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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4634
Experience:  23 years as attorney NY and FL Bars.
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I am starting a Sober living house. I want to know what kind

Customer Question

I am starting a Sober living house. I want to know what kind of legal disclaimer I can put in the rental agreement that will limit my liability--as to accidents, being sued, etc. Also, I want to be able to get relapsing or troublesome residents out quickly. Should I refer to residents as "guests" rather than "tenants?" Should I ask for a "Required donation" instead of "rent?" Or maybe refer to the house as a "transitional living" facility? I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me or tell me where to find examples of such agreements. Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  FLACORPLAWYER replied 8 years ago.

The first thing you need to do is check the local statutes and any homeowners association to which you belong. Many HOA's and community rules prohibit the occupancy of the property by unrelated adults. Since you are operating a for-profit business you need to have an occupational license from the municipality where you live. Remember under CA law the house may not provide treatment or recovery services or it will need to have special icenses. Check out


You must advise your insurance company ahead of time that you are running such a house or you will not be covered for liability claims. Your agreement should state that the guests are not tenants, and do not get any notice that they are being evicted. Otherwise you are going to have to evict them as if they were tenants. Take money in the shortest periods possible -weekly rather than monthly.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I was looking for an esample showing the language I should use in the rental agreement. I am not satisfied with this answer,
Expert:  FLACORPLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
We cannot find an exemplar sober living house lease, probably because this only became popular after the television show broke. So I will opt out and open this question up to our other attys and see if someone else has one.