For Landlords - when your tenant approaches you about adding someone to the lease, follow these 5 steps to either approve or deny the request the right way:

1. Obtain a Written Request. Ask the tenant to submit in writing.

2. Check the Property’s Occupancy Limit. Make sure that the tenant’s request does not cause the household to exceed the rental property’s occupancy limit (as set by local statues and ordinances). If it does, send written notification that the request for an additional resident has been denied and why. If not, move on to the next step.

3. Acquire a Completed Rental Application. Provide the potential new tenant an official tenant application.  Each new person on a lease agreement must fill out a rental application so you can perform a basic background check and reference check.

4. Send Decision Notice. If you deny the application, send the tenant notice in writing that the application is denied. Be careful about violating any privacy agreements between you and the applicant. If the application is approved, invite the tenant and the prospective roommate to sign a new lease agreement or a legal amendment to the current lease.

5. Review the Details With the Tenants. Meet with the tenants and explain the details of an additional security deposit and the amended lease. Remind the tenants that they are both responsible for the whole rent amount, even if one person does not pay their portion. Go over the lease agreement with the new tenant so he or she has a detailed understanding of the rules and policies of the rental property. Sign and date the new lease or the lease amendment and make copies for everyone.

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