Be A Good Tenant

DCA Legal Guides for Tenants

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Terminations and Evictions

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However, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant only three days’ advance written notice if the tenant has done any of the following:

  • Failed to pay the rent.
  • Violated any provision of the lease or rental agreement.
  • Materially damaged the rental property (“committed waste”).
  • Substantially interfered with other tenants (“committed a nuisance”).
  • Used the rental property for an unlawful purpose.

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Moving Out

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You must give the landlord the same amount of notice as there are days between rent payments. This means that if you pay rent monthly, you must give the landlord written notice at least 30 days before you move. If you pay rent every week, you must give the landlord written notice at least seven days before you move. If your rental agreement specifies a different amount of notice (for example, 10 days), then you must give the landlord written notice as required by the agreement.

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Resolving Problems-Talk With Your Landlord

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Communication is the key to avoiding and resolving problems. If you have a problem with your rental unit, it’s usually best to talk with your landlord before taking other action. Your landlord may be willing to correct the problem or to work out a solution. By the same token, the landlord (or the landlord’s agent or manager) should discuss problems with the tenant before taking formal action. The tenant may be willing to correct the problem once he or she understands the landlord’s concerns. Both parties should bear in mind that each has the duty to deal with the other fairly and in good faith.

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Dealing With Problems

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Most landlord-tenant relationships go smoothly. However, problems sometimes do arise. For example, what if the rental unit’s furnace goes out in the middle of the winter? What happens if the landlord sells the building or decides to convert it into condominiums? This section discusses these and other possible issues and problems in the landlord-tenant relationship.

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