What are a landlord’s rights when evicting a tenant?

A acquaintance rented a room in his house about 4 weeks ago without an actual note saying rent was month-to-month. It was quickly apparent that the arraignment would not work. A week and a half ago he gave the roomer his 30 day notice. After being given notice the roomer threatened a lawsuit saying he was harassed and if the landlord refunded him rent he would not sue. Would the roomer even have a case? What are the homeowners options if the tenantt doesn’t pay next month’s rent when due? Also, is shutting down the WiFi connection okay if the roomer doesn’t pay rent and utilities?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Getting a 30-day notice--which is all that is required for a month to month rental--is not harassment; unless there is something else going on, it's difficult to see how the roomer would have a case for harassment. Note that if there was no written lease, it's automatically a month-to-month rental (oral leases are always month to month).

2) If the roomer does not leave after 30 days notice and/or does not pay rent, he may be evicted. However, to evict, the landlord must go through the courts--there  is no other way legal way to do this.

3) If the wifi is part of the rental--e.g. it was stated to be something the roomer would get for renting--the landlord may not shut it down. If it was not part of the rental (e.g. it's  the landlord's network and he's just allowed the roomer to piggyback on it), then he could shut it down.

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