What to do if my subtenant was just admitted to the psych ward for a “psychotic break?

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What to do if my subtenant was just admitted to the psych ward for a “psychotic break?

She damaged some items in the apartment before being sent to the hospital. I have no idea how long she will be committed. Am I under any obligation to continue her lease or can I get a new subtenant? She is on a month-to-month lease.

Asked on October 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As long as she's current on her lease and she is still within term, you would be better off to wait for her to default on her rent and end the lease for non-payment.  This helps you avoid any ADA issues for discriminating against a person with a potential disability.  Here are two good links:   http://file.lacounty.gov/dmh/cms1_162869.pdf    and http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf.  The first one focuses more on ADA issues.  The second is a general overview of landlord tenant laws in California.  It's not 100% complete, but it really does a good job of laying out when and how you can end the lease agreement without getting in trouble.  Whatever reason you list for ending the lease, just avoid listing her mental health commitment as a reason.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your sub-tenant is on a month-to-month lease you can terminate it by serving her with written notice to that effect per the laws of your state. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney to assist you in what you want to do with respect to your sub-tenant.


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