Legal Q&A: Tenants with filthy apartments


Question: How do we get rid of tenants who have filthy units? They always pay on time.

Answer: If the condition of a residential tenant’s apartment unit is creating a health or fire hazard, the landlord should take steps to require the hazard be removed, or if necessary, terminate the tenancy and evict. If the condition does not amount to a health or fire hazard, you may elect to serve a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy, or if the lease is a fixed term, do not renew.  If the tenant could have a disability called “hoarding,” you should seek legal advice before proceeding.

Question: We rented to three roommates who all moved in at the same time. One moved out a couple of months ago, and the other two moved out last month. All three were on the rental agreement and one is demanding that we give the entire deposit refund to him because he was the one who paid it. What should we do?

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