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Do I have a legal or civil right to have one (1) overnight guest for nine (9) days? [California]

Lomita, CA |

My lease reads: “ 5. Named Renter/Assignment/Subletting: The premises shall not be occupied by more than the maximum number set out in Section J [handwritten as one (1) ], unless required by law, nor by any other than the Named Renter set out in Section K [myself] without the advance written consent of the Owner and at the additional rent set out in Section L [N/A] or prescribed by law. Renter’s right to possession shall not be assigned nor sublet.” The lease does not say anything else that could apply, allowing or even mentioning overnight guests. Does this clause completely restrict overnight guests unless the landlord writes an okay? Is that legal?

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Attorney answers 2


A guest is not an "occupant" of the property. If the lease is silent, unless your guests are deemed to have become occupants (depending on length of stay, recurrence of visits, etc.), you are free to do as you please. Most leases though have a provision that deals specifically with guests, it is worth it to review the lease one more time to make sure you did not miss it.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with a local attorney.



What if the guest is a house sitter for a period while I am out of town? I will, of course, then be giving the guest the key to the unit.

Rares Michael Ghilezan

Rares Michael Ghilezan


We can only provide opinions here. For a more detailed analysis of your situation, you should consult with a local landlord-tenant attorney.


No, based on what you wrote, you'd be able to have overnight guests.

But check the rest of your lease and see if it deals with guests specifically.



What if the I give the guest a key, a they would be house sitting for me during a period when I will be out of town? I have to be certain about this as my landlord has given a 60 day notice and I may well fight the eviction. On lawyer has assessed my chance of winning as >50%.

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