Can You be Evicted for Uncleanliness?

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Keeping a clean apartment is essential when you are renting.  Keeping an unclean rental unit can cause an array of problems.  From rodents and insects to mold and disease, if your apartment is not clean it will cause you and the other tenants problems. However there are some people who have their own definition of what it means to be clean and some who simply don't mind living in squalor. Those individuals, however, can be evicted in many cases for their poor hygiene habits.

When Can You Be Evicted for Unsanitary Conditions? 

There is usually a clause in the rental agreement regarding the requirement of keeping and maintaining the cleanliness of your rental unit.  If you decide against keeping your rental unit clean, then the repercussions can include eviction from the rental unit.  

  • Most often, infestation and pest problems are caused by tenants who do not keep their units clean.  Many people do not realize that there is a fine line between being messy and being filthy.  It is no secret that messiness can inevitably lead to an unclean unit.  Unfortunately, by the time people realize this, it can be too late.  This progression can be slow or quick.  In any event,  by the time tenants are notified that their uncleanly habits are problematic, an eviction may be on the way.
  • Usually, as a result of an unclean tenant, landlords may opt to do spontaneous tenant inspections.  An inspection enables landlords to see exactly where the root of any problems may be regarding infestations, rodent problems, mold, mildew, and a host of other issues. 

You will normally be given a warning notification to clean up your unit by the landlord way before being served an eviction notice.  Keeping an unclean apartment is a violation of most lease agreements,but if you respond to the warning and clean up, you should be able to avoid being evicted.  If you receive such a warning, you should check directly with your landlord to see how they define the word “unclean” as relative to your unit. 

Getting Help

Just like anything else, eviction due to un-cleanliness is a process.  The eviction process may take several weeks.  If you have been served an eviction notice, then you should consider speaking with the landlord directly to see what your options are.  If you are informed that there are no options available to you, then you may need to consult with an attorney about your situation. By consulting with an attorney, you will know what your options are on a legal level.

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