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legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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After how many days can a visiting guest of an original

Customer Question

After how many days can a visiting guest of an original tenant who is the sole tenant on the lease become a resident. Or is this even possible with a signed lease agreement. The guest has been in the unit around 3 weeks now.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Does the lease address the ability to have other tenants/guests in the unit?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The lease only states the tenant can have a guest, as long as they notify the landlord/owner and that a guest does not change the contract. It also states that subtenancy must be formally requested and that landlord/owner can exercise his/her right to approve or deny any such requests. The main concern we have is if a person stays in the unit as a guest for say up to 30 days, do they gain some sort of residency status which gives them tenancy rights. How many days does it take for a residency status to take place.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please give references to the California Civil Code if you have any.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have to go out now. If you could e-mail your answers, I'll periodically check my smart phone.
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Great; the site will send an email to you when I have compiled the information.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

So the situation is rather complex as the civil code does not specifically address unauthorized guests. Based on contractual interpretation, if the lease states that a guest can remain only with permission, and the permission is granted, and the guest remains for longer than 30 days, then the person can make the argument that they are a subtenant; however, if the lease specifically states the LL must approve a subtenancy and the tenant failed to do so, the LL can evict the tenant based on violation of the lease provision. The "guest" if a guest for longer than 30 days, can contend there is a tenancy at will, and can remain (unless the landlord provides a 30 day eviction notice- 30 days for this party because they are not subject to the terms of the lease since they did not sign it). However, the LL may then proceed for damages against the tenant, since presumably the tenant authorized the person to remain.

The tenancy at will doctrine is not statutory but rather was created by case law (for example, Covina Manor, Inc. v. Hatch (1955) 133 CA2d Supp. 790, 793.)

Furthermore, in Andrews v. Mobile Aire Estate (2005) 125 CA4th 578, the court found that both LL and tenant have an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing (a covenant) and so if the tenant acts contrary to the lease, that can be a violation of that implied covenant.

CCP 1161 allows for a 3 day notice if there is a violation of the lease.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your patience; I had to review case law which is more time consuming that reviewing statutes.

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 year ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!