Q: I have attempted, and failed, to evict a problem tenant. This person constantly demanded repairs, complained about our policies, and bad-mouthed management to other tenants. Finally, he did something that was prohibited in the lease -- he parked in another person's parking place one evening. Because my lease says that failure to abide by its terms and conditions is grounds for termination and eviction, I served him with a termination notice and took him to court when he refused to move. Even though the tenant admitted parking there, the judge said the violation was minor and wouldn't justify eviction. How can a judge rewrite a lease that the tenant signed, well aware of the consequences of a violation? --Walter H. A: Courts normally hesitate to interfere with the provisions of a contract, as long as they are not against the law or so unfair as to "shock the conscience." For example, no court will enforce a lease clause that prohibits the tenant from having vis...
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