On Your Side: Rent and have older kids? Tenant shares cautionary tale

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Experts say we’re seeing it more during the pandemic.

College kids living at home.

A Springfield mother, who rents, says this may now mean changes with her lease and she doesn’t know what to do.

Debra Mabe says her daughter, Torrie Bryant, planned to move to Illinois for college but that didn’t happen.

“She ended up staying here and going to OTC due to COVID,” said Mabe.

Mabe came home to her Hunter’s Glen apartment and found a letter on her doorstep along with an application. The property manager wants her 18-year-old daughter on the lease.

“It said I needed to pay the $40 for the application fee by the end of the business day. Or there would be a $100 late fee charge. I was upset. She’s already on my lease. She’s eighteen. She’s still my child. She doesn’t have a job. I don’t think she needs to be responsible for anything that I have," said Mabe.

On the current lease, Mabe is the resident. Her daughter is an occupant.

“She’s my daughter. Not my friend that’s a roommate with me. That’s how they’re wanting to look at it,” said Mabe.

On Your Side showed the lease to Doug Fredrick. He’s an attorney and a landlord.

“In this case, the lease says there’s nothing they can do what they’re trying to do. You can’t just arbitrarily modify the terms of a contract. Or demand the other party to a contract, change their position. That’s why we have contracts,” said Fredrick.

On Your Side reached out to apartment management for an interview. We got a response asking us to email specific questions.

On Your Side does not provide questions before interviews.

They replied: We do not conduct interviews when there is no news story.

As for that fee.

“There’s nothing in this lease agreement that states the tenant has to pay anything additional other than what they’re obligated to do here, which is the rent,” said Fredrick.

Mabe says she went ahead and paid the $40 application fee so she wasn’t stuck with a $100 late fee.

Despite paying that fee, Mabe says her daughter hasn’t filled out the application. If she does – and it’s approved - there’s another $150 processing fee.

She’s hopeful they can work something out with management. Management told On Your Side in their last email to me they reached out to Mabe.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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