In a rental, how many days can I have a guest stay and visit?

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In a rental, how many days can I have a guest stay and visit?

Our landlord is very nosy and seems to keep tabs on people going in and out of our house. We live upstairs and this person is downstairs. We have lived in other rentals before but have never had owners or apartment managers keep tabs on people coming in and out. We are good paying tenants and mind our own business. Occasionally we would have houseguests stay over. what is the limit on the number of days a person can stay? Our contract states that 3 adults are permitted to live here there is no provision on our lease that states anything about house guests.

Asked on May 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the lease doesn't specify rules for overnight guests--some leases do--then there is no hard and fast answer. That's because the fundamental issue is when does a "guest" become an unauthorized tenant, in terms of essentially living there in the premises? And that question is not one that permits of a simple, single answer: it depends on the circumstances. Essentially, at the point that a reasonable person would conclude that you are actually letting a person or persons live with you without them being on the lease, that's when the behavior would be forbidden. All that said, a legal fight with a landlord is no one's interest; you might wish to consider minimizing overnight guests, rather than seeing how much is permitted. After all, if the landlord tries to evict you for a lease violation, even if you win, you will incur cost, time, and distress.


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