Landlords and tenants frequently disagree about what is appropriate to do at a rental property. Tenants want all the conveniences of a home, while landlords want to protect their property from damage and other tenants from potential nuisances.
Both real estate rental laws in California and residential leases help protect landlords and tenants and govern how they interact with each other. Guest, especially overnight guests, are a frequent source of conflict between property owners and their tenants. Can a landlord prevent their tenants from having guests or overnight visitors? Can they evict a tenant who has too many guests?
Tenants have the right to have guests within reason
California law gives tenants certain legal rights, including the right to host guests at the property that they rent. However, landlords can and typically do include limitations on those rights within their leases. If a tenant violates the lease, they open themselves up to expensive fees and possibly eviction.
Reviewing your lease documents can help you figure out what restrictions are in place. Often, landlords might limit someone to a fixed number of overnight stays per month or limit how many consecutive overnight stays a visitor can have without prior agreement.
The landlord may be able to make exceptions when notified in writing. They may even charge additional rental fees for long-term guests because of how they contribute to wear and tear at the property and also utility expenses. In situations where tenants try to hide overnight guests, refuse to notify their landlord or won’t pay appropriate fees, there could be security deposit claims or possibly even evictions that result from the conflict.
Knowing what laws affect landlord-tenant relationships and help either party advocate for themselves during a dispute.