When can a landlord give a tenant a 7-day notice to quit?

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When can a landlord give a tenant a 7-day notice to quit?

Tenants in my owner-occupied 3-unit farmhouse have allowed conditions to deteriorate to where I have cat urine seeping into my ceiling – the carpeting in the room was brand new over never-before-carpeted wood floor. They originally rented the space on a 6 month lease paying 1st last and one month’s security. This lease reverted to a tenancy-at-will at the end of the 6 months but I retained the last month’s rent and the security deposit. Since I believe this damage can be classified “serious” and makes the unit unfit am I within my legal rights to give them a 7-day notice to quit?

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can review your lease agreement to see if there is a provision about breach of contract and what that can include. If cat urine or something about hygiene and or damages to the apartment are included and they are only at will tenants now, you can serve the seven day notice to quit and be prepared to evict them. Then be prepared to sue them for damages. Make sure you have estimates or actual cost of cleaning and repair and then use that as your evidence when you sue. If there is a landlord service about reporting bad tenants, make sure you include this tenant in that report.


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