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Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I always pay rent on time, $2250 per month, have lived here

Customer Question

I always pay rent on time, $2250 per month, have lived here for 5 years and keep the house immaculate. My teen age granddaughter is ADD and sometimes is difficult an argues loudly, My very nosey neighbor, who dislikes kids, called my owner about this and now they want us to move. I just signed a lease for another year. Do I have any rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
If you just signed another year long lease, they cannot force you to move without showing that you have violated the lease.Your nosey neighbor can complain about noise, but it must be substantiated by noise that is abnormal or greater than what would be tolerable for a reasonable and average individual (not the unusually sensitive one). So if your granddaughter is yelling late at night (usually later than 9:00 or 10:00 at night, or before 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning) or is making a great deal of noise throughout much of the day, that may be a ground for a lease termination.The ADA does protect individuals with disabilities in their housing arrangements - the landlord must make "reasonable accommodations for the tenant, but if your daughter is very loud or very unruly there may not be a viable "accommodation."You say that you have tried talking to these individuals, many landlord tenant disputes that cannot be resolved through direct negotiations can be resolved through a mediation process, contact your local bar association for referrals to landlord/tenant mediators, sometimes a third party neutral can help you find a mutually agreeable resolution to settle this dispute.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This behavior has only occured a couple of times in the 5 years we have lived here. The last time the neighbor called the police. They came in and talked to both of us. I explained my granddaughter's condition and showed them her meds ( respidol and ritalin) and they were very understanding of the situation.

Now it seems the neighbor is looking for any excuse to cause trouble. Like if we are on our deck they ask us to go in so they can have privacy. If my granddaughter sings in the shower they yell out the window at her. We feel like prisoners in our home which I pay a great deal to live in.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
I am very sorry to learn of this situation (I have 2 autistic children and lived in apartment complexes for most of their childhood, so I have a good idea of what you are going through).You can try mediation with your landlord, from what you describe your granddaughter's conduct is not egregious or extreme enough to be a violation of the lease (ultimately if your landlord wants to force you to leave they would be forced to prove to a judge that your granddaughter's behavior was such that it warrants an eviction, see my summary on the lease termination process below), but trying to be proactive about this may help you avoid that process altogether.Terminating a tenancy-1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property). 2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge. 3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction." 4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").