Wht are an occupant’s rights regarding a rental premises?

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Wht are an occupant’s rights regarding a rental premises?

My wife and I moved into a house with her son and his wife. Our son-in-law and his wife signed the lease. My wife and I did not sign the lease but we are on the lease as “tenants”. Does this give the lease signing parties the right to declare themselves “head of household” or “man of the house”. Such giving them the right to a final say in household matters? Also, does this give lease signing party the right to evict “tenants”?

Asked on November 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am a little confused when you say that you did not sign the lease but are listed on it as "tenants" - I am guessing that means that you are simply listed as additional occupants as well as the signer(s) of the lease.  Regardless, the lease itself establishes the legal relationship between the owner/manager (landlord) and the person(s) taking responsibility for renting the property.  It does nothing to establish the relationship between the persons occupying the residence.  "Head of Household" or "Man of the House" are meaningless terms, legally speaking.  The relationship between the residents of the home is up to them to mutually agree upon (assuming all are of age) and you have just as much "say" as any other resident.  In the end, you all either agree or decide you can't live together comfortably and part ways.  Assuming you contribute to payment of the rent and/or household expenses, you have just as much right to live there as someone who signed the lease meaning they have no right to evict you without legal cause.  Again, in the end, if all of you cannot successfully live together, the remedy is for one or more of you to move out.  Hope this helps.


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