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Old 04-02-2013, 01:04 PM
 
5 posts, read 27,804 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi--
I'm in an odd situation.
I moved in with my sister, who is renting the upper floor of a house in Iowa City.

She and her friend are on the rental agreement, however, because she spends 80% of her time out of town, I'm effectively using her room for my own just to sleep in. I do all my laundry, cooking, and shower elsewhere: additional utility use must be very marginal. I also do not receive my mail there. I simply use the bed, 8 hrs a day, and some attic storage. I also pay more than half of her rent: though this was not in the formal agreement with the landlord. That is simply between her and him, and what I contribute, I pay to her.

He found out, and he's mad at us. Honestly, I don't see the concern. He also cites a can of spray paint as a fire hazard that can be moved of course... but really. He's got solvents galore in the adjacent garage.
He's locking up the attic storage, which used to be available, and is threatening me as a trespasser.

So what I want to know --or want to know where/how to look this up for myself-- is how residency is defined? For example, if I only sleep there 6/7 nights, which can be arranged, is it no longer an issue? Do house guests really have to have a tenant present with them at all times (as the landlord claims)? If I'm not legally an extra tenant, then there's nothing he can do, and if he locks up my sister's things in the attic, he may be breaking the law (this is supposed to happen on Monday). Honestly, his pot-smoking tenants downstairs should be a greater concern than my sleeping upstairs.

Now here's the funny thing. As much as he rants, and threatens, and is apparently going to be locking off the attic soon, he doesn't actually want us out. He won't evict, or terminate the agreement. He just wants me to stop sleeping there, and wants to lock our stuff in his attic.

So I repeat: what legal rights do I have to stay in a place as a tenant's guest? And what crosses the line from tenant to trespasser or squatter: if I sleep elsewhere a certain percentage of the time, will that solve the issue?

thanks!
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:25 PM
 
1,092 posts, read 2,896,710 times
Reputation: 1123
He has a right to complain. You are living there without his permission. Ask if you can be added to the lease if you wish to stay and expect a slight increase in rent, or he may simply tell you to leave. Or he can choose to evict you, your sister, and her roommate.

It gives him increased liabilities, and in most states if you been staying there for over 30 days you have tenancy rights. You could be a sex offender or a drug dealer for all he knows! Staying somewhere else 1 night a week changes nothing.

Many landlords will absolutely evict over this.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:27 PM
 
5 posts, read 27,804 times
Reputation: 12
Agreed. In fact, my sister truly wouldn't mind terminating the rental agreement. But he doesn't want to do that, either.

Emotions are past my being added to the rental agreement. We actually tried that, but he wanted 50% more rent for the same space.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:38 PM
 
1,092 posts, read 2,896,710 times
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Then do everybody a favor and leave. She has a lease or rental agreement. He can't change up her rent if you go away. So do so. And she needs to apologize. If she's on a month to month, then she'll likely need to give 30 days and find somewhere else. She now will have a bad reference (as well as her roommate) if she isn't very careful!

Seriously, I'm a tenant and my neighbors are doing exactly what you are and it isn't fair to me or my LL.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:51 PM
 
912 posts, read 4,276,707 times
Reputation: 2018
You are just trying to pull a fast one on the landlord, what with figuring out what the limits are between a house-guest, a person living there and a squatter. You are taking advantage of the landlord as well as your sister and her roommate.

You need to either get in on the lease, or find your own place to live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerniniCaCO3
I moved in with my sister
Quote:
Originally Posted by BerniniCaCO3
what legal rights do I have to stay in a place as a tenant's guest? And what crosses the line from tenant to trespasser or squatter: if I sleep elsewhere a certain percentage of the time, will that solve the issue?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BerniniCaCO3
I moved in with my sister
You can't possibly be more clear, answered by your very own post.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:55 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,375,697 times
Reputation: 26526
Sorry, Bernini, but I agree completely with the responses so far. You're living there. Many, many landlords include a clause in the lease stipulating conditions where house guests are concerned. They usually limit the number of days a house guest can stay and usually require that permission be obtained from the LL as well. I did exactly that when I was a LL and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Your sister obviously didn't ask permission of the LL or even let him know that you were coming to live there and it's not at all surprising that he's annoyed. He may be a bit of an ass where his threats are concerned but it's his property.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:59 PM
 
1,092 posts, read 2,896,710 times
Reputation: 1123
The LL adding a 50% increase and not wanting her to move=he wants you out, and he wants the lease fulfilled as agreed to.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:11 PM
 
5 posts, read 27,804 times
Reputation: 12
yeah, I do understand: but I'm pretty raw about paying my fair share for rent and being treated like a criminal in exchange.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:15 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,375,697 times
Reputation: 26526
Quote:
Originally Posted by BerniniCaCO3 View Post
yeah, I do understand: but I'm pretty raw about paying my fair share for rent and being treated like a criminal in exchange.
You're paying your "share" of the rent to your sister based on her portion of the total rent, not to the LL who is deriving no additional funds from your living there. You're not being treated like a criminal. You're being treated like someone who's living in a place without the permission of the landlord/owner ...
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:31 PM
 
912 posts, read 4,276,707 times
Reputation: 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by BerniniCaCO3 View Post
yeah, I do understand: but I'm pretty raw about paying my fair share for rent and being treated like a criminal in exchange.
Let me explain it to you in these terms...

Your sister goes out to an all you can eat buffet. She pays for herself.

You show up, sit at her table, give her half the money that she just paid, and start eating off her plate.

The restaurant manager asks you pay for your own plate, or to leave.

You come here and go on about being the victim.

It just ain't right.
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