Tenant's in-laws overstay

6 Replies

My wife and I are landlords and live in the first floor of a two family dwelling. Even though the house rules state that a tenant is allowed to have guests stay with them for "up to a period of two weeks", over the summer our tenant asked permission for his in-laws (who were coming from Europe) to stay with them for a month. My wife consented, and at this juncture it appears they've been staying here closer to six weeks... and thus far haven't given us any indication as far as when they intend to leave?          With their in-laws living upstairs, what started as a family of four (the husband, wife, and two small children) has expanded to six people living among four rooms, with a corresponding increase to our water bill - having a washer and dryer at their disposal.    We just renewed their lease in August, with what now seems like a mere pittance (.06%).                                                           My question(s) is: Would I legally be within my rights as a landlord in NJ to charge the tenant extra $$ for every additional week his in-laws continue to live here, or do I just ask him point blank to state his intentions - as far as how long they intend to continue to live here, giving him an ultimatum for them (his in-laws) to leave, preferably sometime before the end of this month if his response is nebulous? Any advice or info from handling related experiences would be much appreciated.

@Robert Modero if you have a good relationship with them, I’d just ask. You agreed to a month, it’s been more than that, which means more water usage, more wear and tear, etc. If the plan is for them to leave soon, maybe no more is necessary.

If you get the feeling they might stay longer, then you need to decide whether to charge more - or have them comply with the lease. Either way is fine - but that’s when I’d put it in writing that starting Sep 15, there will be a $50/mo increase for the additional (2) tenants...

personally, I wouldn’t try to collect any money retroactively, and you can always start with a letter, but usually talking is less threatening and might avoid any hard feelings if they are actually leaving next week.

Mike's advice is good.  They should have let you know when they extended their stay and by not doing so, it makes you question what is up.  Just talk to them and remind them that the guests were only allowed to stay for 4 weeks.

Yep, talk with them. If they are clean, quiet, respectful, and you want your original tenants to stay long term kindness can go along way.

I had a property management rep call me a while back after they had leased a property for me, stating that the tenant wanted to put a portable storage shed on the property. I said, “yes” to the storage shed. I hope the tenant homesteads the property and having  to remove a storage shed could be a pain for the tenant thus could cause them to want to keep renewing the lease. ;)



You authorized them to stay for a month. Tell your tenant they have over-stayed their welcome and need to go. Give them a deadline of 72 hours to move out or you will evict everyone.

If you try negotiating anything else, they're likely to continue ignoring your rules.

I personally don't think it's a big deal. If they otherwise good tenants I'd ignore it and move on. A few bucks on the water bill is not worth worrying about in my opinion.

Thank you all for your input and sage advice. Outside of overstepping their bounds on this, as well as a number of other unrelated issues, they've basically been respectful and pay their rent on the first day of every month (unlike their predecessors). I will speak to the tenant to find out what's going on - that will determine what the next step will be, and/or options given here to choose from.