Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Can a landlord break a lease with a tenant who is causing unanticipated expenses?

I have a tenant who stayed in the house for 1.5 years and has another 1.5 years on the lease.

The tenant is frequently asking for repairmen to come and fix issues that are borderline negligence (e.g., they said the dishwasher broke and wanted us to install a new one, but our contractor found that dishwasher filters were never changed and resolved the issue by cleaning the dishwasher). During this tenant's stay, in the second year, they got mice in this single-family house (we had never had mice for 10+ years) and asked us to pay for extermination. They ask for a plumber for things like shifting a dishwasher because they thought there was a mouse behind it, or checking why the washing machine smells (answer: they had never run a cleaning cycle).

I have counted $6,000 in unanticipated expenses incurred over 18 months so far.

Are there legal provisions to terminate the rest of the lease on account of the tenant raking up unanticipated repair expenses?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Walter Sage Jennings
Walter Sage Jennings
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Not unless it is specifically contained in the lease agreement itself. However you may be able to bring a suit for expenses caused by the tenant.

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