As a landlord, you have rented out an apartment to someone whom you believed was a single individual. They lived there on their own for months. But now things are changing, and they want to have their partner move in. They’re not married, but they are a couple in a defined romantic relationship.
In many cases, a tenant will allow their partner to move in without even considering what steps need to be taken. This could be concerning to you as a landlord because someone who is not on the lease may now be living in your space. Is this kind of informal occupancy adjustment advisable?
What does the lease say?
One thing to consider is the category that this person falls into. For example, with guests who are only staying for a few days, there’s usually no need to adjust the lease. But if this person is going to be an occupant who lives in the space long-term – essentially a sublease – then it might be best to have them on the lease. Occupants can include children, parents or romantic partners. If the lease requires your tenant to notify you of an occupancy adjustment, hold them to that. If it doesn’t, request that they add them for the additional tenant’s legal protections and interests as well as your own.
You can make exceptions
That being said, it is up to you as a landlord how you want to handle this. Do you want that new person to officially sign the lease so that they have a legal obligation to pay rent every month? Or are you willing to allow your tenant to simply have their partner live with them for as long as they want? After all, that relationship could end, and the tenant is theoretically paying the lease themselves anyway. It may not be a problem to allow this other individual to live there, as it is different than just having a random subleaser in the space.
Overall, though, it’s best to talk with your tenant about the stipulations in the lease and to ensure that all of the proper legal steps are taken. For landlords, the safest option is often to adjust the lease so that it acknowledges everyone who may be living in the space long-term. Even if this is not necessary, it’s worth considering.