What to do if I’m the sole tenant on the lease to a townhouse and asubtenant that has signed a roommate agreement with me has become very disrespectful, so I no longer want to sublet to her?

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What to do if I’m the sole tenant on the lease to a townhouse and asubtenant that has signed a roommate agreement with me has become very disrespectful, so I no longer want to sublet to her?

How do I go about terminating her tenancy legally? I am worried because she is intimidating me saying her uncle is a lawyer, like she plans on suing me. She is also demanding to be put on the main lease but I do not want her on it and the Landlord does not require her to be.

Asked on December 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Disrespect is no ground to terminate a tenancy. If she is on a written sublease for a definite period of time (e.g. for a year), you can only terminate her tenancy at the end of the lease, or for good cause, such as nonpayment of rent; violating material (important) lease terms after notice to stop doing so; habitual late payment, after notice to pay on time; her deliberate or reckless damage to the property; etc. I work alot of landlord-tenant law, and it is fairly common for tenants to be disrespectful and confrontational to their landlords--the law simply doesn't care, and won't let landlords evict for this reason.

If she is on a month to month sublease or on an oral (verbal) lease, she is a month to month tenant and in addition to the above reasons, you could give her a month's notice terminating her tenancy.

Note that if there are grounds to terminate her tenancy and she won't leave, you will need to go to court--you cannot lock her out yourself, but need to evict through the courts.


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