WA Visitors staying with tenant - add to lease?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Ity, 21st Jul, 2023.

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  1. Ity

    Ity Member

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    My tenants have family staying with them 'temporarily' while looking for another place to live. It was always meant to be a short term thing, and it doesn't bother me as they're still looking after the place very well. However they've now been there for some months and I'm wondering whether I need to add them to the lease (in which I haven't allowed sub-letting).

    Should they be added to the lease?
    Would letting them stay on as guests in the house affect my landlord's insurance or change my liability for anything?

    I'm told it's still temporary and they want to move out, which is why I haven't added them to the lease yet.
     
  2. Tom Cooper

    Tom Cooper Well-Known Member Business Member

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    In the industry it is generally considered that a stay of less than 3 months is temporary and not a breach of a lease, however if they stay longer, it can jeopardize your landlord protection insurance as they are technically subletting.
     
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  3. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

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    I recently had holiday people/family asked to be put on the lease. I asked them to leave if they had stayed I just wasn't going to renew the lease. I rented to 2 adults and 2 children not 5 adults 2 children
     
  4. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to, and there's pros and cons to doing so - so the answer is that it depends.

    Probably not in any normally contemplated situation. Remember you don't have any legal relationship with them.
     
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  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, in the industry I've heard all kinds of interpretations, pretty much none of which are legally accurate.

    For example, it's not technically sub-letting at all - the technical meaning of sub-let is when the tenants themselves create a further tenancy (or at least a grant of exclusive possession). Having people live with them, especially family, is not a sublet.

    I've never seen evidence that a landlord's insurance was affected by something like this either, although in theory it's possible depending on the wording of the policy.

    Its makes me cringe a little hearing things like this because what would be the legal basis of asking the family to leave? I doubt you have one, so threatening eviction as the stick really just adds to the arguments in favour of removing no-grounds terminations in the current law reform round in WA.
     
  6. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

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    .

    The lease says 4 people.
    As I said I just wouldn't have renewed the lease in the future.
    I tried to do the right thing and rent to a family with kids. I had offers for more rent from 3 adults who wanted to share. I didn't want kids living on the street.
    Where did I say I threatened eviction? At some point they stopped being here on holidays.

    I can also just become like many investor's on here and put the rent up to full market rate
     
    Last edited: 21st Jul, 2023
  7. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

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    This is what is wrong with the world.
    The tenants just renewed a 6 month lease. If they wanted to negotiate new terms why not before signing an extension. Perhaps a pro bono lawyer might have helped them.
    I probably would have allowed 1 more adult to be added to the lease. So 3 adults and 2 children in a small 3 bedroom property.
    Asking for 3 adults to be added. Was a bit much. 5 adults and 2 children in a 3 bedroom 85m2 property. People should find accommodation in WA before coming here looking for work.

    As the expert says changing rent laws to suit tenants won't reduce the number of landlords. Wrong I will sell up.
     
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  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    We once had a couple apply for a house with two small children. Then they added that they would share with another couple and their two children.

    This was for a small three bedroom, one bathroom, one living area house.

    This would double the wear and tear on the house. For similar rent at the time, they could have chosen a four bedroom, two bathroom house a few suburbs further out and probably been approved.

    Had they taken it as one couple with children and then just moved in the other family I would have been very annoyed. I'm not sure what we would have done, but we would not have renewed the lease.
     
  9. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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  10. sydney sid

    sydney sid Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't the grounds be exceeding the number of people permitted to live in the dwelling as stated on the lease? I appreciate there are people doing it tough out there in finding a roof over their heads. And it's understandable family or close friends try to help out by welcoming them into their rental. But as someone who owns a couple of old houses, the extra wear and tear would be a factor, not to mention it's not what was agreed upon. Maybe adding them to the lease with a modest rent increase. Surely they could afford to pay some rent.
     
  11. Deplorable1

    Deplorable1 Active Member

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    IMHO it is incorrect to claim that simply because the regulations might deliberately allow for discretion - for instance, some necessary flexibility in issuing a breach notice where (tenant) approved visitors are concerned - that the resulting 'absence' of specific hard and fast rules regarding numbers, times and so on prevents that notice from being issued. That is, that there is no effective remedy where the tenant might be acting in complete disregard of lease contract, and even may be thumbing his nose at local Government law regarding overcrowding in dwellings.

    By way of example (Qld), government and community housing tenants are similarly obliged to advise where visitors are staying and for how long. If visitors stay for four weeks or more, their income is included as part of household income. In effect, household income has increased and as a consequence, so too must the rent. That is probably enough deterrent, and doubtless Government would take action where its rentals are over-occupied.

    Equally, simply because there might not be anecdotal 'evidence' to hand of an insurer rejecting or modifying a claim, or refusing insurance in the circumstances given by the OP, that is not to say it would not or could not happen.

    The OP should be issuing a breach notice. It is up to the other party of the contract, the tenant, to demonstrate reasonable compliance with the lease conditions.

    Not a lawyer, and frankly if parties to a residential lease constantly require legal opinion, the regulations are deficient or overly complex. That in itself increases the administrative overheads and would affect rents in no small way.
     
  12. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Those rules don't apply to private rentals.
     
  13. Deplorable1

    Deplorable1 Active Member

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    Not claimed to apply and most should know that.

    Just to show that where its own interests are concerned, Government is off the front foot and proactive with a $ penalty and deterrent.

    A parallel to underline the seriousness of lease conditions referring to the definition and number of occupants.