Question: I signed a one-year lease with my tenant, which included a provision that stated that I could terminate the lease for any reasons upon giving a thirty day notice.  The tenant has been in my property for three months and has been nothing but trouble.  Can I give him a 30 day notice and get him out?

Answer:  Not necessarily.  Unfortunately, there is not a clear legal answer and the ruling you get in court may largely depend upon which judge is on the bench.  The problem you have is that you signed a year lease and presumptively neither party can terminate without good cause (e.g. non-payment of rent, non-compliance).  Therefore, if you have another term that conflicts with the year term, that provision may not be enforceable.  This would be especially true when the provision is unilateral – meaning the landlord can terminate upon 30 notice, but the tenant cannot.  A court may not look favorably upon such a provision.  Alternatively, a court could interpret the contract to actually be a month to month lease, and thus a 30 day notice would be effective.  Because of this confusion, I would not suggest using such a provision.  If a landlord wants to be able to get a tenant out upon 30 day notice, use a month-to-month lease – don’t get clever by using conflicting lease provisions.

Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should always contact an attorney for legal advice and not rely on information published here.