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 The landlord of a disabled couple on Houston is being sued by the city over the tenants’ garage sales.

According to a news report, the frequency of the sales sparked a complaint; however, nothing has been done about a neighbor who holds daily garage sales.

The city told reporters it plans to use the fact that the couple filed for a business permit against the landlord in the lawsuit.

While it’s rare that tenants feel the need to conduct garage sales in order to make ends meet as in this case, it’s not uncommon for tenants to set up in-home businesses in rental properties. Most are not problematic, but some may increase traffic, noise, or place other tenants at risk.

It’s always best to know what you are dealing with when it comes to home-based businesses in your rentals. To play it safe, landlords can:

Ask the question in the rental application or during the tenant interview.

Include a prohibition against business activities in the lease. Many standard form lease agreements provide that the use of the property is restricted to residential.

Talk it over in detail with the tenant before allowing exceptions. Make sure tenants know that they have to clear any nonresidential use with you before they set up shop in your rental property.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for all your property management needs. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

 

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