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When does a guest become a tenant

When does a guest become a tenant – How To Create Your Guest Policy

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant?

If you own a property, every day there might be different people coming in and out of your property. Tenants can invite visitors – whether friends, family, boyfriend, or girlfriend, it is a common scenario if you own a building or a property. Your tenant’s guest may stay for a couple of days or a certain period. In some cases, your tenant’s boyfriend or girlfriend may start living with them. Now, lies the question, when does a guest become a tenant? There is a thin line between a guest and a tenant.

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant

The Thin Line Between Guest and Tenant

To start off, let us first define what is a tenant. A tenant is someone who imparted in a written contract with a landlord. They are occupying the property under a lease or a rental agreement– in other words, they have a right within the property. On one hand, some tenants who are college students stay within the property and go home during summer break. On the other hand, there are also tenants who moved out of their house and wanted to live independently.

Now, let us define what is a guest. A guest can be a visitor of your tenant who visits during the day or stays for a couple of days. Normally, they are invited by the tenant and they do not have any legal rights to the properties. Guests can be a friend, a girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, or a nanny.

Your tenant has solely the right to invite guests to their rented place or room, however, when can be this an issue? In some cases, there are guests who are staying for an extended period of time.

Signs that a guest turns in to a tenant:

·         They are paying the rent

·         They are receiving mail at the property

·         They are staying for a long period of time

·         They have a key to the property

They are paying the rent

If the guest has started to pay the rent but they are not on the lease, you might face some problems as a landlord. Whether they are just staying for the night or cooking dinner, there is no harm in it. However, if they started contributing to the rent, it can be a warning sign. You may face legal problems in the long run if you accept payment from guests who are not on the lease. If you accept any payment from non-tenants, it can only mean that they can be granted the same rights of your tenants. Also, if they fail to pay the rent, you will not have any papers to back you up since they are not on the lease.

They are receiving mail at the property

In some cases, there are guests who changed their mailing address to your address. This is a huge problem. They are not just staying for one night or so, but they have plans on staying long term. This is already a warning sign. If you happen to see this happening, it is important to have a conversation and discuss the matter with your tenant before making an action.

Guest Mail

They are staying for a long period of time

Some guests stay for a couple because they are out of town. However, if they are staying every night in the premises of your property, they might be staying not just as a guest. Also, if a guest stayed for more than two-weeks, you need to have a conversation with your tenant. It can pose a serious problem if it is not taken into hands right away. Maybe, it is about time to talk to your tenant about long-term guests.

Can you see these signs to your tenant’s guest? If you have noticed these signs, what actions can you do as a landlord? Why is it important if you have guests that turned in to tenants to be on the lease?

They have a key to the property

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant the key

No one should have keys to the property other than the tenants. If they are going out for a couple of days during the weekend or holiday, they must inform their landlord about it. Especially, if they are going to ask their friends to look for plants or pets during the time that they are away. In that case, the landlord will not have suspicion about who is going in and out of their property. It can be a direct violation on terms if a guest or a visitor have a key to the property.

Preventing the Problem

Can you see these signs to your tenant’s guest? If you have noticed these signs, what actions can you do as a landlord? Why is it important if you have guests that turned in to tenants to be on the lease?

If your guests that turned into tenants are not on the lease, it can be a problem. Since they are not part of the lease or the written agreement, they are not liable and responsible for the property.  As a landlord, you have the rights to decide on the matter whether you will amend the lease of your tenant or increase the rent. It is important to confront and fix the matter right away as a landlord. By fixing the matter right away, you are protecting your legal rights as a landlord if the tenant has violated the lease. The main purpose of amending is not to increase the rent but to have everyone accountable in the lease.

Establishing rules and a clear line of communication with your tenant about their responsibilities and welcoming guests is a must. In some cases, your tenant may ask you if a guest can stay there for a couple of days or nights, if this happens, you may discuss your guest policy and rules to your tenants. Also, you can have them sign an agreement on long term guest agreement so problems can be prevented. It is important to have established rules on how long a guest can stay in the property.