Tenant evict rights

I have a tenant who is only on the lease agreement and has his wife and children living in the unit along with another family. I have 2 questions. Since there is only 1 person on the lease in the state of CA can this person legally let his wife and children live in the unit when they are not on the lease? Other question, along with his wife and children another family is living in the unit and not on the lease. This is a violation in the lease agreement can I evict and break their 1 year lease agreement?

Asked on September 15, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the lease limits who may live there, as many (but not all) leases do by listing the only authorized occupants of the unit, then having anyone--including wife and child(ren)--not on the lease (and especially having another family!) is a violation of the lease and grounds for eviction. You have to send them proper written notice of the violation first, and give them a chance (usually around 2 weeks) to "cure" the violation by removing the unauthorized persons; if they don't, however, you may then evict. 
Landlord-tenant law is "technical" in that any flaw in the required notices  (whether in terms of what the notice says, how it is addressed and sent, or how long a time to fix the problem you give the tenants) results in a dismissal "without prejudice"--i.e. you have to start over with proper notice. You are strongly advised to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to help you and make sure you sent out the property notices and otherwise follow procedure.

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