7 October 2010
Here are some of the basic things to remember.
First of all, you cannot ask about tenants’ ethnic background, religious or sexual preference or marital status. But you do have a right to ask if they smoke, if they have pets or how many people will live with them in the apartment.
In case the tenant breaks the contract rules or interferes with other tenants’ enjoyment, the eviction process, generally, takes two months. But still there are some tricks: the so-called “professional tenants” know how to delay this process by up to six months.
In order to avoid such situations, it’s necessary to qualify your tenants carefully: do the credit checks, get references from previous landlords and make sure the tenants have regular employment. Speak to the prior landlords and ask them if the rent was paid in time and if the tenant kept his unit clean and tidy. If you want to verify employment, ask the tenant for a copy of their most recent company pay stub.
In case of basement apartments there are also specific details. For example, it won’t be easy to evict the tenants just because you’ve decided to rearrange the apartment into office. It won’t be considered an acceptable reason for eviction.
Even if your basement apartment is illegal, you still cannot evict the tenant. Only the city can evict the tenant, but here you can also lose money, because they can make you retrofit the unit.
In another case a landlord couldn’t evict the tenant even though he proved that his son needed the apartment, because the tenant had a specific disease and she could not find another apartment to meet her special needs. The only way out was the following – the landlord had to assist the tenant in finding an alternative accommodation.
But still there are many responsible tenants who take good care of their apartment units, maybe even better than the owner would. That’s why it’s so important to make sure in advance that you’ve found exactly such a tenant – it will save you money and you won’t have to worry about all the troubles you can face during the eviction process.