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Landlords have the right to do a number of things on their property. They can choose whether to allow pets, to allow sublets, to allow smoking indoors, to allow certified sustainable wood or to allow parties. They choose the rent amount, the rent due date and the lease length. Landlords also have the right to choose how many occupants can live in the house.

What this means is that if your landlord says that only three of you can live there, then this number must stick. If you get caught letting someone else live there without permission (and a possible new lease agreement), then this is grounds for eviction. Make sure you are well aware of how many people can live in the apartment or house before you rent it out. If you are thinking about getting a roommate, moving a partner in at a later date or anything else, then discuss this with your landlord before signing the lease.

Occupant Numbers of Lease Agreements

Agreeing to a set number of occupants is not always that easy. Things change and there may be a need to change the number of occupants. For example, your brother could become ill and need to move in with you for assistance, your wife could become pregnant, your parents could come for a long visit - if this is the case, then your landlord is most likely not going to say 'no'. After all, no one is going to kick you out just because you are expecting a baby or faced with a family emergency.

The key is to tell your landlord about it. Let him know that things have changed and he may wish to redo the lease agreement to reflect the changes. However, this is not always the case.

If, for example, you and your partner want to move in together, then her name will need to be added to the lease. However, you cannot do this without getting the permission of your landlord. If your landlord is happy to break the lease and put a new one in place, then this is good. However, your landlord may not agree to break the lease and thus you will need to stick it out, on your own, until the end of the leasing period. Then you can either sit down and rewrite a new lease or move out to a place that is more accommodating for you and your partner.

At the end of the day you signed the lease which most likely has stated how many people are allowed to live in the house or apartment at one time. By letting someone else live there, even for a temporary amount of time, you are breaking the lease. You may think it doesn't matter, especially if your landlord is not close by and may not even know that you are letting your friend crash in the second bedroom, but this is against the lease agreement and could land you in trouble if your landlord does ever find out.

Landlords have a big responsibility and are liable for anything that happens inside their property. They take out insurance to protect the renters but they cannot offer complete liability protection if you are letting someone live there that is not on the lease. It is in everyone's benefit to stick to what you have agreed on. Agreeing to a set number of occupants on a lease (and sticking by it) is all part of growing up and moving out on your own. This is a lesson best learned sooner rather than later.

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