What to do if I’m a landlord with 2 tenants/roomates who are only 2 months into their 12 month lease but they started ruining each other’s belongings and threatening each other?

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What to do if I’m a landlord with 2 tenants/roomates who are only 2 months into their 12 month lease but they started ruining each other’s belongings and threatening each other?

The 1 has a police report. Can I just let them both out of the lease and give 30 day notice as I don’t want anyone getting injured? It is that bad. What else can I do? Do I legally have to let 1 out of her lease since she feels “unsafe”? She told me she contacted a lawyer and they told her this.

Asked on January 29, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from violence, theft, and even disturbance of their peaceful enjoymen, if they are being disturbed, victimized, etc. by other tenants. If you don't take such actions, the tenants woukd have grounds to terminate the lease and/or seek monetary compensation from you. Since both are at fault andarw acting wrongly, you probably should take steps to evict both of them, since each has the right to be protected from the other; the matter could be resolved then, if agreeable to all, by an agreement under which one leaves and one stays. Since the situation involves feuding roommates in the same unit, it is more complex and sensitive than the average tenant squabble; you are advised to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to help you out, not only to deal with those complexities but also to insulate or distance you from the strife. Contact a lawyer right away, to show that you are taking reasonable action.


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