If you are renting a room on a lease and have another person live with with you, can the landlord charge you extra rent?

UPDATED: Feb 18, 2012

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If you are renting a room on a lease and have another person live with with you, can the landlord charge you extra rent?

The lease said only said 1 person may live in room. I was there for a year, then the-lease expired and I went to month-to-month. My girlfriend moved in and I lived in the room for 8 months with her. The landlord sent me a 30 day notice stating that I must move out and that I owe double what I have already paid because another person lived in the room with me; I being charged after the fact. Nothing on the lease states what would be charged if another person lived in the room with me, just that I would be in violation of the lease. I figured the lease would just be terminated and I would be asked to leave.

Asked on February 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to charge additional rent if there are more residents in the rental premises, but that must be part of the lease; a landlord may not after the fact decide to charge more, if there had been no previous agreement, reflected ine lease, that the tenant would pay more for having a roommate or other member of the household.

However, if you do not have an in-force written lease, you are  a month-to-month tenant; that means that your tenancy may be terminated on one month's notice.

So from what you write, the landlord may ask you to leave, but does not seem to be able to charge you additional rent without some basis in a lease or other agreement with you.

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