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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
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Experience:  since 1983
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Is she considered tenant and can she search my entire home

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Is she considered tenant and can she search my entire home for what she says is a missing $300 bikini that I know nothing about? She is claiming tenant rights and says she will be here later today with a cop to search my house for a bikini! This girl stayed with my son under the premise that she was homeless and looking for job. Many of her belongings remained in her car. I never thought of her as more than a visitor and doing favor for homeless. No money, no discussion of lease or rental agreement. She ultimately assaulted my son leaving black eye and concussion. On top of that, damaged my property, frequently yelling and slamming doors creating such hostile environment that my youngest son moved out because couldn't sleep, since tantrums occurred in wee hours of morning. How can she have rights to search my entire house? Please tell me I have some rights. My son does not want to file charges against her because he doesn't want to ruin her life. She is 25.
If she never paid rent, she was a guest and not a tenant, and you have no duty to allow the police into your home unless they present a search warrant or a Court order.

I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

According to her, Georgia tenant law doesn't stipulate they must pay rent, only that they stay for 1 month. I'm at such a loss. I can't find the definition of Georgia tenant, but she sure acts like she knows the law. I hope your answer is correct for Georgia. Is there a place I can find that to prove to her that she was not a tenant even though she, by her choice and without my knowledge, used my address to receive a pkg and had it put on her Ga ID card.
"To determine if you are a tenant or boarder the court will look at:
•Does the written agreement refer to itself as a lease and to payments as rent;
•The length of time you have lived at the residence;
•Whether the room is the only residence you have;
•Whether you are residing there temporarily or for a long period of time;
•How often you pay rent: if you pay daily, you are likely a guest or boarder;
•Whether services such as linen service, switchboard service and maid service are provided;
•Whether you own the furnishings in the room;
•Whether the amount you pay includes tax; and
• Whether the person you pay has a business license.

If you are not a tenant but a guest or boarder, you have limited protection under the law."

May I ask if she had her own room, or if she stayed in your son's room?

Do you have a business license as a landlord?

Do you have a certificate of occupancy as a landlord?

Have you ever had a tenant at this location?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She stayed in my son's room. I know nothing about being a landlord. I have never had tenants.


Then it is clear to me that she was a guest and not a tenant.

The police are not likely to try to enter your home in this situation to assist a person who has no proof that she ever paid rent or was anything other than a guest of your son. If they do try, you can tell them to go away until they have either a warrant or a Court Order. They are more likely to tell her, "this is a civil matter" and I do not think they are going to risk a lawsuit for trespassing and invading your privacy if you tell them to go away.

The fact that you have never had a tenant or a business license as a landlord is very strong evidence that she was never a tenant. Real tenants pay rent and get their own room. She did not have her own room and she never paid rent, so my opinion remains that she was a guest and not a tenant.

The DCA Handbook I linked to previously states:
"Georgia law does not regulate the details of the landlord-tenant relationship but does set forth the general rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants."

I have not located an official legal definition of "tenant" in Georgia law, but it necessarily implies payment of rent in exchange for the exclusive use of a bit of real property.

So since she never had her own room and never paid rent, I do not believe that any Judge in Georgia would conclude she was a tenant rather than a houseguest.

I hope this information is helpful.
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