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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27636
Experience:  Attorney
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In Connecticut we have a troublesome tenant (still behind on

Customer Question

In Connecticut we have a troublesome tenant (still behind on late payments). His co-tenant (not married)left the rent (lease till April 30) we were told because she was fired from work and went into rehab(she had a son). He move out of the rent suddenly breaking the lease but when we told him we needed In writing that he "moved out" before we could view the apt to check for damage. He wanted his entire security back despite breaking lease and staying part of a month. So he texted fine I will I've back in and stay and we can evict. He is now 6 days late with rent, has 9 days in CT....says he "figured it out" but neighbors feel he has move other in illegally. He will deny they are there so neighbors are watching for us since we live in another town. The lease says "each tenant is jointly and severally liable for the payment". This guy uses drugs and has friends that are squatters. Help. I'm sure he will even have to be evicted at the end of his lease.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

You do have a right to serve another notice to cease smoking in the premises or vacate, along with a notice to pay the rent if it's still late at the end of the grace period, AND a notice to remove the other person now living in the premises or vacate. All of those things are grounds for terminating the lease (unless he resolves the problem). You can subpoena the neighbors to testify as to what they're observing and why they believe there's someone else living in the property. It could be frustrating, because there aren't any guarantees that you'll win with something like that unless he admits that the person is living there. Smoking in the property is also tough, because it's really hard to prove a smell in court - there's no way to capture it and present it to the judge like with sound or problems you can see. Using drugs in the rental property is ALSO grounds for eviction. You have the ability to list all of those violations on the Notice to Quit and then file for eviction if ANY of them is not resolved by the date you give. If he's not picking up certified letters from you, you can have a friend knock on the door and hand him the notice. If he refuses to take it, the friend is allowed to place the letter on his feet and walk away - he's still considered to have been given it.

Since you've got a tenant who appears determined to abuse the system, it may help to have a local attorney draft the notice for you and file the eviction if necessary. That way, you have someone who knows the system on your side.

If you really just want him out, you could simply offer to pay him to break the lease (or agree to return his deposit). I know that's probably not something you want to do, but it could be easier than evicting him at the end of the lease. It might at least be worth considering how much a lawsuit would cost (especially if you have to hire a lawyer), how much money you'll be out if he overstays his lease without paying, and the time involved in evicting him to see if that's an option worth pursuing.

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