How can I evict a person not on a lease?

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How can I evict a person not on a lease?

I just rented a unit to a mentally challenged male. His girlfriend, who he calls his wife, is also mentally challenged. They’ve been here a little over a week and we’ve already had several problems with the female who is not on the lease. I have given them notice about the appropriateness of her dress and nudity in their apartment with the blinds open. Now I’ve been told by a tenant she has been peeking in people’s apartments and even went into an open apartment. The male came and yelled at me this morning about people not respecting his “wife”. I’m the manager and need to deal with this ASAP.

Asked on August 6, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can evict a person for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace, if their actions are preventing others from having the "quiet enjoyment" of their premises. Doing so is easier if there are lease terms specifically stating that disorderly conduct is grounds for eviction. However, complicating the matter is that the individuals in question are mentally challenged. While there is some dispute over the scope of protection afforded to mentally challenged individuals if their actions disturb other tenants, violate lease rules, etc., it is a good bet that if you try to evict them, Legal Services or some community mental health or disabled advocacy organization will represent them and will try to raise the legal protections afforded the disabled as a defense. This could be a complex case, even though, from what you write, you may well have grounds for eviction. You should consult with an attorney with landlord-tenant experience to decide how best to proceed.


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