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If a lease has no provisions regarding guests or length that a guest can stay, can landlord tell me guests can only stay 3 days?

Vancouver, WA |

Two weeks ago I moved into my new place. My landlord lives right next door. I had a guest stay over 3 nights and the landlord stated guests can only stay for 3 days. I have thoroughly reviewed the lease and there is nothing that makes any mention of guests or length of visit. I never would have moved in had I known that. They have also stated that I cannot let a guest stay in my home unless I am here. Since there is nothing in the lease that states that, can they actually enforce that or can I be evicted for not abiding by that? I'm not talking about anyone moving in, and any guest would have their own place of residence elsewhere. When there is no provision in a lease, can a landlord verbally enforce that?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

In my experience, a landlord has an absolute right to know who is in his property and to control who the tenant is. The rental agreement is with you, not with your guests. I agree that if there is nothing about guests in your contract that your landlord cannot invent terms out of thin air and expect you to comply with them. But all notices between landlords and tenants have to be in writing to be enforceable. He could issue a 10-day, you could point out that there is no term re guests in your lease.
Landlords get rental agreements off the internet or from their buddy the real estate agent all the time. Just because it is printed does not mean it is enforceable in WA. See RCW 59 18 230.
Hope this helps you. Elizabeth Powell

Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


Usually the provision has a specific clause. Howvere, sometimes a landlord will use the number of occupants listed on the lease as a limit , but the landlord will have the burden of proof that you are breach of the lease. I think perhaps a discussion with the landlord is in order. If you can't find some common ground negotiate a new written provision or a written termination of the lease and move on.

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

Peter L. Fels

Peter L. Fels


A landlord generally cannot enforce a provision which is not in the statutes or the lease. However, a landlord can enforce reasonable rules and can issue new rules with 30 days' written notice. See RCW 59.18.140. Peter Fels Peter L. Fels, P.C., Vancouver WA