Tenants Who Harass or Intimidate Neighbors

There's a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in every personality. But if your tenant's dark side gets extreme and includes harassing and intimidating fellow residents and neighbors, you should consider terminating the lease.

Tenants may not be a nuisance or jeopardize the health, welfare, and safety of others, including you and your family or neighbors. They cannot discharge guns. Sexual harassment is also prohibited.

Your lease should include a clause stating that sexual harassment, abusive behavior, threats, racial slurs, or any other kind of intimidation will not be tolerated on the premises or against neighbors.

If anyone complains about your tenant, you should write a letter to the tenant saying that she is violating terms of the lease. The letter should state that if the behavior doesn't stop, it can lead to an eviction.

Unless there were threats of violence, talk to your tenant about the complaints and when it occurred. Afterward document the visit by writing down the date, time, what you and your tenant said, and what the outcome was. Then send your tenant a letter reaffirming the discussion. This may be used as evidence in court, should the problem end up there.

If a tenant is disruptive, send a warning letter that points out the lease violation. But have your lawyer intervene when the violation constitutes a potential threat to anyone's health and safety.

If the behavior doesn't stop, send a letter restating what occurred and when it took place. Remind your tenant that she is violating the lease and that if the behavior continues, you will begin termination procedures.

If you have to proceed with the eviction, take your documentation to court. Ask your neighbor or anyone else who witnessed the behavior to appear as a witness.

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