Are Occupants Responsible for Paying Rent?

No. Only tenants are responsible for paying rent.

There is a fundamental difference between a tenant and an occupant. A tenant is a person occupying or entitled to occupy your property because they entered a lease or rental agreement with you.

On the other hand, an occupant is a person other than the tenant or the tenant’s immediate family, occupying the premises with the consent of the tenant. In other words, an occupant’s right derives from the tenant’s right to allow other people to move into the same household unit as him or her.

In practical terms, as long as the tenant complies with their lease, an occupant can rightfully stay in the property.

However, the occupant does not owe any financial obligation under the lease. Only the tenant has a direct contractual relationship with you; therefore, they are the sole person responsible for paying rent.

Similarly, without your express written permission, an occupant does not have the right to keep living on the property after the tenant leaves. Given that the occupant’s right to remain on the property derives from the right of the tenant, once the tenant’s right is terminated, so is the occupant’s.