Can I be evicted/forced to sub-lease for living with my daughterif the lease states a maximum of 2 occupancy?

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Can I be evicted/forced to sub-lease for living with my daughterif the lease states a maximum of 2 occupancy?

Lease reads: “Only the person whose signature appears on this lease may occupy the leased premises. Guests may not stay for more than 3 days without our prior written consent. The leased premises shall be used solely as a private residence. If you will be absent from the leased premises for more than 14 days, you must notify us in writing. The maximum occupancy is established at 1 person per bedroom for all persons not of a familial status. Familial occupancy is not to exceed 2 persons per bedroom. A person is defined as anyone over the age of 6 months”.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

For a more definitive answer, you should bring the lease to an attorney who can review it in its entirety for you--there may be language or terms elsewhere in it which can shed light on the following:

There appears to be an ambiguity in the lease, or rather two ambiguities:

1) The first is the conflict between the first line, that only the person whose signature appears may occupy, and the last line you quote, allowing 2 person/bedroom family occupancy. It may be that the first line means that regardless of the number of bedrooms or total occupants, the lease signature must be one of the occupants, but on the face of it, there is a conflict here.

2) The second issue would be based around the definition of "familial occupancy": could two adults who are not married to each other occupy the same bedroom, or is the two/bedroom familial occupancy meant for a married couple, or parent and minor child? (And is your daughter a minor or adult--that may make a critical difference.)

An argument can be made that you could occupy the apartment with your daughter, but it is not clear that is the case; that is why you need to discuss this in detail with an attorney. Good luck.


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