What is the legal definition of residing?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2012

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What is the legal definition of residing?

We have a rental and we can raise the rent if another individual is “residing” there for more then 2 weeks. There is has been a car there every day and every night for the last two months but because “residing” is so vague we want to be sure we have just cause to raise the rent before doing so. We want to be able to prove the person is residing there before raising the rent because we don’t want to look like we don’t know what we are doing. We purchase the house with the rental the the lease was carried over when we bought the house.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not answer your question--while there are definitions of residence for, say, tax purposes, they have nothing to do with the application of your lease. If you believe the person is residing there, you may wish to let the tenant know that if they continue to do so (and provide some reasonable definition the tenant can use--e.g. spending at least 4 nights, or the better part of 4 nights, there per week) you will raise the rent in accordance with your rights under the lease. That gives the tenant a chance to modify his or her behavior before you do this. Provide any notice in writing, sent some way you can prove delivery, even if you also follow it up with an in-person discussion.

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