Unwanted house guest

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Latest post 01-17-2012 8:38 PM by Drew. 17 replies.
  • 01-10-2012 11:59 AM

    • dkears65
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    Unwanted house guest

    Hello, I am leasing a single family home in New Hampshire. Several months ago I allowed a guest to stay at my home while looking for a place to stay. Since then we have had nothing but trouble and I would like to know my rights concerning this person staying at my home. I have asked this person to leave only to have the Police show up telling me I can't keep the person out as they deemed the person a resident because the person is receiving mail at my residence. This person does not contribute to the household and is not on the lease. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards

  • 01-10-2012 12:20 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Retired LL's guess:

    The police don't make the laws --they may be more interested in keeping the peace.

    There is a potential problem with the meaning of the word "owner" in NH L-T laws and I have no clue how it shakes out--I would hope it means a tenant is the equitable owner of the occupancy rights and has the appropriate ownership rights....

    But anyway , by definition, a person without a lease living in owners home which is owners regular residence is NOT a tenant. See  NH--540.1 IX (d)

    In short its OK to just boot guests as they are not tenants !

    Getting mail there is totally not a relevant point.

    But thats not the precise words--ask your attorney first-or boot them and then see it they bother to take it to court and then you defend.

    But don't give them any sort of oral or written lease!!!!



  • 01-10-2012 12:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    If I were you, the next time my "guest" was out for the day, I'd pack his bags and put them outside.  If the unwanted guest has a key to the door, have a locksmith change the lock (be sure and give the landlord a copy of the new key.)

  • 01-10-2012 2:02 PM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Before you do that, check with a local attorney. I believe in some (if not all) states someone who has been there for several months is considered a resident whether he is or is not on the lease, and you have to go through the legal eviction process.

    But if an attorney says that's not the case, THEN follow through with Beth's excellent suggestion.

     

  • 01-10-2012 5:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Unwanted house guest

    So THAT'S where the saying "fish and houseguests stink after three days" came from.  :)

    Good advice, cbg.  I'd like to think that some slug that came for a few days and refused to leave doesn't automatically turn into a tenant that has to be formally evicted but I agree with you - the OP should speak to a local attorney.

  • 01-12-2012 9:21 AM In reply to

    • Cica
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    As suggested, I'd check with an attorney:

    http://real-estate-law.freeadvice.com/real-estate-law/landlord_tenant/eviction-of-unwanted-hosue-guests.htm

    I'm in CA; I don't do rent/lease -- but I've heard of hassles that lessors had to go through.

    Good luck.

  • 01-14-2012 9:24 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Note that NH law is crystal clear that some forms of long term guest situations are NOT tenants and thats straight out of a legal heritage from England

    The OP needs to make a risk assessment with counsel of doing a simple lock out !

    One risk is that a literal read of NH law only addresses owner with a guest can boot a guest.

    And if the penality exposure is 2 lashes with wet noodle--well, discuss with counsel.



  • 01-14-2012 10:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Beth3:

    So THAT'S where the saying "fish and houseguests stink after three days" came from.  :)

    And:

    "No good deed goes unpunished."

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 01-16-2012 1:32 PM In reply to

    • dkears65
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    Thank you for your response Drew. I'm finding it very difficult to find anything on NH Law which makes it crystal clear that somoe forms of long term guest situations are NOT tenents. Could you please point me in the right direct as I have spent many hours researching this. Thanks very much for your help.

  • 01-16-2012 1:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Unwanted house guest

    dkears65:
    I'm finding it very difficult to find anything on NH Law which makes it crystal clear that somoe forms of long term guest situations are NOT tenents.

    Then your best recourse is to abide by LL/Tenant law.  In most states once someone stays beyond 72 hours AND is receiving mail at the residence they are considered a tenant even if not paying rent.  Since you have not signed a lease with this person that makes them a month to month tenant.  Under NH law you can serve notice in writing that the tenant's occupancy is being terminated, you must list the reason(s), and 30 days notice is sufficient.  

    This is the definition of "tenant" under NH law:

    540-A:1 Definitions. - As used in this subdivision:
    I. "Landlord'' means an owner, lessor or agent thereof who rents or leases residential premises including manufactured housing or space in a manufactured housing park to another person.
    II. "Tenant'' means a person to whom a landlord rents or leases residential premises, including manufactured housing or a space in a manufactured housing park.
    III. "Premises'' means the part of the landlord's property to which the tenant is entitled exclusive access for living or storage as a result of the rental or lease agreement.

    Make a quick call to a local real estate attorney familiar with LL/T issues.  If they tell you this person is an invited guest I would give them three days notice to get out.  If tenant:  30 days.  The problem comes if they flat out refuse to go.  Then you have to go to court and file for eviction.  If they still won't leave then you can get the sheriff to remove them.  You can sue for the expenses involved in carrying this out.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 01-17-2012 9:18 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    The question may arise under  540.1definitions  IV d  which clearly exclude an occupant w/o a lease in owners primary residence from the definition of tenant .

    My guess is this is a legal hold over from English law and colonial times which very much exclude a person  not entitled to exclusive use and possession from tenant/lease status. The wording seems to vary a lot by states but its there in several states!

    The problem to sort out with counsel is does your status as being the lessee of the entire home confer upon you equitable ownership or whatever it takes to stand in such shoes--I'm sure the issue as arisen before in NH  --and it easy to find for anybody doing L-T litigation in  NH.

    If you are covered by that part of the law--then you can boot the occupant w/o notice --no sense at all to allow a disgruntled enemy space under your own roof so he has time to do damage or make trouble.



  • 01-17-2012 9:30 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

     

    The definition of a rental unit in NH also invites very careful examination

    And likewise the coverage of requirements of due process for  landlords  may not apply to OP as she is not the  owner leasing out a rental unit as defined?



  • 01-17-2012 5:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Unwanted house guest

    What folks don't seem to bother considering is that this person may simply claim to be paying you monthly or weekly rent for subletting a room and needn't have anything but his/her word ... leaving the court no choice but to believe him/her.  It doesn't matter whether you are independently leasing the place.

    You need to follow your state's landlord-tenant laws and give this person proper termination notice, then file an eviction action.  I'm not clear why your local police wouldn't have suggested this to you.

    Seek local counsel if necessary and stop waiting.  :)

  • 01-17-2012 6:17 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    The safe way is to ask counsel of course.

    If the penality is 2 lashes  with a wet noodle then decide.

    I still fail to follow jumping to legal conclusions that this is a tenant rental situation as defined under NH law (I'm flying blindblind  as to case law)  but for starters there is no privity of contract with actual owner and not a single statement that any lease exists.



  • 01-17-2012 6:31 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Unwanted house guest

    I know I had trouble with higher math --but if the penality for a violation is capped at 3X the reputed tenant's rent and the actual rent that can be demonstrated is zero, what is the result?



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