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Tenant's right to have overnight guests?

San Leandro, CA |

The lease states tenant can have a guest for two nights in a month. The tenant states she can have a guest stay over whenever and as often as she wants. What does the law state?

If they do have out of town relatives come to visit them, the lease also states the guest may stay longer with permission from the landlord. This provision is in the lease because in the past I have had tenants move there boy friend in under the pretense of him just visiting or spending a night or two when in fact they were there for two months straight. I also wish to know who is living in my unit and I want to avoid wear and tear because of too many people living in too small a space. This is only a two bedroom unit and it does not accommodate 5 people.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    What did the lease say about the consequences of having a guest over for more than two nights in a month? Was the landlord looking for more rent for "additional tenant"? Was the landlord more concerned about too many people living in the rental unit?

    In any event, I don't believe it is against public policy to have this provision in the lease. I believe it is enforceable.

    But are you seeking to evict the tenant is he violates the lease or are you keeping the tenant as long as he pays additional rent if he wants to have the guest over for more than two nights in a month. I'm just curious about the reasoning behind having this restriction in the lease. Restricting the tenant to having a guest over for no more than two nights in a month would seem a little unreasonable. What about relatives, like parents and children? If they come over from out of state to visit the tenant, it would not be reasonable to expect them to stay for just two nights. They might be expected to stay much longer.


  2. The law says the lease controls.

    DISCLAIMER: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.
    James S. Tupitza
    212 W. Gay Street
    West Chester, PA 19380


  3. The LL can enforce the lease. That means termination of the lease for violating a covenant. Some leases do talk about additional rent when a tenant has a guest who overstays, but you the LL will need to be able to prove the accusation. This may be difficult to do with credibility, since you are an interested party and might be expected to exaggerate a bit.

    Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
    Attorney at Law
    412-561-6303

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