Can A Landlord Raise Rent If My Girlfriend Moved In? (Find Out Now!)

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

It is quite exciting when you and your partner decide to take your relationship to the next level and move in with each other. When two people in a relationship decide to move in together there are many logistics to cover. The most important thing to consider, perhaps, is where you two will live.

If you and your partner decide to move into your apartment there is much to consider. Before you begin to pack her things you may want to review your lease and maybe even reach out to your landlord. When your girlfriend moves into your apartment you may be subject to a new rental agreement, and that could mean a higher rent payment.

Your landlord can raise your rent if your girlfriend moves in. Before you move her in, contact your landlord and ask for permission. Be sure to review the lease for any occupancy rules. Your landlord will likely ask you both to sign a new lease as soon as your girlfriend moves in. Your new rent will become effective immediately once you sign the new lease.

Before you determine whether or not your landlord can raise the rent when your girlfriend moved in, find out if she can at all.

Asking Permission

Read Your Rental Agreement. Before you ask your landlord if your girlfriend of significant other can move in you should review your current lease. Rental agreements often have verbiage in regards to the number of occupants allowed to live in the rental unit. Sometimes this is for safety, but often this clause exists so the landlord knows exactly how many people, and who, is living in his property.

Reach Out As Far In Advance As Possible. No one likes surprises. Give your landlord a bit of time to think about letting your girlfriend move in. A bit of time also allows your landlord to research what steps he or she should take, and what changes to the lease he or she would like to make.

Make Sure Your Girlfriend Looks Good On Paper. Before you ask your landlord if your girlfriend can move in you should first make sure she is a qualified tenant. It is not uncommon to fall in love without knowing someone’s credit score. Your landlord will likely ask for all the same information (references, credit check, proof of income) that was asked of you. Be sure your girlfriend meets the standards set by your landlord.

Send a Letter To Your Landlord. When you are ready to inform your landlord, be sure to send an official request. If you have a friendly relationship with your landlord you can let them know an official letter is coming their way. Regardless, this request should be dated and in writing.

Await Your Landlord’s Response. Give your landlord up to 30 days to respond to your request before following up with a more firm request. This allow your landlord time to draft a lease and consult a professional if he or she deems that’s necessary.

Related Guide: How To Ask A Landlord If My Boyfriend Can Move In

Cotenant vs. Subtenant

When your girlfriend moves in, be sure to consider what adding her to the lease means legally. When you “make it official” and move in, be aware there are still multiple ways to legally reside together. Most notably, you or your landlord can decide to be cotenants, or you can make your girlfriend or significant other your subtenant.


If you and your significant other become covenants then you both report directly to the landlord and are equally responsible. This arrangement will require a new lease, and means both parties are equality liable for rent and damage. This also means neither one can evict the other, as you are seen as equals on paper. Eviction should go through the landlord.


If your girlfriend is a subtenant then she is essentially renting through you. This means you are still completely responsible for any damage and the entire responsibility of rent ultimately falls on you. If the two of you decide to break up, it is your name on the lease, so you may be able to evict your girlfriend.

How Much Can A Landlord Increase My Rent?

When your girlfriend moves in, your landlord can raise the rent as much as he or she desires. From a business perspective, the landlord should not more than double your rent as this would cause most tenants to give notice and move out. However, the landlord has that right.

Often, a landlord will check the local rental market and charge accordingly. It is a good idea for you to do the same. If your landlord is asking for rent higher than normal in your area you may want to weigh your options.

What If I Have Rent Control?

If you are lucky enough to have a rent controlled apartment then your landlord will have to follow the laws in regards to rent control. Your rent may still increase, but it cannot increase any amount that exceeds rent control standards.

Can My Landlord Ask For An Additional Security Deposit?

A landlord can increase your rent and even your security deposit. When your girlfriend moves in you will likely have to sign a new lease immediately. This will terminate your old lease and rental amount. When this occurs your rent can increase at that moment and you can be required to put additional money for security deposit and last month’s rent at that time.

Present A Counter Offer

Just because your landlord is raising the rent when your girlfriend moves in does not mean you need to agree to the amount. It is logical and within your landlord’s rights to want to increase your rent when a second occupant moves in. It is also within your right to reject the amount the landlord has proposed.

If the rent increase is too high you can politely offer a counteroffer. When you offer the counter you may also want to include that the initial amount is too high. Therefore you may have to reconsider moving your girlfriend in if the price is not lowered. It usually does not hurt to ask politely, as long as you are prepared to be told no.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

There can be many moving parts when you and your partner decide to move in together. In addition to a range of emotions you must navigate, there are an array of logical predicaments. Once you two decide to move into your dwelling be sure to remember communication is key.

Tell your landlord your intentions as soon as possible. This will get the ball moving on next steps sooner than later. Be prepared for your landlord to hold your girlfriend to the same standards you are held to. Your rent may increase, and you should prepare for that.

Make sure you are aware of the going rate for apartments in your neighborhood. Do not let the excitement of moving in together blind you to the fact that your landlord may try to get as much money as possible. Conversely, when things get a bit stressful during the move be sure to remember that you are entering an exciting new chapter.

Related Questions

Can My Landlord Charge A Fee For Overnight Guests?

Your landlord should not prohibit your from having guests over in a reasonable capacity. If you have a guest spend the night then this should be permitted.  The landlord does have the right to add terms to the lease in regards to overnight guests.

Some landlords, especially those who pay the renter’s utilities, may charge for overnight guests. Additionally, the landlord may stipulate that if a guest spends a certain number of days and nights at the rental property they will have to be added to the lease.

Can I Kick My Partner Out Of My Apartment?

If you break up with your significant other, you may want to immediately cut all ties. This often becomes tricky if you two lived together. If you want to kick your partner out of your apartment, you first have to understand if he or she is staying there as a guest or actually lives there.

If your ex- partner is on the lease, pays any bills, or receives mail at your dwelling then you will likely have to go through a standard eviction process. The only way you can quickly and easily force a partner to leave your apartment is if they were guests in your space. This means they were not on the lease, stayed a brief period of time and did not receive any mail.

Can I Get Evicted For Having A Baby?

Your landlord has no right to evict you for having a baby. Even though, theoretically, you have added another person in the home – your baby should be protected by law.  If your landlord threatens to evict you or begins the process of eviction there are several things you should do.

First, go to your fair housing office and tell them your situation.  They will help you assess your options and help guide you towards next steps.  You can also potentially seek monetary damages down the line. b=Be sure to keep diligent records of all communication between you and your landlord.

Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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