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My tenant thinks "his" place is a 'youth hostel' -

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

I am renting a stand-alone cottage to a single guy. The cottage is in the back of my property, fairly close to our main house -- we see all. The renter is nice (abuses the AC/heat, but that's for another day) enough, but I'm having issues and would like clarification on my rights/his rights...

His is the only name on the lease agreement and he occasionally travels a week at a time. The last time he was gone, his girlfriend stayed in the place. I don't know her, but here she is walking through my property to the cottage at all hours. This week, he and the girlfriend are gone, and now her daughter (age 19) is staying back there. I've also seen numerous other 19 year old guys/girls trotting up and down my driveway early in the morning and late at night.

Can I request/demand that he not have guests over when he's not there? I'm not at all comfortable with all this unknown traffic (isn't this considered trespassing?) through my side yard/back yard and in my cottage - I have no idea their intentions, whether they're responsible or not, or up to no good. What is my liability for having unknowns in my cottage?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?


Junior Member
'youth hostel', continued.

Luck is on my side, I was able to put my fingers on the lease -- it has the standard language: 'Tenant shall not allow any other person, other than Tenant's immediate family or transient relatives and friends who are guests of the Tenant, to use or occupy the Premises without first obtaining Landlord's written consent to such use.'

Another question -- when I draw up the next lease, can I add to that statement, in effect limiting the stay of any 'immediate family or transient relative/friend' to not more than 3 days?


Senior Member
SO what is your states local definition of family. ? Her ADULT child has no legal relationship to you. Search your states definitions of legal family members and then respond in writting with a certfied letter. Before the next lease renewal search out sub metering possibilitys for any utility you currently include because of one meter only. IF you install a sub meter to measure what the unit is using changed lease at renewal can very easily require the tenant to pay for what they used.

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Senior Member
If enough people are seen going in and out of your cottage at all hours, it could attract the attention of the police.

Mrs. D

I don't see how your the posted lease clause prevents the tenant from having anyone he wants over, such as "transient friends." What, exactly is "transient?" A week sounds transient to me. Is there another clause that requires him to supervise his guests? In that case, he's violating the lease by having people there when he's not. But, I would argue that the tenant has a right to have his property looked after while he is away. Lots if people hire live-in house sitters while they're away.

It's not a great situation, but what we know of the lease doesn't prevent it. If your lease requires supervision of guests, then you have an argument against guests when he's away. If you suspect illegal activity, call the police. Otherwise, first try talking to the tenant about the guests. If you can't reach a meeting of the minds on the issue, don't renew him when his lease is up and put a clause in your new lease saying guests must be supervised.

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