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Hotel/Motel GUEST or TENANT?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by coco11, Sep 15, 2022.

  1. coco11

    coco11 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    When a person stays in a hotel/motel it is understood once the stay surpasses 30-days, the guest is then considered a tenant. Then, if the motel requires the guest to check out 1-day upon 25-days consecutively, and the guest stays the 1-day at the property directly next door with a different name but the same general manager and owner and then returns to the first property, has the guest been legally checked out or are they then a tenant once exceeding 30-days consecutively?
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That is not correct as a blanket statement. Length of stay is not the single determining factor, so all facts related to the matter would need to be reviewed before such a determination can be made.
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  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I deleted my post because I misread the OP and thought it was the resident who was up to something.

    The practice of motel management described by the tenant appears to be illegal under CA Civil Code 1940.1.

    Law section (ca.gov)
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  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    When Does a Guest Become a Tenant in California?
    Any guest who stays at the property for more than 2 weeks within a 6 month period could be considered a tenant and must be added to the lease agreement. This may vary depending on the specifics of the lease agreement. This may not seem like a big deal to most tenants, but a guest who stays for long periods of time is a liability and must be added to the lease agreement so he or she is legally accountable.

    Let’s take a closer look …

    Guest or Tenant?
    There are no clear guidelines that establish when a welcome houseguest becomes a tenant. Most states do not define tenancy by the duration of a person’s stay. Instead, they look at other factors. These include:

    Whether or not the homeowner is accepting monetary compensation
    How many nights in a row the guest has stayed
    Whether or not the guest is receiving mail at the property
    If the guest moves pets or furniture into the property
    Whether or not the guest has a key
    Accepting money is the most important consideration; the second money transfers hands, it qualifies as a non-verbal landlord-tenant agreement. In this case, you may have to go through a formal eviction process in order to get your guest to leave.

    As a homeowner, there are several different situations in which a person may be in your home as a guest and transition into tenancy. Landlordology has a great list of examples.

    A child leaves home for college. Visits home for the weekend or a holiday make them a guest. Returning home for the summer makes them a tenant.
    A friend or significant other who only visits during the day and only occasionally spends the night is a guest. One who spends the majority of days and/or nights on your property is a tenant.
    Parents visiting from out of town for a few weeks or for a special event are guests. Parents moving in after an illness or because they need long-term care are tenants.

    When Does a Guest Become a Tenant in California?

    The Difference Between a Hotel Guest and a California Tenant: Substantial Legal Distinction

    A guest becomes a tenant if:

    The guest stays at the hotel for 30 days or more; and
    The guest has paid for all room charges owed by the 30th day.
    *** Courts have found guests to be tenants even when the 30-day stay is not consecutive. Checking out a guest for one day and then checking them back does not avoid tenant status.

    Hotel owners should provide the following to guests, but not tenants

    Fireproof safe
    Essential telephone service
    Maid/ housekeeping
    Mail service
    Food establishment that is on or next to the hotel
    Hotel managers have the right to:

    Access guest rooms
    Lock out guests who don’t pay room charges on time


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