Dave Says: An agreement is an agreement

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

By Dave Ramsey

Syndicated Columnist

Dear Dave,

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I own a small rental house, and for the most part my tenants have been conscientious people over the years. Recently, I learned my current tenant is subleasing the property for the short term as a vacation site. This kind of thing is prohibited in the rental agreement. He has always taken very good care of the place, so should I confront him about this, or just ignore it until it becomes a real problem? 


Dear Karl,

This may sound hardnosed, but it’s already a problem. He’s in obvious violation of the lease agreement. If it were me, I’d have a face-to-face talk with this guy today. I’d let him know how much I appreciate that he’s been a good, respectful tenant in the past, but the subleasing has to stop.

An agreement is an agreement. I have several rental properties myself, and I always try to be gentle and nice, but really clear about things. You may not have experienced any problems up until now, but what happens next time? If you don’t know and trust who’s in the house, you could end up with holes in the walls, ruined carpets and worse. On top of all that, what if they don’t have the money to fix things when they leave? It’ll be on you, because you lost control of your property.

Again, be decent when you talk to this guy. It sounds like you two have a good history. But remind him he’s in violation of the lease agreement. And gently let him know if anything like this happens again, you’ll begin the eviction process.


Dave Ramsey is an eight-time No. 1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 20 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for the company, Ramsey Solutions.