Unwanted visitors can get you evicted

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Q: I am the resident manager of a large apartment community. The police have come to our property several times recently because of one tenant. She told me that she has had to call the police because her former husband insists on coming to see her. I don’t like the disruptions, and I am worried about the community getting a bad reputation because of the frequent police presence. Am I entitled to terminate this woman’s tenancy? –Warren W.

A: Before taking action, have a talk with this tenant. Your question implies that she has not invited the abuser to the property — but has she obtained a protective, stay-away order from the court? If she has not, that may be the place to start, and if you’re lucky, the ex may respect it and keep away.

Now let’s suppose that the tenant has such an order, and it’s not doing any good. Whether you may evict will depend on the type of tenancy this is, and whether any laws in your state give protection to domestic violence victims — and narrow eviction rights to landlords.

No matter what state you’re in, if your tenant is a Section 8 tenant (or you’re running a public housing project), you are subject to the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which became law in 1994.