How do I terminate a tenancy with someone in prison?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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How do I terminate a tenancy with someone in prison?

My tenant is in prison awaiting arraignment for selling drugs. I sent her a certified letter with a return receipt card notifying her that she has 30 days to leave the apartment. It has been a week and there is no response from her. What is my next move? Can I assume shes moving out. I gave her my phone number to call me. She has a month to month lease.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

EI would consult with an attorney in your area on this matter as soon as you can.  State laws can be very specific on service of a 30 day Notice and who can serve, etc.  If this is not properly done any action for eviction (which comes after the 30 days is up) can fall and you would be liable if you touched any of the tenant's belongings otherwise.  You can not assume anything.  And you may be able to evict her faster than the 30 days given the circumstances.  So please seek legal help.  Good luck.

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