6

Here's the part of the contract:

The Premises are for the sole use as a residence by the above-mentioned Tenant(s)(Item 1) only, not as physical exercising place or other business or political activity. For occasional guest & visitor who stays overnight less than two days, it is limited according to RSB's rule. Without Landlord's prior written consent, Tenant has no excuse to accommodate any consecutive staying and/or overnight for any guest & visitor. With temporary commendation, day-based, and additional 10% of rent each person is applied.

I had 2 guests over just to sleep 2 nights in a row. My rent is $1370. My landlord is charging me $180.65 for this. His math makes no sense since it doesn't even use the factor 10% anywhere and he's including utilities as part of my rent. What he has is ($1400/31) x 2 persons x 2 days = $180.65.

Does the contract say that I can have guests over 1 night without charge? If so does it only start charging on nights after the first? Is it supposed to be 10% of monthly rent $137 per guest per night? How is overnight defined? What if they came over at 9AM and slept in the day? What about 2AM?

I searched the RSB (rent stabilization board) and couldn't find any information on overnight guests.

  • 1
    Where is this? NYC? – feetwet Oct 11 '15 at 23:34
  • I'm in a studio in a cheaper part of silicon valley CA, it's half the price of what I was paying before this when I was in Mountain View – curtis Oct 12 '15 at 1:28
  • @curtis, wait, where did you find this place?! what city? pretty much the whole Silicon Valley and the extended area with the exception of Oakland has the same crazy prices, regardless of how far it is from the employment centres! – cnst Oct 12 '15 at 5:36
  • BTW, the city is important not just for my own curiosity, but because the rent control laws and boards that your contract refers to have city-wide jurisdictions in NorCal. – cnst Oct 12 '15 at 5:40
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    Did you have the landlord's permission? If you didn't ask his permission, I don't see how he's entitled to any money. The contract says that the 10% fee applies when you do have permission. – David Schwartz Oct 7 '16 at 23:16
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Has this contract been translated (badly) from another language because the construction of the clause is cumbersome and confusing?

Does the contract say that I can have guests over 1 night without charge?

Without charge, yes. However "Without Landlord's prior written consent, Tenant has no excuse to accommodate ..." so you need the landlord's permission for overnight guests.

If so does it only start charging on nights after the first?

No, if a person stays more than 1 night (with the landlords permission) then this triggers the landlord's right to charge. See below for how much they can charge.

Is it supposed to be 10% of monthly rent $137 per guest per night?

"With temporary commendation, day-based, and additional 10% of rent each person is applied."

The term is ambiguous, I can see three ways that this would be interpreted:

  1. If you have a guest who stays more than 1 night in a month they can charge 10% for that guest for that month (i.e. 2 to 31 days all for the same price). For 2 people for 2 days this would be $1,400 x 10% x 2 = $280.
  2. They can charge 10% of the monthly rent per night that the guest stays. $1,400 x 10% x 2 x 2 = $560
  3. As, 1 except the rent would be pro-rata. $1,400 x 10% x 2 x 2/31 = $18.06

Assuming that the landlord put forward this contract the interpretation adopted in the absence of other evidence would be the one least advantageous to the landlord i.e. 3. However, there is other evidence - the landlord accepts that the rate is pro-rata - he has just failed to account for the 10%, so 3. again.

How is overnight defined?

Well, is it defined in the contract or by the law where you are? If not, it would take its normal English usage - "for the duration of the night". If they arrive before sunset and leave after sunrise the next day then they have stayed overnight.

What if they came over at 9am and slept in the day?

It says nothing about requiring your guests to sleep. If they party overnight then they are overnight guests. If they sleep all day but don't stay overnight they are not overnight guests.

What about 2 am?

If sunrise is after 2am then this is not overnight.

  • Thanks. He doesn't speak english well. Maybe I should just pay it because 2 of the 3 ways of redoing the math end up in me paying more. – curtis Oct 12 '15 at 1:31
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    @curtis, no, california definitely does have the rule that if the contract is ambiguous, then whoever drafted it cannot unfairly benefit from such ambiguity, so, you're in the clear – cnst Oct 12 '15 at 5:47

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