Your legal rights depend on whether you are a tenant, guest or boarder. A tenant is one who pays rent for the exclusive right to use the premises, usually for a defined period. A boarder or guest is one who pays a fee for the right to use a room and receive services, generally for a short period of time.
To determine if you are a tenant or boarder the court will look at:
- whether there is a written agreement and if it refers to itself as a lease and to payments as rent;
- the length of time you have lived at the residence;
- whether the room is the only residence you have;
- whether you are residing there temporarily;
- how often you pay rent; daily or monthly;
- whether services such as linen service, switchboard service and maid service are provided;
- whether you own the furnishings in the room;
- whether the amount you pay includes tax; and
- whether the person you pay has a business license.
If you are not a tenant but are a guest or boarder, you have limited protection under the law. If the hotel owner or boarding house owners wants a resident to move he need only give notice equal to the time for which the occupancy is paid. For example: if payment is made weekly, one weeks notice to vacate is all that would be required. However, if payment is past due no notice is required.
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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified landlord tenant lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local landlord tenant attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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