Can Someone Live With You Without Being On The Lease?

When it comes to renting, it’s important to understand what your rights are, but also what you are obliged to do if your circumstances change.

One of the most important aspects of renting is having a clear understanding of the lease and what you can/cannot do under its terms and conditions.

If you’re about to sign a lease for a new apartment, or have no experience of renting, it can become confusing with a lot to think about.

There are certain factors that determine whether you would need to let your landlord know about another person living with you.

In this article, we’re going to discuss whether someone can live with you without being on the lease, and what factors determine if you need to let your landlord know.

So let’s get into it!

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice.  You should seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

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Can Someone Live With You Without Being On The Lease?

The short and sweet answer to this question is, yes, you are more than able to let someone live with you, even if they aren’t named on the lease.

There are, however, certain caveats to the above statement.

The two main factors which determine whether the other person should be on the lease are:

  • The Amount Of Time They’re Staying With You
  • Their Relationship To You

Let’s take a look at some examples of situations where you might need to put someone on the lease.


The most logical place to start these examples is with tenants.

If you are moving in with someone, and the intention is that you are both roommates or flatmates, then the other person will need to be on the lease.

Whilst a single rented accommodation can have multiple tenants, each of the individual tenants have rights and responsibilities to each other and the landlord.

The most important responsibility is that each tenant is liable to pay rent to the landlord.


If you’ve got someone coming to say with you for a set number of days, they will be considered guests and do not need to be on the lease.

The number of days they can stay with you can be anywhere from 3 to 15 days, although this can be up for interpretation.


In terms of a lease agreement, someone classed as an occupant would be any of the following:

  • Partner
  • Parents
  • Children

They are also usually classed as your dependents. If they are staying with you on a long term basis, they will need to be on the lease agreement.

Particularly if they are your parents or partner.

It’s worth mentioning that mentioning someone on a lease agreement is different to them needing to sign the agreement.

When another person signs the agreement, they will become liable for certain costs.

In the case of a dependent, like your child, they will need to be mentioned on the lease agreement under the category of an occupant but will not have to sign it.

Is There Anything You Need To Do If Your Child Turns 18 In A Rented Property?

Mother And Daughter Talking

US Law recognizes someone as an adult when they turn 18 years old.

In the case of lease agreements, if your child turns 18 during the lease period (usually 12 months) you won’t need to take action straight away.

When your lease is up for renewal, you can address this change then.

Whether you add your child to the lease as a co-tenant is partially your choice, as some landlords explicitly require you to do this in order to run a background check and keep track of the adults in the house.

Can My Partner Live With Me Without Signing The Lease?

The short answer to this question is, yes, in most cases a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner can live with you without signing the lease.

They would be classed as an occupant instead of being named on the lease.

However, you and your partner should think about the ramifications of not both being on the lease.

Firstly, it’s more responsible on the part of the tenants if you add your partner to the lease.

Secondly, if you’re dividing the cost of rent/bills, having both of you on the lease gives an added level of protection for both parties.

Plus you can’t be evicted from the premises by a landlord or partner if you are on the lease as a co-tenant.

Why Are Leases So Important?

Leases are legally binding contracts between the landlord and the tenant(s). They offer both parties legal protection.

It establishes a foundation for a working relationship and system to resolve disputes or future issues/changes.

Leases set out the rights and obligations each party must adhere to under the agreement.

It’s always important to consider adding long term adult occupants to the lease, as there is an increased liability on you if they aren’t.

Occupants and long term guests don’t have the same rights as the tenant on the lease, but are also not subject to the same regulations.

Can I Evict An Occupant?

As we’ve mentioned, occupants do not have the same rights as the individuals who are named on and have signed the lease.

If you are in a situation where someone has lived with you for a long time, but you want to kick them out, you are able to do so.

If the occupant in question is an adult and is not on the lease, you have the right to remove them from your property.

Wrapping Up

Whilst someone can live with you without being on the lease, it’s worth considering the legal consequences of this.

This is especially important if the individual is over 18 years of age, as they are legally recognized as an adult.

Anyone who is named on the lease and has signed it has certain rights, these are not extended to any occupant or guest in the property.