You’re probably familiar with family leases, but if you don’t live in a college town, you may never have had to deal with a multiple tenant lease before. After all, it’s something that’s much more common among young college kids who are looking for affordable living arrangements.
No matter what the reason, you’ll likely find yourself in the position of renting a single unit to a group of tenants at some point. What’s the best way to handle this situation? Let’s have a little quiz. Just give it your best guess. We promise you’ll be surprised at the answer.
- Draft a single lease that each tenant is required to sign
- Draft a single lease, but only ask one tenant to sign it
- Draft separate leases for each individual to sign
Have your answer? Ready for ours?
There is no right answer!
Okay, so we tricked you a little. There really is no one right answer, but there are definitely some answers that are better, depending on your unique situation.
Draft a single lease that every tenant signs
Drafting a single lease that each tenant is required to sign is the best way to deal with multiple renters. That way, everyone living in your unit is equally responsible for paying rent and following the terms of the lease. By having each tenant sign, you also have more than one person to contact if there are any problems during or after the lease, such as collecting rent or dealing with damages.
Draft a single lease that only one tenant signs
Chasing down multiple lessees can be a real nightmare, especially if you have more than one rental property. In addition, it isn’t uncommon for young roommates to having a falling-out, which might mean that one takes off, leaving the place trashed. Figuring out which one is responsible can be difficult. Even though everyone is liable, you’re still likely to do a bit of calling around to get the situation resolved.
In some cases, drafting a single lease, but only asking one tenant to sign it may be the right solution. However, you should make sure that the tenant signing the lease is clear about the fact that they are taking complete responsibility for the property. This situation is most common when the people living together are family, coworkers, or old friends.
Draft separate leases for each tenant
You won’t likely choose to draft separate leases for each tenant, just because it requires extra work for you. In addition, keeping all those leases organized can be a challenge. It can also make reviewing the lease with your tenants more complicated than it needs to be. Even considering all that, separate leases may be a good solution for roommates who don’t know each other very well. It’s also the right solution if you’re renting out rooms in a house, rather than an entire apartment.
Ultimately, how you decide to have tenants sign your lease is up to you, but don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’ve drafted separate leases in the past, but didn’t care much for the result, try drafting a single lease next time. It’s all about knowing who’s accountable for the unit that’s being rented, and any well thought-out lease will provide you with all the information you need.
[HD1]Link to ‘Tips on How to Review the Lease with Your New Tenants’