Member support question: When does a “guest” officially become a resident?
We have a guest policy that only allows guests to stay for a maximum of two weeks before applying to be occupants. One of my market rent tenants is recently married and her new husband has moved in with her. The husband hasn’t applied to be an occupant and I don’t want him to live here because he smokes in the non-smoking unit. How can I get him to leave?
Even though you have a guest policy, you can’t enforce those guest limits with your market rent tenants. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the woman’s husband has a right to move in, does not need permission, and does not need to submit personal information or sign the lease. You can’t prevent him from moving in unless you have a trespass order against him. You can ask the tenant to add her husband to the lease as a permitted occupant, but even if she refuses, he is still allowed to live in the unit.
If the tenant has signed a lease with a clause that prohibits smoking in the unit, she still has to meet the conditions of her lease. That means that she needs to make sure none of her guests or other occupants smoke in the unit. She is responsible for them if they do. If you have evidence that someone is smoking in the unit, you can write to the tenant and remind her of her responsibilities under her lease. Evidence would include written complaints from the neighbours or the smell of smoke when you or maintenance staff inspect the unit.
You can expect her husband to be a permanent occupant of the unit, so anything you can do to establish a better relationship with the household will make things easier in the long run. You can offer to sit down with both of them and go over the lease for the new occupant’s benefit, and do your best to de-escalate what sounds like an already tense situation. Education and encouraging them to follow the rules are the best first steps.