"Are you Running an Extended Stay?"

Are you Running an Extended Stay?

Do you ever have overnight guests? Sure you do, come on! Sometimes your parents come to town and spend the night; with them in your bed and you on the sofa. Fun times, right? How about your friend from college who is between jobs right now and is couch-surfing at your place? What about your boyfriend/girlfriend who stays over frequently? Do you sometimes wonder if you should start charging your houseguests a lodging fee?

Impact on You

Think about it. You are paying rent for yourself. But sometimes, you have one or two extra people staying with you. While an occasional overnight guest is no big deal, regular and repeating guests can become troublesome.   It’s not like they are just sleeping at your place: they are eating your food, drinking your coffee, using your shower and depleting your bathing products. Soon, it’s like they have voting rights, or they think they do, concerning how you run your home.

Your Landlord’s Opinion

Your landlord will see your long-term overnight guests in a different light. The landlord will view the additional guests as contributors to the wear and tear of the unit, placing more demand on the utilities, extra pressure on limited parking (because most often your guests have their own vehicles) and more noise.

More problems but no more rent, plus no additional names on the lease equals an unhappy landlord. If you have frequent overnight guests, you may want to consider letting your landlord know and have your friend added to the lease as a responsible party. Otherwise, you don’t want the frequency of visits to rise to the level where the neighbors are noticing and potentially complaining to your landlord.

Most leases have a clause about overnight guests. You may want to dig out your lease, dust it off and find the section that specifically deals with overnight guests. Next step: Read it carefully.    


What to do?

Most landlords are humorless on this topic. And you can understand why: If there is someone else living in the unit, they should also be responsible for paying the rent and on the hook for any possible damage that occurs while you both live in the unit. If the overnight guest has their name added to the lease and you skip town, now the landlord has one more person they can hunt down for the rent. It’s only fair, really, when you look at it through the eyes of your landlord.

Your New “Roommate” May Have an Opinion

Your boyfriend/girlfriend may have a differing opinion. After all, they probably already have their own place and have no intention of being responsible for your apartment. However, if you guys are spending nearly every night together, does it make any kind of sense, financially,  for you to each maintain an apartment? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether or not you each like to have your own corner to retreat to when you need down time.  

I don’t have a solution for you on this one. You’ll need to weigh all of the options and consider what’s best for you, your friend and your landlord and then make the best decision you can and understand there will be consequences, no matter the outcome.

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