Lease violation process for notice to quit

6 Replies

Hello BP!

We have a tenant that is in violation of the lease with unauthorized people in the unit. We wrote a letter (not an official notice to quit) giving the tenant 14 days to reconcile the violation and informed them that if they hadn't reconciled the problem by then, they would be given a 72-hour notice to vacate. We are new to rental property ownership and management and are not sure of what we are allowed or not allowed to do regarding notices to quit. This tenant is a section 8 tenant. We have fumbled already trying to give her a no-cause notice, but quickly learned that wasn't allowed because she's under contract with Section 8 and hasn't been in the property for a year yet. So now, we're at the end of the 14 days and she hasn't communicated at all with us or had the unauthorized tenants fill out the applications we dropped off for them. 

The question is can we legally give a 72-hour notice at this point? Or, do we have to redo this whole thing and give a 30-day notice "for cause" with 14 days to get the unauthorized tenants out or legally added to the lease with our authorization and screening? 

Thanks for any assistance!

Every state is different, you should check with an attorney in your area. Check with the local REIA they usually have a landlord friendly attorney that they can refer. In Arizona I would issue a 14 day notice to correct a lease violation. If the fail to correct a 3 day notice to quit comes next. My REIA friendly attorney gives members a nice discount so I'd do the 14 day and then turn it over to him to get them out.

And one other comment, I've had Section 8 experience in MN and was actually told by a Section 8 case worker that any notices sent to the tenant should be copied to the case worker and the tenant should know that you are doing this because they stand a chance of losing their benefits if they don't comply with your lease 

Generally speaking, absent specific state protections, Section 8 housing tenants are able to be evicted for "good cause" through regular eviction proceedings. You should absolutely speak with a local Landlord/Tenant lawyer for details on any additional protections your specific state may grant to low income, housing voucher tenants.

@Matt Slakey

Local and state laws will vary on how you can evict this tenant.

With that being said, let me tell you my experience with a situation like this.  Although it was not a Section 8 tenant, there was an unauthorized resident who moved in and was causing trouble in the neighborhood.  The tenant paid rent ahead of time, about the 20th of each month before the rent was due.  Therefore, I could not evict her on the easiest way to evict: non-payment of rent. I researched on what I needed to evict and apparently the burden of proof was on me, the landlord, to prove that the unauthorized resident ACTUALLY lived there and was not just visiting. I had to have a witness or some type of other proof.  Witness against a troublemaker? Not going to happen. I waited and waited.  There were no other lease violations so I was stuck.  Several months later, a breakthrough occurred and the troublemaker was arrested and put in the local paper.  In the paper, it had his address.  Bingo! The address of my rental property. I proceeded with the eviction based on this new "evidence" and won.

What to also consider is that Section 8 has rules about this.  If you truly want them out, call the case worker.   However, the tenant will more than likely say that that person "is just visiting."

@David S.

Thanks for the reply! I'm thinking we may have to do something similar, just wait it out for another 6-8 months. The case worker has been hard to get a hold of but is aware of the situation. 

@Matthew Kreitzer @Dick Rosen

Thanks for the advice. I did get specific legal advice. They recommended I file an 20-day repeat violation eviction. Since filing that I've been told that the tenant is being dropped from housing assistance (she can appeal the decision) and I have a court date on the 15th. 

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