There is a construction worker that has their own abode in a different state and is in process of moving to Washington State. It would be convenient to allow them to stay in my home under construction. The intended duration of stay would be one month. That is longer than the amount of time to establish residency in the eyes of local law enforcement in practice. I want to ensure definitively that that would not happen.

What would not happen

  • the worker would not receive mail
  • they would not have a key to the house

What would happen if we can set up a proper legal arrangement:

  • stay overnight and do homey things like laundry and cooking

The construction worker would be willing to write whatever is needed and sign any document to attest that they are not a resident and would leave at my bequest on the same day. They do not appear to have any intention to violate this.

The stay would be of convenience and does not represent a portion of their compensation: they would be on a fixed price contract that would not differ based on whether or not they stay at the house.

Would it be needful to have a "break" in there e.g. to have them go to an AirBnb or hotel for some days in the middle?

Also would the signed documents be enforceable (/likely to be enforced by a deputy's office) after say three weeks of staying if they have a change of heart (or if I have misread their intentions) and they decide to try to make this their residence after all ?

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    I don't know Washington specifically, but usually when such laws exist, they cannot be waived by any means whatsoever. The idea is that if there were any kind of document that one could sign to waive those rights, unscrupulous landlords somewhere would coerce desperate tenants into signing it. Feb 4, 2022 at 7:14
  • @NateEldredge. Thanks for that response - I think that's solid information and rings true. Not necessarily the result i'd like but better to find out now. I'm a trusting sort and that is risky in practice. Feb 4, 2022 at 7:17
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    Your house is under construction? As in renovation, or newly built? If it's new build, you probably don't have a certificate of occupancy (and some reno's need them too), so anybody living there may be illegal.
    – Ron Beyer
    Feb 4, 2022 at 23:51

1 Answer 1


I found this resource that basically zero's out any chance of this working:

When Does a Guest Become a Tenant around the US

Rules and ordinances around the country differ, but in Washington, DC and in many other places, a guest that stays longer than two weeks within a six-month period is usually considered a tenant.

Washington State is another entity in which evictions are lengthy and difficult. I will not be doing this but instead will help fund an AirBnB.

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    What is the relevance of them being deeply blue? Feb 4, 2022 at 21:12
  • Eviction tends to be more difficult and lengthy. Arizona for example is a simpler process. If the pattern I am suggesting (blue=easier to establish residency against the will of the owner) - if that does not hold feel free to inform me. I'm happy to learn more about it. btw I'm a centrist so some things conservative leaning others especially environmental towards the other side Feb 4, 2022 at 22:36
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    I have no argument with you. I simply didn't understand why you added that. I think your answer would be improved by either explaining it or wording it so we're not left guessing what you mean. Feb 5, 2022 at 0:51

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