(Closed) Landlord/tenant issues- drug related

posted 5 years ago in Legal
Post # 91
Member
48 posts
Newbee

MrsRoberts52:  OP: are you the owner yourself or acting as property manager on behalf of the owner?

advice: 

1. Go to your lawyer first. Have a new master agreement drafted. Ask about “morals clauses” and ensuring that none of your “lifestyle clauses” are void for vagueness Or unenforcebaLe by statute  

2. a lease by definition is the right to exclusive possession and quiet enjoyment. Your post sounds like you want to run a hotel. You can’t really control visitors unless you can prove breach of lease so focus on that cause of action  

3. You have repeated several times that you are “liable” for drug activity on the premises. Can you cite exactly what you are referencing here? ask your lawyer about forfeiture provisions. 

4. You’re saying that you don’t want to evict, but you’re worried about loss of market value. Being the manager is about making those decisions. As long as you accept the rent from the tenant without formal notification of breach, you are establishing a course of dealing upon which the tenant Might rely. 

Example: a business says cash on delivery. I always pay 30 days later. the business knows that I rely uoon them. One day they refuse to deliver because I don’t pay COD. I sue for losses flowing from that because we have a course of dealing that overrides the standard terms. 

Post # 93
Member
1214 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

MrsRoberts52:  I read through the first 3 pages of comments and skimmed the last. This thread is not going the way you would have hoped! I am so sorry for you. We have a rental house and I 100% understand where you are coming from. You have every right to ask your tenant to follow the stipulations in the lease. And you have every right asking a non-tenant to park in the overflow area, regardless of what the vehicle looks like. We don’t want shady characters hanging out at our rental because it’s freakin trashy and it can bring the area down. A known drug dealer? No way. They bring problems. You said you saw his instagram, and although it isn’t “hard evidence” the court system has been known to use it as such. If there are videos of him doing drugs, I would be extremely cautious. Drug dealers have other drug dealer friends and there is a reason most shootings happen in high drug use areas. Granted, you can’t exactly tell the tenant her son isn’t allowed because you see potential issues, however, you do have the lease contract to back you up. And you can bring up the lease agreement at any time you deem necessary. Which would be now. I don’t see how you can exactly boot the tenant for a minor breach of contract, however, you can document every conversation you have had with her if there needs to be an eviction. Evictions tend to be lengthy processes and the tenants tend to stop paying rent at that point, so it would probably be in your best interest to make sure the kid parks in overflow and doesn’t have friends over when the tenant isn’t home. Instead of giving the tenant an ultimatum, I would watch and document for a while before it comes to that point. You can let her know his friends aren’t allowed to use tenant parking either. It’s a dicey situation and you are probably kicking yourself to rent the space to her, even if she is on time with rent. When we had a situation similar to yours and we let the tenants know that what was going on wasn’t acceptable. They tried telling us that is was their rented space and anyone could crash on their couch if needed, but we told them that they needed to be on the lease after 3 days. That is because if there is any property damage, drug issues, etc, then they needed to be held responsible as well. I put it to them this way: “Do you really want so and so crashing on your couch for weeks on end, smoking in the house, possibly damaging things, and then it is you who loses their deposit? Because if the house isn’t in fair shape when you leave, someone loses their deposit because we will need funds to fix things and clean up for the next tenant.” Once they saw it in that light, the issue went away. Literally overnight. Good luck!

Post # 94
Member
8917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

MrsRoberts52:  I strongly recommend talking to a lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant relations. I don’t know how old your dad is, but there’s a good chance laws have changed since he started in the rental business. If someone takes you to court for harassment or discrimination and you say “your honor, I’m just trying to maintain property values” you might as well have said “your honor, I just don’t want to rent to blacks/latinos/the working poor/immigrants/atheists” or any number of other groups that are routinely discriminated against. Renters have rights, including the right to live peacefully in the dwelling they’re renting. You can’t just go knocking or “inspecting” without good reason. This is from the first site that popped up on Google so I can’t vouch for it, but you might want to check it out: “Federal law requires landlords to allow two persons per bedroom unless the landlord can point to legitimate business reasons that justify a lower number (this is difficult to do).” If I were a landlord, I would not want a drug-user in my property either, but there are strict laws and procedures you need to be aware of in order to avoid stiff penalties. The law used to favor landlords, but it’s leaning more towards renters these days. You should talk to a lawyer.

Post # 97
Member
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I find it hilarious that people actually think the law will side with a drug user.

 

Seriously?

 

Yo OP– stop discriminating against a drug dealer– they have rights too!  

Post # 98
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

MrsRoberts52:  I’m surprised your dad would encourage his pregnant daughter to go knocking on doors confronting a guy who might have some issues. It just seems like a bad idea. 

Maybe take a step back and take some time to figure out a safe, non-confrontational way to resolve this. I think previous poster’s suggestions about resident parking permits, putting up signs in the lot, etc were a great idea. That would address the issue with this guy’s car that you think is an eyesore and also prevent similar problems from coming up in the future.

You could also send a written notice to all residents reminding them of the guest policies, as outlined in their leases. 

That way you get your point accross but without singling anybody out. 

Post # 100
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

yupmarried:  I don’t post very often – but I read a lot on these boards. I just have to say that your comment about curly hair is really offensive. Some of us weren’t blessed with beautiful stick straight hair, or even lovely curls. 

Sorry to get off topic, all – but that comment really sucked to read. Carry on…

OP I hope you get this sorted I the best way possible for your business.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 101
Member
7418 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Op, keep in mind you are running a business. If you are gossiping with your friend to the point that you know how much drank your tenant’s kid dranks, you’re gossiping too much, you’re being unprofessional, and you’re possibly disclosing their personal information. I think you need to make a conscious effort to separate the business practices/duties from your personal life. This will help preserve your tenants’ privacy and also let you become less emotional about the business side of things (I.e. Stop taking it personally that the guy has an ugly car).

Post # 102
Member
533 posts
Busy bee

MrsRoberts52:  As I understand it, your tenant has accused you of discrimination and stated she will be consulting a lawyer. Please consult your lawyer asap.

Also please consider not posting any additional comments until after you have discussed the situation with a lawyer.

If you don’t have a professional relationship with a real estate lawyer, I would establish one and maintain it. It would be good to have a lawyer review any changes to your rental agreements and the lawyer could update you of any changes to real estate law that could impact you.

Good luck.

Post # 103
Member
437 posts
Helper bee

You should really educate yourself on your local laws. Quite frankly, the language you use in your lease sounds very unprofessional. It needs to be redone and done properly with the help of a real estate lawyer to make it enforceable in court. You are going to get in trouble very quickly if you don’t do things correctly.

The only thing this woman is in violation of is having a guest longer then three days. You probably have to notify her and then give her a certain amount of time to respond. If she doesn’t fix the problem within the certain amount of time then you have grounds to evict and can start the eviction process. Like I said, be very careful. You have to follow the laws 100%. If it says send her the notice and give her 10 days to respond, you must send her the notice via certified mail and wait 10 days for her to respond. Then you probably have to send another notice and wait another specific amount of time. Renters have rights too. By The Way, I mentioned working on your lease, right? Does your lease say that tenants AND guests of tenants must have nice cars? Because (1) the man is technically a guest, not a tenant and is therefore relieved of his obligation to drive a nice car and (2) your tenant is not responsible for her guest’s car unless it is specified in your lease.

Most importantly, I would like to know why your friend was so quick to hook you up with his social media. I have a hard time believing that she is a friend thru old friends, but has quicky access to all his happenings. Does she visit you at work?

My advice… have your father invest in a property management company that knows what they are doing.

Post # 104
Member
1142 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

What mystifies me the most here is why a “luxury” apartment is being allowed to be managed by people who clearly have zero clue what they are doing, have no idea what their local landlord/tenant laws are, and don’t have they slightest idea that much of the language in their rental agreements are not at all legally binding. All of the apartments I have rented were from very professional, well versed, property management companies, and none of them dictated the kinds of cars you could have, or snooped on my Instagram. If I was paying that much for an apartment I think I would be more worried that the property was actually being run by someone with very little experience at running a property, and who clearly lacks professionalism, than what my neighbor’s car looked like.

Post # 105
Member
2013 posts
Buzzing bee

“Verbal agreements don’t mean anything really. It has to be in writing.”

I think you’re right about not thinking you’re “super cut out for this” as any businessman/woman would know that verbal agreements do in fact mean a lot. They are harder to prove but can still be used against you in court. You can’t just make the rules up as you go. Not only is that not the best idea business wise, it’s also just really sucky for a person to do.

Oh and you mentioned you didn’t want to hand her the notice in person because you thought that was bullying, well to be honest I think it comes across way worse by simply leaving it in her mailbox.

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