Can Welfare Tenants Be Evicted?

The four-family house I live in is for sale. Nice house, nice neighbors . . . Except for “the Clampetts” on the ground floor. She is an unmarried welfare Mom who sits around drinkin’ and smokin’ and burning goodness-knows-what on the outdoor barbeque. He’s a married jailbird who spends most of his time at her place, cussin’ and teaching his two fat little boys to box. I glare out the window at them like Mrs. Drysdale.

Now, I know you cannot evict people for being iggn’rnt white trash. BUT. They have two attack dogs, which have gone after four people (myself included) and bitten three (I am real good with doggies, so they didn’t bite me). The Clampetts refuse to chain up the dogs or build a fence high enough so they can’t escape—when we told the landlord he has GOT to get rid of these people before their dogs actually eat someone whole, he said, “Oh, you can’t evict them—she’s on welfare.”

I think he simply doesn’t want to evict his white-trash pals. Can our new landlord get the hell rid of them, or is my current landlord correct?

All depends on your local landlord-tenant laws, as well as the terms of the lease. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that your neighbors have special protections because of the welfare angle.

You can, however, call animal control. Bye-bye loose doggies!

Your milage may vary, IINAL, etc. He can’t evict her for the REASON “she’s on welfare”. She can certainly (at least here in NY) be evicted for the same reasons as you- barking or dangerous dogs, loud, etc.

[side note:]
Her rent may be paid directly through some social service agency (not nessecerily welfare, but some supplemental housing funding) right to the landlord, making her a “sure on-time pay”. This would likely make him want to keep her there, as opposed to someone who maybe has trouble scraping up the rent money. (A tenent of mine used to get her rent paid directly from Catholic Charities to me. She never saw the rent money)

I also know of a couple (personally) in the last 6 months that was evicted from their apartment for non-payment and having animals that weren’t allowed. Didn’t matter that they were on welfare and other social services.

Check this page:
for info about NJ law and tenants.

If I understand things correctly, you cannot throw out a person because they are on welfare/disabled/female, etc. However, a welfare/disabled/female person CAN be throw out with the same proper legal justification as everyone else.


Why you living there then Eve? Is that the only place in your city they have apartments? Reminds me of this song:

" (Sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies Theme

Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush.
His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush.
He drank like a fish while he drove all about.
But that didn’t matter 'cuz his daddy bailed him out.
DUI, that is, Criminal record. Cover-up.

Well, the first thing you know little Georgie goes to
He can’t spell his name but they never let him fail.
He spends all his time hangin’ out with student folk.
And that’s when he learns how to snort a line of
Blow, that is, White gold. Nose candy.

The next thing you know there’s a war in Vietnam.
Kin folks say, “George, stay at home with Mom.”
Let the common people get maimed and scarred.
We’ll buy you a spot in the Texas Air Guard.

Twenty years later George gets a little bored.
He trades in the booze, says that Jesus is his Lord.
He said, “Now the White House is the place I wanna
Twenty years later George gets a little bored.
He trades in the booze, says that Jesus is his Lord.
He said, “Now the White House is the place I wanna
So he called his daddy’s friends and they’re called
the GOP
Gun owners, that is. Falwell. Jesse Helms.

Came November 7, the election ran late.
Kin folks said, “Jeb, give the boy your state!”
“Don’t let those colored folks get into the polls.”
So they put up barricades so they couldn’t punch their
Chads, that is. Duval County. Miami-Dade.

Before the votes were counted five Supremes stepped
Told all the voters “Hey,we want George to win.”
“Stop counting votes!” was their solemn invocation.
And that how George finally got his coronation.
Rigged, that is. Illegitimate. No moral authority.

Y’all come vote now. Ya hear?"

Thanks, handy. It’s been a couple of days since someone has posted a stupid, gratuitous, off-topic political piece of crap in GQ, and I was getting edgy waiting for the next one.

IIRC, if the woman is using Section 8, having her boyfriend sleep over may be in violation of that.

When my parents were landlords, they looked into the possibility of making themselves eligible for Section 8. The regs are enough to choke a goat. One of them is that the recipient may not have another person living with them, except for children.

If she’s using another program, that still may be a violation. Check it out.


Zette—Thanks for the link! She can certainly be gotten rid of under: “Disorderly tenant. A landlord may bring an action to evict a tenant who is disorderly if such conduct disturbs the peace and quiet enjoyment of other tenants . . .”

Besides the dangerous dogs, the people are loud, noisy, rude, sloppy and fill the whole house with smoke from their danged Bar-B-Q. It’s like living above Cletus and Lurlene. The fact that the boyfriend is fresh outta stir and they keep loose attack dogs makes us all feel they are Up To Something . . .

Handy, I will ignore the Bush song and answer your first question: why the hell should I move out of a lovely apartment in a nice neighborhod with good rent simply because my landlord decided to rent the first-floor back to his hillbilly pals? I LIKE my apartment. Now that we are getting a new landlord—with no ties to the Clampetts—we are all hoping to get rid of them.

I’m sorry Manhattan, but I needed to post a long post for a change & I knew it was kinda iffy; but people sterotyping others sometimes gets to me.

“IIRC, if the woman is using Section 8, having her boyfriend sleep over may be in violation of that.”

No, its not a violation. Unless he pays her some of the rent. Strange laws they have.

I suspect that woman is on Section 8. If she’s getting all of her rent paid that way (Section 8 doesn’t necessarily cover the full cost of rent, but it can), then your landlord can’t kick her out for non-payment of rent because he gets paid directly by HUD. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that there are quality-of-life-type issues that could provide grounds for eviction. How close to you does he live? Has he experienced their loathsomeness firsthand? You may need to educate him. (& call Animal Control TODAY!!)

As a former social worker, I can assure you that welfare clients get evicted ALL THE TIME. Generally not as frequently once their Section 8 subsidies come through, but it still happens.

I have misstated myself. :eek: It seems if the man is her husband, and HUD knows about him (i.e., he was living there when the application was approved) it’s permissible, but if he’s moved in since then, he is not allowed to be there.

This came from my mother, who has been a landlord (and who has accepted Section 8 in the past, although she chooses not to do so now) for the past 10 years.


" . . . people sterotyping others sometimes gets to me."

How was I “sterotyping” her? She’s loud, rude, nasty, inconsiderate and has two dangerous dogs. I think I made it quite clear that I don’t want her evicted because she’s on welfare or is a single mother—I want her evicted because she is annoying the living hell out of the entire neighborhood.

[hijack] handy, give it a rest, would ya? First, your song was totally unrelated to this topic, which I personally find extremely annoying. Why do I have to scroll past all that crap to read the rest of the thread? If you don’t have something useful to contribute, don’t bother posting. Also, regarding:

Why don’t you check into your facts (ever) before speaking? I happened to have spent about 45 minutes yesterday doing a web search to answer Eve’s question (I was curious if the laws were different in NJ). Tenent/landlord rights and laws are different depending on state laws, different housing authorities, etc.

All you do is pop in with drivel while others are actually discussing an issue, and frankly, after 2 years of being here and keeping my mouth shut, I must polite request you BUTT OUT if you don’t have something to contribute.

(PS- I didn’t put this in the Pit because it isn’t worth a discussion. I just wanted to get that out and let you know it really bugs me. I’m sure you don’t care.)

      • Ugly Truths, continued: In the US at least, poor people wreck housing. Go ahead and say it; it won’t make you a Good Communist, but it’ll make you an honest one. If you don’t believe it, you should either discuss it with a landlord, or you should discuss it with someone who has done “rehabbing” construction, usually limited to federal housing projects (because private owners can’t afford to lose that much money constantly).
        ~ What rehabbing construction typically involves is coming into an apartment building and replacing the floors (covering AND sub-flooring-[that is, the wood you actually walk around on]), often most of the interior walls and ceiling, usually all of the electrical hardware will be gone (circuit breaker box, junction boxes and wiring), usually all of the plumbing fixtures and as much of the pipes as possible are gone, all the interior doors and sometimes the exterior doors are gone, sometimes the windows are gone (if they’re not they’re so damaged they’re not salvagable), often all the door frames are damaged at the hinge points and lock faces, so they need to be replaced. Sometimes parts of the building frame are also damaged too. Forget about finding any useable furniture, or any of the original appliances and cabinets, or sinks, toilets or showers/bathtubs, furnace, AC/central units or water heater. -And often you get the added charm of piles of trash and human shit/piss/vomit that has to be shoveled out before you can even begin. After that’s done, you fumigate the place with industrial insecticide, and then you can send in foremen to assess the damage. It’s a glorious business. — If you’ve ever seen “used hardware” stores in depressed areas of big cities, all the stuff they sell has been stolen, almost always from rental units. Some low-cost federal housing projects have rehabbing done every two or three years, because by that time they usually need it–everything that can be has been ruined or stolen. Landlords are only in it for the money: they want anybody who will paythe rent and not wreck the place. Overwhelming experience has shown that poorer renters are much more likely to wreck the place. - MC

EVE, you know I do not hang my hat in your neck of the woods, but AFAIK ZETTE is exactly right. Just because a landlord can’t evict someone for being on welfare, that doesn’t mean he or she can’t evict them for legitimate reasons having nothing to do with public assistance. Maybe your suspicions are correct and the guy just really doesn’t want to get rid of them. I love the “I glare out the window at them like Mrs. Drysdale,” BTW. :slight_smile:


Surely you realize that people wreck housing because they are jerks, not because they are poor.

Poor people do not wreck housing because they are poor. Slobs, assholes and cretins wreck housing and they need not be poor to do so. I was poor for 7 years and not once did I leave an apartment in worse shape than I found it. In almost all cases I left it in better shape because I cleaned it and made repairs that the landlord refused to make or brought pressure on the landlord to obey the law in regards to fire safety and other building code matters. I know people who make twice what I do, (and I am no longer even close to poor) that keep their dwellings in a state I would not find fit for occupation. a couple of years ago one of those filthy apartment/neglected kids stories popped up on Chicagoland news and the parents were upper middle class.
My sympathy on having lousy neighbors. In my experience, landlords do not do anything based on what other tenants think, but only act when their income is threatened. If you can’t bring outside pressure to bear, moving may be your only option. Let’s hope they win the lottery and move out.

How do you know they are on Welfare Eve? That’s my main picky point with you.

First of all & you should have noticed this too Zette, there is NO MORE WELFARE! Clinton dropped this program years ago!
Don’t you guys read the news?

Also, Zette, Im well aware of the HUD rules. I have been aware of them for 22 years & have plenty of their rule books.

Whose experience, and whose ugly truths? In ten years of being a professional landlord (and my parents have never used a management company, even when their holdings topped 40 units), they’ve only had to completely re-work one apartment, and that was because there was a lot of damage from uncontrolled children. And I’ve helped them with a number of apartments that were flat-out disgusting, where food was left to rot in the fridge, and where the commodes and sinks were overflooding from being plugged up, but these just needed a GOOD cleaning. (FTR, none of my parents’ buildings failed code)

Not one of these tenants was on any kind of rent assistance. For the most part, they were lower income, but they weren’t “poor”.

It takes all kinds of people, and stereotyping based on any factor is disingenuous at best.


handy- get a grip. I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with you, because I think I made my feelings clear. First off, you want to know how Eve knows they are on Welfare. Try reading the OP which states CLEARLY

And, I have no idea what this is supposed to mean:

OK, first of, Eve’s landlord said they were “on welfare”. To me, that does not imply a single program. Welfare (by definition) is:
"Financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need. " (from

That could mean she’s getting housing aid, WIC, HEAP, Food Stamps, or any number of State or Federal monies for assistance.

My entire point here is that this is GQ, where you ask questions and get answers. That is what I and others attempted to do for Eve.

If you want to impune Eve’s reputation by suggesting she is stereotyping her neighbors as being welfare recipients based on her observation of their behavior (which is exactly what you are doing), you’re in the wrong place.

Oh, and owning books and understanding them are two different things. (obviously)


You may find some interesting information on this page:
which is all about welfare (which apparently DOES still exist. Imagine that!)

is better than no evidence at all.

It is possible to evict people who are on welfare (in Minnesota), but it can be difficult.

My brother-in-law owns a rental unit. A woman moved in with her children. All was well for six months, until she picked up a new boyfriend. He was a pharmaceutical salesman with a varied clientele. Business was brisk, and the woman developed a taste for her boyfriend’s product and a disinclination to a) pay her rent, and b) clean.

It took about eight months to evict her and her crack dealing boyfriend (along with her hapless children, on whom may God have mercy).

My brother-in-law showed me the flea bites covering his lower legs incurred as he waded thru the knee deep garbage that covered every floor in the unit, cleaning out what the former tenant was too wasted to throw away and therefore simply dropped.

Not all welfare recipients are scum, but all crack dealers are. So are those who neglect their children in favor of drugs.