Can a Friend Live in my House Without Being on the Lease?
The short answer is yes. They can live with you without being on the lease. However, this may change depending on how long they’re going to be staying with you. Read on to find out when you would have to add someone to the lease, and also to find out your rights as a tenant without a lease.
Do All Occupants have to be on the Lease?
An occupant is somebody that lives with you, that depends on your income and will not be paying rent directly to the landlord. This could be a child, or partner. You should add these people to your lease as occupants. But they do not have to sign the lease.
Someone that lives in your house for a previously agreed number of days is known as a guest. The duration guests stay is commonly between 3 and 15 days, which means they do not have to be added to the lease.
When does Someone Become a Tenant?
If a guest stays longer than the 15-day period, you may want to consider telling your landlord you would like to add them to the lease. If your landlord finds out you have someone living in your house for an extended period of time without you telling them, they may have the right to evict you.
When your child turns 18 years old, it is typically a good idea to add them as a tenant to the lease agreement the next time it is up for renewal.
Can My Partner Live with Me Without Signing the Lease?
It depends on the situation and on the landlord. In some cases, roommates are not on the lease but are considered “tenants at will.” This means that they are allowed to live on the property, but they do not have the same legal protections as tenants who are on the lease.
Rights of a Tenant That’s Not on the Lease
If you’re renting a property and you don’t have a lease, you do have several rights. It depends on your state’s laws, so you always have to look at your specific state’s regulations. If a tenant does not have a lease, they’re considered a “tenant at will.” This can actually be somewhat advantageous to you depending on the situation. If you don’t have a lease, you’re considered to have an implied lease. This is when you do not have a lease in writing and instead you have an oral arrangement with the landlord. For example, you could have spoken with your landlord and agreed that $700 a month or $800 a month would be fair, and you’ve been paying this for several months. That is an implied lease. So if you can produce evidence of this, most people would say that both parties agreed to the sum of rent, and you living in the landlord’s property.
How Do I Move Out?
As a tenant, if you want to move out then how do you terminate the implied lease? Well you should give notice to your landlord because you don’t want them to be asking you for rent in the following months if they think you’re still living there. This would become complicated because you do not have a written lease.
This means want to give notice and let the landlord know that you’re going to be moving out. Typically, the frequency you pay rent is the length of time you should give notice. So if you’re paying once a month, you should give a month’s notice if you’re paying every 2 weeks 2 weeks is probably going to suffice in that situation.
The Security Deposit
This one can be a challenge if you do not have a lease, so again I always recommend that you get a lease in writing. Even as a tenant it helps protect you. And if you’ve given your landlord money as a security deposit, and you didn’t damage anything it’s going to be very difficult for you to prove that without something in writing receipt at the minimum. So document this from a tenants perspective. However, if you leave the property messy then the landlord may be able to claim back some of the deposit as cleaning expenses.
Can My Landlord Evict Me?
Your landlord can usually give you 30 days’ notice, and then you’re expected to leave. With regards to eviction, it’s also a 30 days’ notice.
Rights of a Landlord
So how can a landlord lawfully evict someone without a lease? It’s a little bit more challenging, because you’re going to run into problems with the courts because there’s no lease. This means you can’t necessarily prove anything. However, there are legal rights to help you remedy it, and you don’t want to break any laws. This is because if you do, the court can then tend to rule in favor of the tenant. So you don’t want to evict someone for any unlawful reasons, such as race, religion, or anything like that.
You can evict if the property is unsafe, if the lease has expired, or if they’re not paying back rent. You can also evict a tenant without a lease if legal drug use reported, or criminal activity being reported on the property that you’re made aware of.
With this in mind, you want to make sure you are going through all the steps to evict someone. So first you want to serve a tenant with an official notice to quit. with the proper waiting period. So what’s the notice to quit? This is an official way let the tenant know that they need to leave the property, and the date they must be moved out by. A notice to quit is only legally valid if there’s confirmation that the tenant received it. This means you need to send a letter by certified mail, so that you can prove that the tenant received that notice to quit.
File the notice to quit
Next step is then you actually file for eviction with the local court. If the tenant doesn’t want to move, and if they’ve stayed after they’ve received the notice to quit, then you want to make sure you keep all your documentation. You’ll need to you bring all of the correct documentation with you to court, and give the reasons why you want the tenant to move.
When the tenant acquired the property and why you need them to leave. Especially if it’s prior to the end of a formal lease. If the tenant is without a lease, make sure to bring everything you’ve got make sure you’ve got your notice to quit confirmation. This will show that the tenet received it. Also bring all your documents related to rent they paid and if there’s rent they haven’t paid etc. If there’s any criminal charges, or drug use, or damage the property, document this and bring it into the court as well.
If the court rules in your favor they’re going to issue an eviction notice, and then you can contact the sheriff to come and help you remove the tenant at that time. I’m sure that you or no one else wants to get to that point, but it sometimes happens.
If you’re a Landlord that’s Desperate for the Tenant to Move Out
Another option is first is cash for keys. This one is painful if a tenant owes you back rent for 2 months or 3 months. You contact the tenant and offer them money to move out of your property on really short notice. This is a very hard lesson to learn as a landlord when you have to do the cash for keys offer. You could be letting back rent go, you can’t file for the damages, but it is another approach that a lot of people use. It motivates people that don’t want to leave to leave your property.