This is an owner occupied 4 family house. Tenant is continually drunk. The apartment smells like a sewer because she is incontinent of stool and urine when drunk. Her sister used to come and clean it up but as the alcoholic has refused to get help the sister will no longer come and clean.
I'm also afraid that she will start a fire and burn my house down.
Since you have indicated that this is a 4-family house, even though it may be owner-occupied, you are still subject to the Anti-Eviction law (exemption applies only to buildings in which there are no more than 2 units in addition to the owner's apartment, so you do not get the benefit of that exception). Therefore, in order to evict a tenant, a landlord must have one of 18 statutory causes for eviction. Among those causes are damage or destruction of the landlord's property and violation of landlord's rules and regulations. To evict on the basis of violation of rules and regulations, you must first serve upon the tenant a Notice to Cease, specifying the specific behavior that violates the terms of her lease and demanding that he disconitue the behavior immediately. It is most likely that she will not be able to comply, so then you will need to serve her with a Notice to Quit, citing her failure to comply with the Notice to Cease as the basis for terminating the tenancy and setting a date by which she must vacate the property, which date must be at least one month later. However, if the situation warrants it, you might also be able to act under the damage or destruction cause for eviction, which requires no Notice to Cease and a Notice to Cease can give the tenant a mere 3 days to vacate and if she fails to comply, an eviction complaint can be filed after the 3rd day. I strongly suggest consulting with a local attorney to discuss which option is the best way to proceed.
Yes, you can. I would proceed to evict the tenant for willful or grossly negligent destruction or damage to the property. It requires a three-day notice to quit.
I agree with Layni, who commented before. One thing to always note in these situations is--go back to the lease. That typically will control, but there are certainly exceptions for such vile behavior. All told, it comes down to you having having adequate representation. Now, that could be an attorney of your choosing, or it may be you yourself, but either way, one or the other must make a viable argument. I'm not sure if you're in an area where there are student attorneys from local law schools who represent tenants, but I'd surely look in to that. While you, as a tenant have responsibilities to the landlord, the landlord certainly has responsibilities to you. It's a two-way street. Should he/she try to evict, pictures and any other evidence will surely be to your benefit (as gross as those pics might be).
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline