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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 35777
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I rent an apt in my landlords house. She lives downstairs.

Customer Question

I rent an apt in my landlords house. She lives downstairs. My mother watches my daughter while I work. She then picks up my other daughter brother and niece from school and stays in my apt until I get home. My landlord says that my mother is running an unofficial day care in my apt. She said my brother and niece can no longer go to my apt after school.
Can she do this?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Is there any occupancy limit under your lease?

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Are you saying that your mother stays at your apartment, watches daughter 1, picks up daughter 2, your brother, your niece and then they all come back to your place until you get home? So 5 people total?

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What is the reason for brother and niece coming to your apartment every day?

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Has the landlord given you anything in writing saying that brother and niece can't come over?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I live in NJ. My mother doesn't live with me. She comes over in the morning. She stays in my apt to care for my 9 month old baby. My mom doesn't work so she watches my two kids, my sister's kid and her own ten year old son. She watches the four kids who are family in my home because I live closer to the school.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The three kids attend school from 8:30 - 3pm. After school she takes them to the park and then returns to my home until I get home from work. Then she leaves to her home with her son and my niece. Landlord said this is an unofficial daycare service my mother is running in the apt.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There is nothing in the lease stating that my family members can't come to my home.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

Ok, this is the problem I see here... The lease that you are under gives the tenant and the approved occupants the legal right to use and possession of the property. But what that means is that if someone isn't a tenant or an approved occupant, then they don't have legal rights to be on the property.

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So unfortunately, I would have to opine that the landlord would have the right to ban anyone from the property who did not have a legal right to be on the property.

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That means that if the landlord wanted to bar brother and niece from coming over, she legally can since they don't have any contractual or legal rights to be on the property.

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I don't like the outcome, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can't have family members come to my home?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

So I can't have family members come to my home?

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You can, unless the landlord notifies you that they are not allowed on the property.. Only the people listed on the lease have a legal right to be on the property.

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I am sorry that the news is not better, but I don't have any "dogs in the fight" so to speak, and am obligated to give my honest and straighforward legal opinion on the matter, even if I don't like the outcome.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She said my mother can't watch them in the apt I am paying for. So that's it? My 9 year old niece and 10 year old brother can not come to my apt after school? So she has the right to tell me who can be in my home?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

I am sorry, but there is really no easier way for me to explain it... only the people who are on the lease have the legal right to be on the property.. A lease is a contract that gives the tenant and the listed occupants rights to the property during the term of the lease.

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So if you entered into a lease that says only you and your child have the right to use and live on the property, then the landlord can legally bar anyone else from being on the property.

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It is a pretty lousy thing for the landlord to do, but legally she can do it.

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Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What if my sister wants to visit me everyday? Landlord has right to say she can't visit me everyday?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

However, the landlord has to give a written notice to the person stating what rule or law that they have broken. The notice must state the reason why the guest is no longer allowed to come to the property and must say what the guest did that broke the terms of the lease or the law. The guest cannot be barred unless he or she broke the rules of the lease, or broke local, state or federal law.

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But the landlord can't just arbitrarily refuse to allow visitors..

Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

So if the landlord can't point to a violation of the lease or a law that has been broken, if they tried to evict you, you can defend against any eviction case.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My niece and brother did not break any rules or laws. She is just accusing my mother of running an unofficial day care
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

Ok, then unless your lease states that you can't have guests over, then the landlord would have a tough time proving that you are violating the law in having an unlicensed day care. In order for that to occur, mother would have to be paid by people for babysitting their kids without a license. Watching family members for free doesn't constitute an unlicensed day care.

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If she calls the police on mother, you can respond to them by stating that mother and the family members are your guests and the police will tell the landlord to take it up in court.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you so much
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time. Don't let the landlord push you around or intimidate you. If she wants to push this issue, don't be afraid to fight her on it...

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thanks

Barrister

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