What are a tenant’s rights to have overnight guests?

I’m a landlord and have a house with a very tight lease. In my lease I state that non-lease holders are trespassers. My tenant has overnight guests regularly but the police officer told me that she has the right to visitors as long as there is no mailing address in their name. She also slams doors and damages them in the process which is vandalism. I heard, if you signed the lease, you agree’d to the terms of it. I am a live-in landlord; I don’t know if that changes anything

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The police officer is wrong: as a general proposition, a lease may legally restrict or prevent all overnight guests. While you may wish to have an attorney review the specific language of your lease and the situation to see if, in fact, the tenant is violating the lease, if the lease clearly prevents guests, then she would seem to be. In that event, you could provide her with a notice to cease violating this lease provision; if she continues to do so after notice, you could provide a second notice to quit, terminating her tenancy, then evict her if she does not leave. In addition, if she willfully or grossly negligently (more than merely carelessly) damages your property, you could evict her on that ground, too.


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