Am I supposed to tell my landlord that my boyfriend is moving in with me?
August 20, 2009 9:16 AM   Subscribe

I am seven months into my second one-year apartment lease. My boyfriend and I have decided that he is going to move in with me. Am I legally obligated to tell my landlord? Will this put me in any legal issues with my lease, given that I am the sole name on it? I'm in British Columbia.

My landlord seems like a good guy, so hopefully this won't be an issue one way or the other. But I just can't find any info online about the legalities of having someone move in to a rental unit, when a lease is already in place. Does anyone have any advice or online links about this? I've tried reading the BC Tenancy Act and Regulations, but can't find anything about this situation. Thanks!
posted by just_ducky to Law & Government (12 answers total)
Have you read your actual lease? Some have provisions for other people living there, some don't, it's not an over-reaching law regardless of the contents of your lease. See what your lease has to say on the matter. Generally (IANAL!), if the lease doesn't prohibit it, it should be allowed, though of course if he does anything that violates the lease in other ways it would be your legal/financial responsibility.
posted by brainmouse at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2009

Yeah, check out the lease. I'll bet there's a provision in there somewhere addressing this topic.
posted by That takes balls. at 9:27 AM on August 20, 2009

Agreeing with the others -- check the lease. There may be additional rent due if a roommate is added into the mix.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:48 AM on August 20, 2009

Agreeing with everyone else. I've had several BC leases that specified how many occupants were to be living in the premises, and even limits on the # of days/month overnight guests can stay. Read the lease carefully.

IANAL, but if your lease doesn't say anything, then I think you're in the clear. Worst case scenario, IF your lease doesn't say anything, and your landlord causes you grief on this particular issues, you should be able to fight any repercussions.
posted by cgg at 9:53 AM on August 20, 2009

Something to think about regarding the sole name thing. I see questions on here every now and again where the lease is in one name and then the couple breaks up and one person leaves and won't pay and it's a big mess. You could avoid this by subleasing to your boyfriend--this would create a contract between you and him that he will pay X amount of rent, enforceable even if you break up and he moves out. There are model sublease agreements all over the internet, just google for one. Your original lease may require you to notify the landlord about subleases though, so check that.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 10:17 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you do sublet, make sure the agreement specifies that it is for shared accommodation. Generally a sublease is used to have someone else occupy an an apartment for their own sole enjoyment (e.g. while you're away for months at a time) rather than to share it with you. Many model contracts will be set up for the former situation.

Aside from that, if your boyfriend does move in, be aware that your landlord may insist that all rent continues to be paid by you (e.g. by cheque in your name). I've run into trouble with that before.
posted by onshi at 10:23 AM on August 20, 2009

Generally, as long as you pay your rent on time and don't wreck the place, most landlords couldn't care less if you brought in a pet moose, let alone a boyfriend. There's a high likelihood that there is no problem with this.
posted by Citrus at 10:36 AM on August 20, 2009

It is in your best interest to get him on the lease--even if you don't break up, any damage he causes will be solely your responsibility otherwise.
posted by Kimberly at 11:30 AM on August 20, 2009

You should tell your landlord just out of courtesy, if nothing else.
posted by losvedir at 12:21 PM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]

The landlord has the right to know who is living in the rental property. You should tell your landlord that you would like to have your boyfriend move in. He may be able to go on the lease as an additional occupant, or he may have to sign as a full tenant, or your landlord may not care at all. However, landlords generally do not like to be surprised by tenants they didn't know they had.
posted by Savannah at 7:05 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Savannah: you may feel that there is some moral right involved, but there is not a legal right.
posted by onshi at 4:21 AM on August 21, 2009

Have you tried looking on at A search for 'BC tenant's rights' will turn up that and similar sites and, if they don't answer the specific question, they should list ways you can find out.
posted by astrochimp at 9:02 AM on August 22, 2009

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