Cure or Quit Notices serve to inform tenants of a serious failure in the landlord/tenant relationship. Usually, the tenant has broken a significant term of his lease. Landlords issue Care or Quit Notices for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the more common Care or Quit Notice provocations we see from landlords:
1. When a tenant in a “no pets allowed” rental unit brings a pet home to live with him. Many landlords allow pets; but not all do, and some tenants think it’s okay to bring home a cute kitten anyway. It’s not. If your tenant agreed to a pet-free lease, and won’t find a good home for Fluffy, then you are within your rights as a landlord to issue a Cure or Quit Notice.
2. When the rent is late past your grace period, if you have one. This is probably the most common reason for Cure or Quit Notices. The tenant is late with rent, usually not for the first time, and it’s past the limit for your grace period—and your patience. Smart landlords don’t let this situation go on—they issue the notice and move on.
3. When the tenant starts an unauthorized or unlicensed business from your rental property. Landlords are liable for activity and accidents that occur on their rental properties. Limit your liability by not tolerating a tenant’s unauthorized day care, homemade candle, or pottery business. The chances of litigation are too great.
4. When the tenant brings in unscreened and unauthorized roommates. As landlord, only you determine who lives in your rental housing, by your rules and procedures. This should always include tenant applications and tenant background screening of everyone who lives in your property. If a squatter refuses to abide by your policies, you have the right to terminate the lease.
5. When the tenant is excessively loud and ignores requests to tone it down. Like the “no-pets” policy, you set acceptable noise levels. When tenants ignore them, it might be time to issue a Cure or Quit Notice.
6. When the tenant is participating in illegal activities. Most landlords have a zero-tolerance policy on illegal activities. The reasons are many, and should be obvious. If you know there is illegal activity, call the police and prepare a Cure or Quit Notice.
7. When the tenant is smoking in a non-smoking rental unit. Smoking causes damage to carpet, floors, countertops (when used as ashtrays) and the health of everyone who breathes the air around the smoker. Landlords do not have to tolerate it.
8. When the tenant is withholding rent in retaliation for some lack of performance on the landlord’s part. If a tenant is unhappy, there are proper procedures to follow. Withholding rent is not one of them. If they don’t pay their rent, a Cure or Quit Notice is acceptable.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for obtaining legal advice applicable to your situation.