The contract does not say anything about my rights or limitations of having guests staying over night. My girlfriend just want to come to visit me 1 or 2 days every week. She just stays into my room and sometimes uses the bathroom. The utilities is $100/month no matter what.
Usually, written lease agreements will clearly differentiate when a person living in a unit is merely a "guest" by limiting the number of nights that person can stay in the unit in a row. However, without a written (or oral) agreement between you and your landlord, the line between "guest" and "tenant" is unclear. As far as I know, RCW 59.18 (the landlord-tenant statute) and case law do not give definitions as to the word "guest". Therefore, without knowing more about your circumstances, it would be difficult to predict whether a court would think of your girlfriend as a guest or a tenant.
Note, however, the law does allow a landlord to evict a tenant if that tenant's guests violate lease terms, make a nuisance (a technical legal word), commits a crime, or does a number of other things. So depending on the vindictiveness of your landlord for defying this "rule", you could face eviction trouble. I'd say tread carefully and be prepared to prove that your girlfriend is a guest and not a tenant, although that might be difficult depending on the facts of your circumstances.
Another option is to add your girlfriend to your lease so that she is a proper "tenant"--then you wouldn't have to consider the potential problems that can arise.
Disclaimer: Brian Cheng is licensed to practice law only in the State of Washington. Comments do not constitute legal advice for your situation and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Comments are made for general information only. For more information or to seek a consultation, please visit www.chenglaw.com.
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