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I'm Already Living Here, Can I...? (Part 1)


As a property management company representing our property owners in Northern Virginia, Propman often fields questions from tenants about what they can and cannot do in the property once they are living there. Sometimes they have a legitimate concern; other times they simply want to bend the rules in their favor.


Here are some recent questions we’ve heard, in Part 1 of our two-part series, and our answers.

My Roommate’s Leaving; Who’s Responsible for the Rent?

Q: A tenant called Propman to tell us that one of their roommates is moving out before the end of the lease term and asked if she was going to be responsible for the entire rent or just her share.

A:  Whomever signed the lease is legally responsible for the entire rent, whether jointly or severally. This means the entire rent needs to be paid every month, no matter who is still living in the property. If one roommate moves out, the remaining roommate must either gather the rent from the roommate for the remainder of the lease or pay the entire amount on their own.

Do You Think the Landlord Will Let Me Have a Dog?

Q: A tenant went to the SPCA and fell in love with a dog, then called Propman to ask if the landlord would approve of a dog.

A: The problem here is that the tenant already fell in love with the dog before finding out whether pets are allowed in their rental property. Generally, property owners have strict rules about pets, which we as their manager need to follow. It isn’t merely a question of “going back and asking the landlord.” Your pet policy is most likely outlined in your rental agreement. We recommend checking it, or checking with us, before falling in love with a potential pet.

If you are caught with a pet that has not been approved it is a default on your lease and your lease can be terminated and you can be evicted, which goes on your credit report. Then when you go to apply for another rental property and that landlord checks your background, your application can be denied.

Can My Mother Move In?

Q: My mother left the nursing home and wants to come live with us. I hope the landlord doesn’t mind.

A: We don’t want to be the bad guy here, but legally, anyone over the age of 18 needs to be on the lease, and Propman Property Management needs to approve anyone moving in, including your own mother. Because it is an additional adult, we must consider liability for another tenant, insurance issues and additional wear and tear on the property. Your mother will have to apply and be approved just as you did, and additional considerations may be involved, such as an increase in rent for example.

This is Part 1 of our 2-part series.

Propman Property Management is a professional firm pairing rental properties with tenants. We love our property owner clients and our tenants and want to ensure that each party has a pleasant experience. If you have a property you’d like to rent out, or are looking for a rental, please give us a call. Review our Available Properties for current rental opportunities. 

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