can my friends be evicted?

cmlawrenceOctober 7, 2003

Here's a question - I have a friend who lives in N. California (Bay Area). She has two young children (girls), and rents a condo. She used to rent the unit next door to me, but recently moved to another unit in the complex owned by the same person. When they lived next to me, we did occasionally notice some noise caused by her children running up and down the stairs or playing. It wasn't too bad, and generally ended pretty early in the evening.

Anyway, her new neighbor is an older, single woman, who apparently isn't fond of kids. She has raised an unbelievable stink to the owner, and the condo association about the noise and disturbance caused by these kids. Since I lived right next to them for about 6 months, I know that it's not that bad, and the playing usually ends before 8 or 9pm.

The neighbor has become so enraged and vocal about this, that she finally has worn the owner down, and convinced her tell my friend and her kids to leave.

So, my question. Is this legal? Can they be evicted due to loud kids? I believe they are on a month-to-month lease, so does the owner even need to provide any reason to evict?

Just curious.... I'm sure many of you have been on the other side of the fence on this, and have had loud neighbors. But these are really just sweet little girls playing. My wife and I barely noticed it, and we shared a common (thin) wall.

Any thoughts?


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Just to add to this - my friend has really tried hard to quiet her kids down. To the point of having to punish them for playing.

I mean, kids will be kids. That's life, isn't it? This condo complex is not a retirement community, or old age home. It's got a wide mix of occupants - families, single, old, young, etc..

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 9:29PM
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"Is this legal? Can they be evicted due to loud kids? I believe they are on a month-to-month lease, so does the owner even need to provide any reason to evict?"

The friend could talk to the local "fair housing" city office and see, but if it's month to month, there doesn't have to be a reason.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 10:30PM
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If it is month to month then the owner can give a 30 notice of nonrenewal... just that plain and simple

However, your friend may have another course of action. My advice, get an attorney immediately!!

Familial status is a protected class under fair housing laws. She can not be thrown out for having kids. Loud kids, yes. You can testify that they kids were not loud. She very well may have a case. An attorney is in line, she shouldn't sue to stay in the condo, that landlord and neighbor will make her life miserable. She could sue for damages though.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 11:06PM
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poor girl- shoulda stayed put...

there has GOT to be housing advocates in the bay area- god knows most of the landords I had out there were more scared of me than I was of them!

if not an advocate- then a lawyer.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 9:53AM
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If she is on a month-to-month, the landlord can evict for any reason, or no reason at all.

No landlord with a lick of sense will admit he is evicting because of children. He can give any reason to the judge, including "it's just a whim," and that's the end of the matter.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 8:49AM
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However, would child-free buildings be considered a form of discrimination?

A child-free person

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 11:16AM
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Child-free buildings are in contravention to fair housing laws except in very strict circumstances, such as senior citizen housing, or if the landlord owns less than four or so units. So is "steering," for instance, showing a couple with a child only a ground-floor unit because of concerns about the child making a racket. Of course, proving such discrimination is difficult unless the landlord is a real idiot and admits to the policy, or doesn't find some other valid reason to reject the tenants with the children (credit, etc.)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 12:24PM
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Yes, in a month to month, the landlord does not have to give a reason. Just a 30 day notice to vacate.

If she were to get an attorney to fight it, it would be a lost cause anyway and a lot of money down the's why. Even if she did win on the cause of discrimination, he could wait another 30 days or so and evict on the basis of something else, or as someone else said, no basis...just move.

My advice to your friend: start looking for a new place asap.

Good luck to your friend. It's the pits being that kind of situation and her new "neighbor" sounds like a crotchety old lady. Any chance there's another open condo she could move to that has more relaxed neighbors?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2003 at 2:14PM
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Well, some people have a right to peace and quiet. I would not want some brat stomping above me.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 10:15AM
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If the kids are loud enough that a neighbor would complain, and often enough to get her evicted, maybe she needs to work on the idea of "inside voices". I had a couple of little girls living upstairs from me, and apparently their mother had no problem with them doing jumping jacks in their bedroom at 6 AM, or running laps up and down the hall every night. I didn't say anything because I knew they were moving out, but had they been staying, I certainly would have complained. And I'm not a crotchety old child-hater.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 11:11AM
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