When Does a Guest Become a Tenant?

Did you know that your tenants having guests over at your property can be a liability?

You or your tenants could be responsible for the guests they have at your Cary, North Carolina rental property. Therefore, it is important to ensure you know who is staying at your property with your tenants for a long duration of time.

Everyone has friends and family that visit them from time to time and that is normal and understandable. It’s a part of life to do things with other people and lend out a helping hand when needed. However, there comes a time when a guest can overstay their welcome.

When should they be added to the contract?

The tenant might enjoy them staying at their place, although if they are spending more then two weeks there, it’s time to notify your landlord and add them to the contract. A tenant can always talk to their landlord and come up with a mutual agreement if a guest needs a place to stay for a longer-term than originally anticipated.

How do you know when a guest is becoming a tenant? If the guest:

  • Is paying rent, this is a big indicator that he or she is slowly transitioning into a tenant.
  • Has moved their furniture and/or pets into the home.
  • Is sending their mail to your property, this is another sign that they are treating the home as their own.
  • Is requesting to make changes in the property or make a maintenance request, this is a sign.

They should be paying rent.

Increased usage of water and other utilities

When guests are spending a lot of time in the property, it increases the usage of water and other utilities which increases costs. It is not fair for the landlord to have to pay for this expense when they are not receiving anything in return.

A tenant would risk being evicted from the rental property if their landlord finds them having another tenant living with them who is not on the lease agreement.

Laws regarding guests become tenants

Make sure to always look at the different state laws regarding this issue so you understand what the rights are when it comes to guests spending time at your Cary rental property.

For safety reasons, the landlord should know who is in their rental property in case of any emergency situations that could arise. Not only is the tenant protecting themselves but the other people there as well.

Depending on the individual state laws with respect to the issue, once someone has started receiving mail at an address they have established residency. That can be done without someone actually occupying a property. If the guest spends more than half a month at a place they could also be considered a tenant at that point as well. Our lease forbids more than 14 nights in a month for anyone not named on the lease for this reason.” — Brian Levredge.

What to look out for as a landlord

With our experience in managing properties, we know that as a landlord, you need to make sure you are not accepting any payments from a guest that you do not want to allow the privilege to live there full-time. If you accept a payment from the start you are technically allowing this person to stay in your property.

Depending on how long you have been a landlord for or how long you plan to be in the future, a situation like this is very likely to occur. Therefore, you should want to understand your rights from the beginning and what to do if a situation like this does arise.

Make sure you always handle these situations with care because you never know what that person is going through. It’s easy to judge a situation but if you don’t know exactly what is happening things can become problematic quickly. Again, if you are in the right, you might have to take the necessary steps in order to fix the situation and/or alter the contract in one way or another.

If a guest wants to stay at your property in Cary, North Carolina for one month with a friend, you can always create a separate lease for one month for that person. This will protect both you and the tenant. Try to feel out the situation and keep in regular enough contact with your tenants. This simply ensures you know what is going on at your property and that you are keeping a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

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