when an item is not in the court file by that date. The Court may also set a Noncompliance hearing for you to appear to see why it has not been filed or possible alternatives.
How do you serve a tenant quit notice? ›
- The date of the notice to pay rent or quit.
- A clear indication, in all caps, at the top of the notice that the writing is a FIVE-DAY NOTICE TO QUIT FOR NONPAYMENT OF RENT, or however many days' notice you're required to give.
Can you kick a freeloading friend out of your house if they are not on the lease? If they are not on the rental agreement or lease, you can ask them to leave. However, the law doesn't allow you to physically remove them from your home. If they refuse to leave, you could contact the police.How long can a guest stay before being considered a tenant in Texas? ›
Guests may stay a maximum of 14 days in a six-month period or 7 nights consecutively on the property. Any guest residing at the property for more than 14 days in a six-month period or spending more than 7 nights consecutively will be considered a tenant.Can you forcefully remove someone from your property Texas? ›
A Look at Criminal Consequences
Texas law states that property owners are able to use force to terminate trespassing or theft if they deem it necessary; however, force and deadly force are two different actions. Shooting the trespasser is considered deadly force since the bullet can easily end the person's life.
She gave me a warning about the difficulties of the job. There were storm warnings [=warnings that a storm was approaching] issued for the area. She issued a stern warning against making changes too quickly. Let that be a warning to you.What is a good word for warning? ›
- The date.
- Your current company's address.
- The full name of the person it is addressed to.
- Include the date of your last day of employment (as worked out by your contract of employment and notice period agreement)
- If you want to, include a thank you to your employer for the opportunity.
For example, if:
- you're behind with your rent payments ('in arrears')
- you've used the property for illegal purposes, like selling drugs.
- you've damaged the property.
Your landlord could give you a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice with this type of tenancy. You're entitled to a legal notice in writing even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement.How can a landlord end a tenancy? ›
You must give your tenants written notice that you want the property back ('notice to quit') and the date they must leave. The notice period you give them must be at least 2 months for section 21 notices.
How long does it take to evict a tenant who refuses to leave? ›
They have to give you the notice at least 14 days before they evict you. You might be able to ask the court again to delay the date you'll need to leave - for example if you can now repay your arrears or you're going to be homeless. Your council might have a legal duty to help you find you accommodation.Can a landlord just kick you out? ›
They do not have to have a reason like rent arrears. You can find out more about this through Citizens Advice - If you get a section 21 notice. Your landlord will have to go to court to evict you - they can't just tell you to leave - because there are strict laws that protect tenants from being evicted illegally.How long does it take to get a court order to evict a tenant? ›
Court action by your landlord
Your landlord can apply as soon as the notice period ends. They have 4 months from the end date on the notice to apply. The notice is not valid after that date. It could take between a few weeks and several months for your landlord to get the court order.
Since the Housing Act 1988, private landlords have been able to use 'no-fault evictions' to repossess their properties, even if there has been no particular problem with the tenant. Also known as a 'Section 21 eviction', the right to repossess a property has given many landlords peace of mind.What is a Section 21 eviction notice? ›
In England, a Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months' notice to leave your property. You may need to give a longer notice period if you have a 'contractual' periodic tenancy. This is a fixed term tenancy that has ended, but included a clause to continue as a periodic tenancy.Do long term tenants have more rights? ›
Its no, because they don't get special rights just BECAUSE they have been there a long time. In that your rights don't change suddenly from 'ordinary rights' to 'super special rights' when you have been in a property for three years, or seven years, or whatever.Can police evict a tenant? ›
Police involvement in evictions
The only way that a tenant can forcibly be ejected from a property he or she rents is by Enforcement of Judgments Office personnel who are enforcing a possession order.
It will cost £275 if you want the court to give your tenants notice of your application or £108 if not - for example, if the case is urgent. If the judge for your case decides that you need to give notice and you have not, you'll need to pay the extra £167. You may be eligible for help with court fees.Can you be evicted for paying rent late? ›
Late or non-payment of rental is a breach of lease, but you need to follow the proper procedures to put the tenant to terms or evict – DIY eviction of a tenant is not just frowned upon, it's illegal.How do I write a non compliance letter? ›
The important details of the safety non compliance letter which help you build compliant safety records yourself. An opening paragraph which provides context as to the safety non compliance. A rectification date (where applicable) State the consequences/actions which will be made if compliance is not rectified.
How do you write a compliance letter? ›
- Format your cover letter. The first step to writing an effective cover letter is creating and formatting your document. ...
- Create a professional greeting. ...
- Detail your experiences and skills. ...
- Include a call to action. ...
- Sign the cover letter.
You should say something like: “I am giving 1 month's notice to end my tenancy, as required by law. I will be leaving the property on (date xxxxx). I would like you to be at the property on the day I move out to check the premises and for me to return the keys.How do I write quit notice? ›
- Tell your manager first.
- Use the business letter format.
- State the position you are resigning from and the effective date.
- Explain why you are resigning.
- Express gratitude.
- Close with your signature.
A quit notice is a legal document drafted by a landlord issued on the tenant conveying the landlord's intention to take back possession of his/her property. It is a letter issued to a tenant by the landlord stating the specific date the tenant is expected to evict the premises and give up possession of the property.How do you write a warning letter for disrespectful behavior? ›
We would like to inform you that this behavior is unacceptable as per our company policy. Further, this behaviour is also considered as misconduct on your part which is a violation of our ethical code of conduct. Your Manager has already discussed with you verbally on this matter.How do you reject a tenant nicely? ›
I just wanted to let you know that unfortunately, you haven't been accepted for the property. We had a few applications, and all of them were very good. It was a tough decision to make. Would you mind if I get back to you in case the other application falls through?How serious is a warning letter? ›
Note. Warnings are serious business, not to be mistaken for being chewed out by your supervisor. You can think of a warning as an early step in the termination process.How do you document unprofessional behavior? ›
- Stick to the facts and underline expectations.
- Emphasize behavior.
- Align records of past performance.
- Describe proof of misconduct.
- Identify and present consequences.
- Meet in person and get a signature.
Be sure to include the dates and the names of other parties involved. Describe the negative behaviors dispassionately. Don't be dramatic, but do provide details that would help anyone reading the letter to understand what happened and as to why the employee's conduct merits a reprimand.How do you address disrespectful behavior? ›
- Remain calm when facing disrespect. When someone is being disrespectful, it's tempting to react with anger in the heat of the moment. ...
- Listen. ...
- Provide clear feedback. ...
- Document incidents. ...
- Be consistent. ...
- Enforce rules. ...
- Check in on other employees.
How do you say no to a tenant request? ›
- Always turn down the request politely, clearly, and not in a negative manner.
- Keep the focus on the request, not the tenant, so to convey that you are turning down the request based on business rather than putting down the person.
🔹 Can you blacklist a tenant who has vacated? Yes, you can blacklist a tenant for an agreement that has ended. But make sure that you do not blacklist for prescribed debt which is debt older than 3 years.Can a landlord refuse to accept a tenant? ›
What can and can't I reject a tenant over? You should only reject a tenant with good reason, else you might be discriminating which is actually against the law. You cannot reject a tenant for being married, pregnant, transexual, disabled, or on account of their sexuality, gender, race, nationality or religion.How do you tell a tenant their apartment is dirty? ›
- Step 1: Open the Dialogue with the Tenant. Have a conversation with the tenant to explain the options they have to clean up and the repercussions associated with noncompliance. ...
- Step 2: Follow up with Documentation, Proving that You have been Communicating. ...
- Step 3: Send a Formal Letter.
I'm committed to being a respectful, reliable tenant and a good neighbor, who will pay my rent on time, care for the property and communicate with you whenever needed. Please feel free to contact my references or me personally with any questions or concerns.How clean should a rental property be when leaving? ›
At the end of a tenancy, there is a responsibility on the tenant to leave the property as clean as it was when they moved in. For both tenants and landlords, it's advisable to take plenty of photographs of the property at the start of the tenancy, which provide evidence of its cleanliness, or otherwise, at the time.Do warnings go on your record? ›
No, warning tickets are not necessarily a bad thing – because they do not appear on your driving record. Warning tickets do not require paying a fine and are not reported to your local DMV. Warnings are used internally by police departments to censure errant drivers and caution them to follow the law.How long does a warning stay on your record? ›
A warning is not a conviction. It is subject to disclosure for 12 months, unless it is for a specified offence.Can you give a written warning straight away? ›
Can you go straight to a final written warning? An employer may be justified in going straight to a final written warning, without a verbal or first written warning, if the matter complained of is sufficiently serious. This could be, for example, a serious misconduct or performance issue.