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The Once and Future Tenant

Web Admin - Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Once and Future Tenant. by Peter Meer MPM®, RMP®, 2016 NARPM Denver Chapter Vice-President

When renting a residential property all of us want to know who, exactly, is going to be occupying it. So how does it happen that different or more tenants end up in the property?  MUSICAL TENANTS! How do you stop this from happening?


All applicants (age 18 or over) for the property should be required to complete your rental application.  The lease I use (created by our attorney) prohibits subleasing or assignment. Unfortunately, that prohibition does not stop tenants from playing musical chairs.  Most often, a tenant who is about to break the lease will call you to discuss how to handle the “change”.  At the point of the phone call you need to look for solutions to the problem, rather than threats of legal action, and credit reporting.  Most often hardball tactics do not work.


Ask the departing tenant to locate a replacement, subject to your normal credit, criminal, employment and landlord checks.  They need to direct this new person to you, thus allowing the proper screening procedure to be followed.  If this individual meets your requirements, go for a substitution of tenants.  This procedure will require dealing with the security deposit of your original tenant.  The vacating tenant needs to provide a notarized letter indicating their actual departure date from the property and their relinquishment of all rights to the property.  They also need to provide a notarized letter that they have received from the replacement tenant, their proportion of the security deposit.  This letter should also release you from any and all obligations connected with the original tenant’s deposit.  With these letters in hand, you can remove the old tenants name and replace it with the new tenant.  The new tenant initials their inserted name and signs the original lease.  The above documents should be created by your attorney.


The above procedure should allow you to control who is actually living in the rental unit you manage.


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