I've seen some leases where it explicitly states that tenants aren't allowed to engage in illegal activity. Is there a point to this or does it go without saying? Here is an example.

  • It allows me to kick out the medical marijuana user because it's illegal under federal law. – Joshua Jan 12 '16 at 0:26

Saying that illegal activity is not allowed means that illegal activity is a breach of the lease, so it allows the landlord to evict the tenant if there is illegal activity.

The landlord/tenant law with which I'm familiar already specifies that certain illegal activities are grounds for eviction, but it is possible that there are other illegal activities that would not be grounds for eviction under the law, but could be grounds for eviction if mentioned in the lease. Finally, there are probably some very minor illegal activities that would not be grounds for eviction no matter what.

  • Only if it is a term of the lease; if it is a warranty it is not grounds for termination. – Dale M Dec 7 '15 at 1:51
  • Must the lease say "this is grounds for terminating the lease"? For example, if the lease says "no smoking in the house" and the tenant is caught once breaking the rule, I don't think you can kick them out over just that. But if you said "The following rules must be followed and any breach is cause to terminate the tenancy: no smoking in the house". – AlexP Dec 7 '15 at 4:02
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    @DaleM if it is a warranty then what is the remedy? – phoog Dec 7 '15 at 11:38
  • @AlexP that would depend on the jurisdiction. In general you need a judge's agreement to evict someone, no matter what the lease says. – phoog Dec 7 '15 at 11:41

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