Question: I have a tenant who has been renting my one-bedroom property for 6 months but never signed a lease.  He has now allowed 5 people to move into the condominium with him.  Can I give the tenant a ten day notice of noncompliance to remove the occupants?

Answer: No.  While a ten day notice of noncompliance is generally the notice to be used when dealing with unauthorized occupants, it can NOT be used if the tenant doesn’t have a written lease agreement.  This is because there is no lease term that they are violating and therefore you can’t give them a noncompliance notice.  This same analysis applies to any other violations where no written lease exists (except for nonpayment of rent).  For example, if the tenant brings a pet onto the property, and you don’t have a signed lease or a provision prohibiting pets, then you cannot give the tenant a ten day notice of noncompliance.  In such cases, where you don’t have a signed lease, your protection would be to serve the tenant with a termination of a month to month tenancy.  While you can not mandate that they cure the breach, you can terminate the oral lease and make them move out by the end of the next rental period.  Of course, during that time, they may then come to you and wish to sign a lease.  If that is done, then make sure you include all the terms you want in your lease to protect your investment.

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.