This tenant has been occasionally late paying his rent in the past, and I am worried that he really won't be able to afford the additional rental rate. Now that he has canceled his notice of termination, what are my options? I am thinking about requiring him to agree to a new credit check so I can tell whether he will be able to pay the new rental amount. Can I do that?
Of course, you always can agree to allow your tenant to revoke his notice, but that means you have the right to place conditions on your agreement to allow the tenant to remain. A new credit check is a reasonable condition, and it would not violate the tenant's right to privacy because you essentially would be creating a new tenancy and you have a reasonable concern about his financial stability.
Based on the concept that he is re-applying to become a tenant, you can charge the customary fee for a credit check, and you can deny his request to continue his tenancy if the check raises red flags. All of these points should be set out in a written agreement with this tenant, setting the terms of your offer to allow him to stay. That way, both sides understand the conditions and the options available to them as you process your final decision.
Eichner is director of Housing Counseling Programs for Project Sentinel, a mediation service based in Sunnyvale, Calif. To submit a question, go to http://www.housing.org.