PropertyManagementMaven: Property Managers MAKE it LOOK EASY! Tenant v Authorized Occupant!

Property Managers MAKE it LOOK EASY! Tenant v Authorized Occupant!

I am glad to see that real estate agents are now seeing the value of selling to investors who want the rental income and tax advantages of owning real estate.

Hiring a professional property manager is a MUST to make this happen.

I received an e-mail from a current resident who wants a roommate and wants to add her to his lease.  I made the point that if she is added to HIS lease, she has equal standing under the lease agreement.  If he still wants to CONTROL the rental townhouse that has been his home for the last year, he should make her an AUTHORIZED OCCUPANT......BIG DIFFERENCE!

Many agents and DIY landlords do not know the difference or HOW the first choice would impact their REAL lessee.

I don't need an additional TENANT to qualify for renting the property, I JUST want to know who is living at the property.  The TENANT wants to do things correctly with me and I appreciate that.

I just need an application form completed by her for my files.  I can change the contact/resident information in my property management software and contact management/GOOGLE contacts. Her residence at the property is determined and controlled by the TENANT.....and I do not get involved with doing an inspection MID-residence and separating resident damages.

Professional property management = PRICELESS!



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Comment balloon 20 commentsWallace S. Gibson, CPM • December 06 2011 06:23AM


I rent a lot of units in Boston and I had never heard the term "Authorised Occupant". Thanks Wallace, you just taught me something new!

Posted by Ciara Brennan (Mass Homes Realty) almost 8 years ago

Me too Wallace.  I had not heard the term authorized occupant.  Thanks.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 8 years ago

Occupant is AUTHORIZED by me as the landlord and my TENANT keeps control of the rental * I'm not the REFEREE 

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 8 years ago
Priceless...peace of mind for less $$$$ in the end. I learned a tip, too.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 8 years ago

Wallace, good points to pass along. I have friends who rent, and then add roommates. The new roommates are the ones who seem to cause the issues with the landlord, yet they have no liability in the lease.

Posted by Clay R. Seay (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 8 years ago
Wallace, You certainly know what you are talking about. Do you just do property management, or do you sell real estate as well? Do you think one can do both well?
Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) almost 8 years ago

Sadly we have no good property managers in this area that I feel comfortable enough to refer.  I wish someone would come here and show them how it's done - they would be successful.  Thanks for your post.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 8 years ago

Wallace, Thanks, I will pass this along to my brother-in-law. He owns several properties.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

Well written Wallace and I only wish that more folks took the advice that you share. Property Management is NOT just like real estate but is a distinct field with many bear traps waiting to catch the unwary. Hire a professional. 

Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) almost 8 years ago

Another hard money lesson to learn is if you add another primary tenant at the top of the lease and not just a permitted occupant it costs additional fees at the court house to evict the primary tenants.  More paperwork for the agent and additional liability in disputes.  That is why I only place one primary tenant on the lease and everyone else additional permitted occupants. 

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) almost 8 years ago

Excellent, Wallace.  That a simple yet effective way of dealing with add-on tenants.  Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 8 years ago

Excellent post.  HIring a professional property manager is the ticket to long term success for investment properties.  Everyone thinks that they can do it themselves, or some agents decide they will take care of the management because they really like this client and both of these usually turn out costing $$ money for the property owner. 

Posted by Debi McKamie, Realtor®/Property Manager (Amazing Realty) almost 8 years ago

A specialist is necessary for many categories in life...PM is essential in this day and age and finding out that this is true later rather than sooner can be devastating...good one W

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 8 years ago

Hello Wallace:


In all my years of practicing  real estate, I had never heard the term Authorized Occupant, and now thanks to you and Active Rain I have.  Big difference indeed.

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) almost 8 years ago


Great plan.  Sometimes things don't work out and folks don't have an exit strategy in terms of leasing.  

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) almost 8 years ago

Check your state law, anyone considering this. We used to allow "occupants", but we had a situation where the tenant gave up possession but the occupant did not. According to our state REALTOR® Association's lawyers, we could NOT evict her, the TENANT had to evict her. What a nightmare. No more "occupants"!

Posted by Leslie Prest, Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson, (Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ) almost 8 years ago

Hi Wallace,

Very informative post. Thanks to you I am now aware of authorized occupants and the importance for a tenant to maintain control of their lease by adding fellow room mates as authorized occupants.

Posted by Karen Burns almost 8 years ago

We can count on you to provide excellent information about handling tenants.  We could use a top notch professional in the Florida Keys; wish you were here! 

Posted by Maya Thomas, Broker, Please see my client recommendations. almost 8 years ago

I can provide testimony that when you own properties, regardless of how many, there's nothing like a professional property manager to oversee things, especially if the properties happen to be in a different state!

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) almost 8 years ago

So true Wallace and the proof is in the numbers as in profit that we make our clients each and every month.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) almost 8 years ago

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