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Does Occupant become Tenant when Primary Tenant Moves Out

My tenant's son has been living with her for several years.  The tenant (mother) has not paid rent in two years claiming Covid impacts.  The mother moved out several months ago, and her son is the only occupant.  When the mother moved out, did her son become the tenant, and his he now responsible for the rent?    Assuming this is the case, I sent the son a notice of rent increase.  However, I am not sure if I am correct in doing so.
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As  clarification, there is no lease.  The tenant moved in as a family friend with no rental contract.
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