Can a Landlord Evict You For Being Messy and Dirty?

Most rental agreements require tenants to keep the place clean and tidy.

Almost all rental contracts require renters to refrain from keeping the house in a condition that creates a health or safety hazard for others.

But before you scramble to wash the dishes and pick up dirty clothes off the floors, you should look deeper into the matter.

Here you will learn about situations when a landlord can order you to leave the property due to it being dirty.

Can a Landlord Evict You for Keeping the House Dirty?

A landlord cannot order you to leave the premises if it is messy and dirty.

But you can be asked to leave the premises if the house is messy and unhealthy. The key term here is ‘unhealthy’.

You will not be evicted simply because you don’t keep the place clean. But if the dirty apartment has created an unhealthy environment for others, the landlord has the right to evict you from the property.

If a strong smell emanates from your room to other housing units, tenants can complain about the condition to the landlord.

In addition, if keeping the place dirty attract pests such as mice and cockroaches in the apartment or house, you may be asked to clean up the place or leave.

Reasons for Which a Landlord Can Evict You From Property

  • The smell of pet urine in the apartment
  • Bugs in the apartment
  • Pet feces all over the place
  • An obnoxious odor that emanates from the house
  • Mold or mildew on showers, sinks, or walls
  • Evidence of bugs traveling through central heating and cooling ducts to other places in the apartment
  • Dirty dishes that attract cockroaches

What Can a Landlord Do If the Place is Dirty?

A landlord has the right to inspect the place. But the state laws require that notice in writing should be given about 24 to 48 hours in advance.

If a landlord visits the place and finds the place dirty and uninhabitable, you may be asked to clean up the place immediately.

The landlord may give you a list of things that has to be changed within a specified time.

You should do everything on the list to avoid getting evicted. The landlord may require you to clean the pet urine or feces, clean dirty dishes or store dirty ones in a closed space, or fumigate the place.

The list may contain any item that can be a health hazard to the occupants. The cost of fumigating may be charged to the monthly installments.

Avoid an Eviction Due to a Messy and Dirty Place

Keeping the house clean and tidy is important not only because it makes the place more pleasant to live, but also because it will reduce the chances of an eviction.

Know the Reasons

You should focus on the reasons you are not able to keep the place clean. There may be different reasons that you may not be able to keep it clean and tidy.

Understanding the reasons is the first step towards change. It will allow you to focus on changing your attitude and habit to avoid being evicted from the place due to a messy place.

Here are some of the types of negative thinking that may be preventing you from cleaning up the place.

Keeping the place disorganized and dirty is nobody’s concern but my own

You may do what you want if you own a house. But if the property is not yours or you live in an apartment keeping the place dirty will affect others as well.

Bugs and pets can travel through the ducts and hallways. It will create a health hazard to others as well. So, keeping the place clean is not just your concern but it affects others also.

I always feel feeling tired or fatigue

You may feel exhausted after a long day at work and don’t have the energy to clean the house. This problem can be overcome by hiring a maid for cleaning the place.

Maid service is not that expensive. You can hire a maid or a cleaning service for a 3 bedroom apartment for about $140 a day.

You don’t have to call the cleaning service every day. A Weekly or bi-monthly cleaning service may be enough to keep the place neat and clean.

I feel depressed or have any other emotional problems

Feeling blue may also be the reason that the place is dirty and messy. Emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, or other issues hijack our limbic bodies. You won’t be in the mood to clean the room.

If you have emotional issues, you should get help to overcome the problem. Don’t let emotional problems cloud your mind and ruin your life.

It is best to get expert counsel to get over your psychological issues so that you don’t ignore important aspects of your life.

I have a procrastination problem

Procrastination is a big problem among many homeowners. Mostly procrastination is due to a lack of motivation for the task.

After reading this blog, you will now know that keeping the place dirty will get you evicted. This should be motivation enough to change your attitude towards the problem and always keep the place neat and tidy.

Once you have convinced yourself that the lazy attitude will have unpleasant consequences, you are more likely to change the habit.

The fear of losing the house will be a motivation for you to overcome your procrastination.

I have an addiction problem

Many people face addiction issues. Addiction cannot be just to drugs and alcohol. People can become addicted to soap operas and video games.

This type of addiction is not any less damaging than the addition to alcohol and drugs.

There have been reports about people ignoring their children and keeping the house dirty due to being addicted to social media and networking sites.

Overcoming this type of addiction requires recognizing that the habit is bad.

Spending too much time on the TV or computer is a bad habit.

You should set a limit to how much time you should spend surfing the net, playing video games, and watching TV. Consider limiting TV watching to just 3 to 4 hours a day.

This will give you enough time to do important chores around the house such as cleaning up the place.

Divide and Conquer

If you feel overwhelmed by the cleaning task, you can share the chore with the family members inside the house.

The cleaning task should be assigned to every household member and they should be held accountable for the tasks.

In this way, you won’t feel like cleaning the house is a steep mountain to climb. Sharing the chores will make the task of keeping the place neat and tidy more achievable.

Reward Members for Keeping the House Clean

You can make the house cleaning task into something that everyone in the house would gladly participate in.

For instance, you can tell the kids that you could go on a vacation if they keep everything in place for a month. You can also reward them by allowing them to buy a favorite video game if they keep the house clean.

You don’t have to be married or have kids for this to work. If you live on your own, you can reward yourself by scheduling fun activities if you keep the house clean.

You can treat yourself to a spa or favorite treat if you keep the apartment neat and tidy for a month.

Don’t Store Everything

Some people have the habit of storing everything. They tend to store product packages, torn clothes, old DVDs, and damaged appliances.

Storing these items will create a hiding place for pests such as roaches and rats.

You should throw away everything that you don’t need. Once a month, you should take stock of everything that you don’t need and get rid of the stuff.

Donate old clothes, books, or appliances that you no longer use. Getting rid of unwanted stuff will make it easier for you to keep the house neat and clean.

Final Remarks

If you have violated the rental agreement, local laws, or put the health of others at risk, your landlord will issue a warning to clean up the mess if this is your first instance.

In case of repeated offenses or if you fail to clean up the place, you may be evicted from the property.

A landlord generally allows time – up to five days – for you to respond to the eviction notice. If you think that the terms are not reasonable, you can go to court to complain about the matter.

Remember that just because a landlord does not take any action due to a dirty place, you don’t have to clean up the place.

Neighbors who are affected by the messy condition that has put the health at risk can request a local board of health or code enforcement office to take action.

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