May Legal Questions Part 1


Landlord/ Tenant Questions & Answers

Ted Kimball, Esq.
May, 2012

1. Question:
A new tenant signed a six-month lease. Now, he claims he feels unsafe because of an incident
at the property and wants to terminate the lease. The Police Department reported that the
incident was grossly exaggerated. The tenant claims he has a 72-hour period to rescind the
lease after it is executed. Is this true?

There is no 72-hour right of rescission for residential leases, and it appears that his reason for
wanting to terminate the lease may not hold up in court.

2. Question:
Is there a law on the length of time a resident must reside in an apartment not to be charged for
paint or carpet when they move out? What are the guidelines?


No, the tenant can be charged for painting or carpet cleaning and/or replacement that is beyond
ordinary wear and tear.

3. Question:
I served a three-day notice on my tenants and they paid $300 of the $1050 that was due. Do I
have to serve another three-day notice to start the eviction? Should I have accepted payment?


You did not have to accept partial payment but since you did, you must start over with a new

4. Question:
We have a one-year lease with a tenant that will expire in 4 months. If we sell the house now,
and the buyer wants to move in, would we be able to break the lease?


The buyer “steps into the shoes” of the seller and the lease is binding upon the new owner.

5. Question:
I allowed a tenant to move-in and pay the security deposit in several payments. They are not
able to make the final payment. What can I do?


You can serve a three-day notice to perform conditions or covenants or quit. If the tenant fails
to pay the deposit within three days from legal service of the notice, you can commence the
eviction process (unlawful detainer).

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