Can a landlord prevent a tenant from having a guest over based on the guest’s criminal background?

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Can a landlord prevent a tenant from having a guest over based on the guest’s criminal background?

My girlfriend lives in a 4-unit apartment and her upstairs neighbor called and said she did not want me there because she was worried about her kids due to my recent conviction for a drug felony. I was threatened with a tresspassing charge. I know this woman and she is doing this simply to create hardship on my girlfriend. The manager ran the license plate of my bike and got all the court records from my case off the web. Now she is using that as base for keeping me from visiting and from watching her kids when needed. These records show all charges but doesn’t state that they were dropped. She is also threatening to evict her if I’m there.

Asked on May 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord can only restrict the number of occupants to an apartment (who actually live there) and can not restrict who their tenant has as a guest, even an overnight guest.  The lease may even have a clause in it about this so you should read it.   Now, if the charges were dropped as you say then why have you not had the arrest record expunged?  You need to do so as soon as possible.  And tel the landlady that all charges were unfounded (I hope) and dropped.  And if she chooses to pursue a trespassing charge that you will sue her for harassment and defamation of character (last one may or may not fly but try it anyway).  Good luck to you.


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