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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35870
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My husband and I rented a private estate in New Hampshire

Customer Question

My husband and I rented a private estate in New Hampshire for our wedding. We were given a short term lease for the term of August 13-17, 2015 with permission to hold our event on Saturday, August 15, 2015. There are several issues with the landlord and I want to verify their classification of our rental as "short term residential" (as opposed to vacation/recreation rental) is accurate. Are we residential tenants or vacation rental occupants?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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As a general rule, if you are considered a "transient" resident, meaning that you will only be there for a few days, then you wouldn't be considered a "residential tenant" as that implies that you have the intent of making this your actual residence. So you are essentially in the same position as a hotel or motel guest and this would be considered a vacation or recreational rental.

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So the term "short term residential" wouldn't really be legally accurate because normal landlord tenant laws don't apply to these types of rentals. Seen NH law:

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NH Statutes 540:1-a Definitions.

IV. The term "tenant'' or "tenancy'' shall not include occupants or occupancy in the following places and the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(a) Rooms in rooming or boarding houses which are rented to transient guests for fewer than 90 consecutive days. For purposes of this subparagraph, if the owner of the facility directs the occupant to move from one room to another in the same rooming or boarding house, or directs the occupant to move from one of the owner's rooming or boarding houses to another, the 90-day period for computing consecutive days of occupancy shall not be broken. Consecutive days of occupancy shall not include a voluntary move from one room to another if the move was made at the request of the occupant after the occupant has been notified of the exemption from tenancy under this subparagraph. Such request shall be in writing and shall include the following statement:
"I request a move from ________________ to _______________. I have received a copy of RSA 540:1-a, IV(a) and understand that any time I spent in the first room shall not apply toward the 90 consecutive days of occupancy required for tenancy under RSA 540.''
(b) Rooms in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes and other dwellings rented for recreational or vacation use.
(c) Rooms in student dormitories, nursing homes, hospitals and any other facilities licensed under RSA 151 or certified under RSA 126-A, convents, monasteries, asylums, or group homes.
(d) A single-family home in which the occupant has no lease, which is the primary and usual residence of the owner.
(e) Residential real estate under RSA 540-B.
(f) Vacation or recreational rental units under RSA 540-C.
(g) Residential units leased by a member of a fraternal or social organization that provides student housing for a postsecondary institution in a structure owned and operated by the fraternal or social organization.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response! I am not sure how to handle a security deposit dispute or discern what our rights would be if they breached a number of conditions in the lease. Do we have any rights as transient occupants? The owner is trying to hold us responsible for an additional $10,000 in withheld deposits. That does not include $1,000 cleaning fee and the $20,000 rental price stated in the lease. I'll be devastated if we have no tenant rights associated with the lease we signed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Anything I have found online refers to 540-C but it doesn't include us in the definition. Do we "count" as tenants then?
TITLE LV
PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASESCHAPTER 540-C
VACATION OR RECREATIONAL RENTAL UNITSSection 540-C:1540-C:1 Covered Units. – This chapter shall apply to all dwelling units which are:
I. Rented for recreational or vacation use at least one month out of the year; and
II. Rented for residential purposes by persons who have no other residence, during part or all of the non-recreational or vacation period.
Source. 2006, 312:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.Section 540-C:2540-C:2 Lease Required. – In order to evict an occupant from a dwelling unit covered by this chapter without fulfilling the requirements of RSA 540, the owner or the owner's authorized agent and the tenant shall sign a lease which:
I. States the date by which the tenant shall vacate the premises; and
II. Informs the tenant that if he or she remains on the premises after the expiration of the lease without the written permission of the owner or the owner's authorized agent, the tenant may be removed from the premises by a law enforcement officer without any judicial process.
Source. 2006, 312:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.Section 540-C:3540-C:3 Removal Upon Expiration of Lease. – Any law enforcement officer of this state, upon presentation of the expired lease by the owner or the owner's authorized agent, shall remove the occupants from the dwelling unit. Upon removal the occupants shall be deemed to have abandoned his or her rights of occupancy and the owner may then make such unit available to other occupants.
Source. 2006, 312:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.Section 540-C:4540-C:4 Civil Penalty. – Any person who directs a law enforcement officer to remove a tenant from a dwelling unit covered by this chapter without complying with RSA 540-C:3, or misrepresents to a law enforcement officer that the unit is a covered unit under this chapter shall be liable to any tenant who is involuntarily removed from the unit by the law enforcement officer in an amount equivalent to 3 months rent, plus costs and attorneys fees.
Source. 2006, 312:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

I am not sure how to handle a security deposit dispute or discern what our rights would be if they breached a number of conditions in the lease. Do we have any rights as transient occupants?

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This would be a straight breach of contract action if the landlord didn't live up to his end of the contract. So this would be something that would be taken straight to court in a lawsuit against the landlord.

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That statute you cited just refers to the removal process and that a transient guest doesn't have to be formally evicted through the courts like a tenant would and can just be removed as a trespasser by law enforcement if they violate the terms of the agreement or stay longer than the contract allows.

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But no, you aren't really true "tenants", you are transient "guests"..

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However, that has nothing to do with your rights to sue the landlord under a breach of contract claim if they violated the terms of your agreement with them.

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thanks

Barrister

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