Building an ADU on your property gives you the option to rent out either your home or the ADU. Before you let renters move into either property, it’s essential to first establish rules with your tenants to ensure the best living situation for all parties.


To establish what your expectations are with your renters, it’s important first to define what types of behaviors you don’t want them doing in your home. Once you have a list of unacceptable actions, write them into your lease. Make sure to give your tenants time to read over and understand these rules, and also go through the list with your tenants. This way, there are no grey areas, and everyone is on the same page.


When establishing the rules for your home, make sure your list is enforceable. If your list includes items such as “no eating in the living room,” “no pets on the sofa,” and “no shoes indoors,” you may have a hard time making sure your tenant follows these rules. Unless you’re constantly performing walkthroughs of the property, you will have no way to make sure your tenants are following these rules.


Instead, focus on rules that are easy to enforce. An example of a rule that’s easy to enforce would be parking. If you provide your tenant with a set space to park, you’ll easily be able to tell if they’re not following that rule. This will make it easy for you to reprimand your tenant, as you can clearly tell when they are and aren’t listening.


Having a clear set of rules establishes expectations with your tenants. If you explain to them what you expect from the beginning, they can’t later state that they weren’t aware of the rules. By having rules well-established and given to your tenants in writing, there is no excuse for them not knowing your restrictions.


When you have defined and written-out rules, your tenants are much more likely to abide by them. If you’ve discussed with them what behaviors are unacceptable and could result in eviction, they will likely follow your guidelines, so they’re able to keep living in your home.


In a worst-case scenario, having well-defined and written-out rules will allow you to take legal action against your tenants. If your tenants are repeatedly and intentionally breaking the rules you’ve established, you have legal grounds to evict them.