Legal Q&A: Tenant’s friend appears to be living in apartment


Question: If a friend of a tenant appears to be living in the apartment, is there a time limit which allows me to compel the guest to fill out an application to be added to the rental agreement? Can the tenant have guests stay as long as they want?

Answer: If your lease prohibits subletting or assignment of the lease, or if your lease restricts the occupants to those named in the lease, the tenant could be in violation. You would need to prove that the person really moved in and was not just a guest.

Question: I do not know how to start the 30-day notice to terminate. I have given a three-day notice for non-payment of rent, but I do not know what to do next.

Answer: If the tenant has not complied with the three-day notice, there is no reason to serve a 30-day notice. Instead, you may start the unlawful detainer process in court immediately.

Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Ted Kimball
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Question: What is the difference between ADA and fair housing laws?

Answer: The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) applies only to places of public accommodation. Fair housing laws apply to private residential rental housing (and housing sales). Only the areas of your property that are open for the public to come and do business with you are covered by the ADA, such as your rental office and future resident parking. The other areas of your property, such as the rental units, common areas and amenities are covered by fair housing laws. There are some substantial differences between the ADA and fair housing laws, so if you are unsure about which laws apply and what your responsibilities are, you should contact our office.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource library section of our website.

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