If a tenant keeps having a regular guest who comes and goes, how should a landlord or property manager handle the situation is the question this week for veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi, who is both a rental property owner, landlord and property manager himself.

Dear Landlord Hank:

How do you handle the tenant’s guest who seems to come and go?

We have a lease provision in terms of how long a tenant can have a guest stay in the rental each month. We want to be fair with visiting relatives, etc.

However, this one “guest” was gone for a while, and now is back staying with the tenant again. What should we do? Has this “guest” become in effect a roommate?


Dear Landlady Debbie,

This is a tricky situation and one most leases don’t handle very well.

My lease states:  Only the following individuals shall occupy the premises unless written consent of the landlord is obtained:  tenants’ names. A reasonable number of guests may occupy the premises without prior written consent if stay is limited to 14 days.

I live in a vacation destination, so I expanded the usually permitted 3 days to 14 days, to allow tenants to have guests visit without problem.

I’m OK with tenants having guests visit as long as they are respectful to the property and rules and regulations.

If you think the guest has become a roommate, you may want to tell tenant that written consent has not been provided and guest has overstayed their welcome.

If it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, the tenant may not want to have their partner screened and added to the lease, as the relationship may not last the length of the lease.

If this is a good tenant, and the guest is not causing any problems, I’m inclined to look the other way, for a while, and see how the situation plays out.


Hank Rossi

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