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Please help me understand what is a "guest"

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Please help me understand what is a "guest"

Postby r3dlined » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:21 pm

I am dealing with a landlord that is renting the lower half of his home to my girlfriend. All utilities are included and there is no separate meter for water or electricity. In the lease there is no clause to forbid guests.

When she moved in last Nov I had spent some weekends at her house and a night on and off during the week (I have my own apartment but I live over 40miles away). At the end of Nov the landlord confronted us and stated that me being there was using more water and electricity and that he was expecting I might stay over once a month. I agreed to give him $100 a month and he said that I could only stay over 3 nights a week (this was not put into writing). My personal feelings that my extra $100 dollars would mean I could stay as much as I wanted as I am still a guest and not a resident there.

He has continued to make a fuss about how many days a week I am there and his wife has made it known that she doesn't like that I stay all weekend trying to pressure that is didn't happen and they are doing us a favor. . I am wondering if I should even bother to pay him at all as I am quite sure there is probably nothing he can do about me staying the weekends. I have no belongings in the apt nor do I live there. He has my girlfriend so worked up she is scared to turn the heat on in fear that she will get charged if he sees the electric bill spike up.

We need to have a conversation with him and get some things straight but I am not even sure where to start. please help.....

He also asked her to please not write "rent" in the memo of her checks.


This is also a NY apartment


Im not even sure who to ask or where to look to find the final truth to what can and can't be done
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:54 pm

Is this a separate and contained apartment, or is it a room in a house, like a rooming house? Is it NYC or elsewhere in NYS? How long is the lease for? How do they know when you are staying over?

She can write what she wants in the check memo.
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Postby r3dlined » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:04 pm

This is a separate apt, but there are two doors that remain closed that lead to the landlords part of the house.

This is not in NYC, but a part of upstate NY. THe lease is set for 1 year. They live right upstairs so they know when I have stayed the night.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:49 pm

If it's a separate apartment, and if nothing is stated in the lease, then your GF has every right to have an occasional guest stay over. There are caveats, such as when occasional becomes permanent. I've never seen that answered, but you willingness to pay the LL a small fee would normally shut up most LLs. I don't think a fee is appropriate though. How much extra heat do you use? extra power? Maybe you take a shower, but that's not a big deal.

Alternatively you could tell the LL you have moved in as a roommate and point to the Roommate Law (see the reference section above). Of course anything you do will be remembered by the LL the next time the lease is up, so negotiation might be wise. What you're dealing with is nosy and controlling people.
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Postby r3dlined » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:30 pm

Thank you for all your advice. Are there stated laws as to how many days? I would like to at least sleep over two nights without any trouble (maybe a Wed night and a Sat night)? I can't seem to find anything solid though and he is making her VERY uncomfortable and even counts the number of days I am there. I have stopped paying him, but I have not slept over since.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:04 pm

I answered that above ... I have not seen any laws or controlling case law on it.

Why not throw it back in his face, announcing by bull horn or hire kids to sing a song telling the LL how many night you plan on staying ... then stay the opposite nights.

Just tell the buzzard it's none of their business. It's not in the lease. This is about control, nothing about use of resources. Get a handle on it.
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Control Freak

Postby Emeraldstar » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:34 pm

Hi All
I agree with TN the $100. is not required but certainly cooperative. So why the fuss? This is just my take:
1) Because the LL doesn't want rent on the check there is something amiss with the LL's apt. earnings. It's probably tax avoidence and zoning issues.
2) There is a possibility because of the above the LL does not want neighbors to see activity. In some private home communities it's common to rent for extra income however there are neighbors who go up in arms if they see tenants. They may dislike the LL and file a complaint.
Perhaps your GF can stay the weekends by you? Good luck :wink:
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Postby r3dlined » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:08 am

Thank you all for the advise so far. The part that still confuses me is that this is the landlords residence (his family lives upstairs). Can't he simply say no guests are allowed on his property weather is has to do with this apt or not?
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:45 am

Answered above.
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