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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MorrisonCorner, Feb 2, 2005.
Deleted on advice of forum members! :-(
Wow, Morrison, sorry to hear that.
How long is the lease for? I hope you're not stuck with him for a year. Was the old roof leaking BECAUSE he mounted the satellite dish on the roof? There could be some legal issues there like making HIM replace the roof. But then again, you can't get blood from a turnip. Possibly evict him based on the fact that he destroyed the property by putting a hole in the roof?
I don't have a legal background, so I'll let the wiser ones on the board address that. I just wanted express my sympathy. I just can't STAND people whom you try to do a favor for and they take advantage of it. Too many people want something for nothing.... and nothing is every their fault! I feel for you!
What makes me mad is that we'd give anything to live in a place like that... middle of nowhere, etc, and here a guy does and he takes it for granted.
We're stuck in this 4-room apartment with two little boys (ages 3 and 2) with no yard, no place outside to play, for another year. We wish we could find a different place, but can't seem to scrape together the $2000-3000 required for moving these days...just when we get something saved, something comes up - someone needs new glasses, hubby has a business trip...etc.
The boys make entirely too much noise, there are two businesses downstairs from us, and it makes us horribly paranoid. I'm sick of all the people, the traffic, the noise. I wish constantly for a nice little place in the country so I can have some chickens and a garden, but it sure doesn't look like we're gonna get anywhere for at least a year.
The other thing is we have to stay in this school district for my son's sake - since he's recieving state-funded therapy and we need to keep the same therapists. Hard to find anything around here.
And here some guy has paradise right in front of him, and he treats it like garbage!
I am sorry you are going through all this.
Look in the phone book for a property manager, or preferably, if you know anyone else with a property manager, get a referal. Hire them now. Expect to pay a reasonable setup fee and a percentage of rent they collect, then tell your tenant to call the managers, you have nothing to do with it anymore. Instruct your manager to immediately raise the rent to cover your expenses. Remember that anything you pay your manager is usually 100% deductable on your taxes.
Write a tight agreement with your new property manager listing the things that are important to you, like yard appearance.
Instruct your property manager to give notice and if necessary start eviction proceedings, because the very next thing you are going to hear from your paralegal tenant is going to be about mold, and you don't want to deal with that.
When the old tenant is gone, stay out of it. Let your new manager pick an excellent tenant. Even if you are close neighbors, don't inform your new tenant that you are the owner. If they do find out, tell them that the house belongs to an absent uncle and you have nothing to do with it, so they should call their manager for problems or questions.
Never agree to tenant completed repairs or painting. If it needs done, do it yourself, or hire it done professionally. If you do the work yourself, you can't usually deduct the time from your taxes but if you hire your property manager to do the work, or have it done, you can.
sounds like you now know why his old digs looked slumy! him a paraleagal is a major block to getting him out. could be long drawn out affair and property managment may be the best recorse. if the rental is next to the farm may want to investigate a bb soultion . then the fish don't smell for as long! not knowing your state laws can't advise there but speed sounds of the essence before they total the place! even renting to close friends or worse family can be a chalenge .bare is not far from the mark ,if not mold it will be something !and they wonder why no one will rent to them!!!!!!!!!
My question would also be did they sign a rental agreement for a specified amount of months or is it a month to month? I which case would be nice because you could just give them the 30 day notice. Did you put into the agreement that they would do the work for you? Does it say that the property would be kept up? There are many reasons that you can evict a renter from your property. If you have time to handle it yourself I would do that, but if to busy then the property manager is probably best. You could always tell them you sold it and they have to get out. I know how everyone feels about little white lies around here but in the interest of you sanity it might be worth it. Or you could really sell it to a family member who would sell it back to you. What is a dollar between family members. Then again that could be a real bad idea, sorry. Hope you can get everything straightened out. I have been there before with my mothers house and what a nightmare, but I got them out.
We have renatals. You can take him to town court for almost no reason. If found guilty of any dicrepancies he can be evicted, in about 1 month. If you have no lease and no rent is exchanged that is month by month and you have the right to ask them to leave . I am sure VT laws are different than NY but a real estate agent could advise you over the phone as to the legalities. also the town clerk will be helpful.
Just because you did the right thing in letting him move in that does not mean you cannot , in good consience tell him to leave.
My sympathies. That is the very reason why I got out of the rental business. You bend over backwards to help people and they don't appreciate it and try to <expletive redacted> you the first time they get the chance. I don't envy you at all. I would evict them as soon as possible.
If you don't have a rental agreement, first I would raise the rent. After all you have to recoop the money for the roof they didn't tell you about till there was damage and the dish damage also. Find out what the law will let you raise it and if there is no law then up it 100.oo then a week later I would give them a 30 day written notice to be hand delivered by a delivery service,. That way you have a non byus person who knows they recieved it. Have the delievery person call you just after they get it. You can call the renters yourself and tell them its comming then act like you are suprized it got there already. Tell them that after the roof you have talked it over and have desided to have the house remolded and then your going to put it on the market. ( you can always change your mind about puting it on the market) If they call you later and say they just can't be out by then tell them you are going to lose your deposit on work that is supost to start and that if there not out then you will take them to cort for all costs lost. If they don't move then your bluff is gone. But you can always take them to court to have them removed.
I feel your pain Morrison. I put over $6k into a unit after a tenant trashed it. Made it look like a virtual bowling alley because I was sick of looking at the cruddy floors. NEXT tenant leaves lit cigarettes burning on the floor... Had him out all of 6 weeks after he moved in.....<sigh>
If you are at ALL fuzzy on the eviction process in VT see if there is a VT property owners association and get the entire process down to a "T" before you serve your notice to quit - but absolutely do serve it. Your tenant has already breached his lease by installing the dish such as he did if nothing else. You can probably network into a RE attorney that can write an "ironclad" lease for you as well if you don't quite feel that you have one now....
Once you get him out, and there may not be snow on the ground by the time you do given his background, see if Landlord Connection covers VT at all.... Still not a silver bullet but it DOES help weed out a lot of the lousy tenants. You can usually scare half of them off just by requiring an application fee. If they know that you're going to run them ahead of time and they have a "less than stellar" rental history they don't usually want to bother losing the fee - which can be made "non-refundable" ....
Just make sure that you know every step of the eviction process or else you may end up just selling him not only the rental unit but your place as well just to be rid of them ....
Put some noisy Nubian buck goats real close to his house and maybe a few chickens for added aroma and noise.
Once in a neighborly dispute my father asked if he might put a buck or two of mine near his pecker-headed neighbor. At this suggestion, the man saw things in a different light and my parents sold their home and land without his conditions being placed onto the buyer. Put a compost pile so prevailing winds are against him. He rented the house but dont let him use the land...assign the parking way down the lane...good exercise for the fat kid thats afraid of the cold. My 3 yo walks 400yds every morning in temps below 0 at 730am when we get off the school bus and do chores together.
People who play on others heartstrings and live as "victims" are notorious for not doing anything but whining....and creating situations so that they might continue playing that role.
Be sure to remind this family that God helps those who help themselves and the Golden Rule is golden for very good reason. Then offer to help him move or offer some money...$200 if you are out in 5 days...it'll be worth it!
All the good avice above taking into account the particulars of you rental agreement, laws of your state, and other partiulcars.
The bottom line for me when I've had a bad tenant is to get rid of them. The bad apples never turn good. Even if you take some loss you are better getting rid of them. It becomes not a question of not making as much money as a question of cutting your losses as soon as possible. Bad tenants keep piling up grief and losses for you.
Do you have anything in writing? In order to enforce anything you've talked about, it must be in writing. It's the tenant's job to keep certain things up, like the lawn and general cleaning inside the house. Otherwise, most upkeep and repairs are the landlords job. You do have every right to not allow a satellite dish to be permanently mounted to the house, which by the way, makes it a fixture and also makes it YOURS.
I'd consider hiring a property manager as well. You'll pay a fee on it, but it will be worth the hassle to have them deal with it, not you. You can choose to what level you want to give them control. I'd suggest that you don't have them calling for EVERYTHING. If they need someone to come out to fix a leaking pipe or something else mundane, let them go ahead and take care of it. They've got the knowledge of real estate laws and by being in a contract have the legal right and responsibility to protect your best interests.
Thanks everyone. I'll look to see if there is a VT property owner's association. I was thinking of calling the tenant's rights people as a Poor Abused Tenant and seeing if I could get out of them what they are most likely to have already told him.
I do want to say that my husband, never a man known for biting his tongue, just sent out tenant the most measured, balanced, polite, response! Who knew the man had it in him? It was eloquent... acknowledged that the tenant appeared to have some concerns but didn't yield an inch.
Oh and told the guy to stop sending profanity laced email to his wife. My knight in shining armor ;-)
We haven't had a response from that email yet, but someone has called the house and hung up a couple of times. I'm not answering the phone.
You know what really frosts me? The people who want decent affordable housing do absolutly nothing to support those of us who provide that housing and then get ripped off. Where's my incentive? Or as the husband said "This is it... we're turning it into a barn."
I think he might be serious!
I too have made this mistake...It seems to make me feel like i am doing the right thing but it just comes back and bites me in the butt every time. Then i swear i will never do it again. It is horrible what one person can do to your spirit of love and giving. I feel for you...I used to manage 4 low income housing projects and that was a real challenge but individual homes that you own are much worse when it comes to loss and destruction.
The tenant always seems to have more rights than the landlord. I would suggest putting everything in writing from now on...it was the only thing that saved me when i was personally sued. I always mailed my "notices" to my tenants certified mail with return receipt and kept a copy of the notice. If you have to remove him, this will also help you out because he doesnt sound like the type of person to just leave. it sometimes takes up to 6 months to remove someone, i would start now... If you have documentation showing he is not doing what he is allowed to do. (like putting in the satalite dish)... My last words, document, document, document. I wish you the best, i know this is a hard place to be.
Do you have before and after photos? Roof without leak, roof with hole drilled through for tv? Clean little house/trashed house?
You're saving the nasty e-mails, right? The telephone company will help you with harassment calls. They can easily tell you where the call is from, and when another call is made, an operator can come on the line and inform the caller that they are breaking the law. Once this para legal sees that he is building you a fortress with his harrassement, it may be easier to boot him.
You could also call an agency that helps homeless people find homes. The Salvation Army? The county may have an agency that does this. Tell them these people are loosing their home, that you have work to do in the house, the leaky roof caused damage, etc. If they can supply a new home for these people, maybe it would be easier to get rid of them. Of course, they may have a reputation with these helping hands and see right through you, but it would be worth a try.
Some renters in my sister's town trashed a house, got the county to condemn it, and left the mess for the owners. In Michigan, if a house is condemned, the renters do not have to pay the rent/back rent. Are there any reasons that this house is not livable? Would it be possible that the renters are building a case to avoid paying rent?
better take the offensive because you probably won't get any more rent. Serve them papers and stick with the schedule. At the same time raise the rent. If they are working you can get money every week after they are gone. I'm currently getting 100$ per week from people that refused to pay and trashed the place. A year of 100$ gives me a little lunch money.
There is a website where you might get some good advice from experienced landlords. It is called Mr Landlord and their is a question and answer section on it.
Do you have a lease or rental agreement with these people? If they are month to month it will probably be easier to get rid of them. I would also send them a registered letter stating that the satellite dish or any other items is not to be attached to your house. You do not want him putting a hole in your new roof, or the siding of the house.
I have two farmhouse rentals and I know what you're talking about. I had to evict a guy last summer because he simply would not pay the rent/gave me bad checks/ lied to my face. I called a lawyer and had him start eviction proceedings. It cost me about $200 but it was worth it and took about 3 weeks to get him out. He did however leave the house immaculate so I was extremely thankful for that. If I was in your situation I would also call a lawyer and start proceedings pronto. This creep will probably know exactly how long and how much he can get away with. Whatever the lawyer costs will be worth it. I know you feel like bulldozing the house at this point.....believe me I have said I would with ours many times over the 20 years we have rented it.....yep 20 LONG years. :haha: I gripe alot about it but I just keep trying to find good renters and I have had some very good ones and very bad ones. I try to get a real feel for the people before I ever let them set foot on the property. I question them till I am blue in the face and am getting better at sizing them up. I hate it when they make me feel pressured.....that usually is a negative sign. I have heard so many sob stories, I could write a book. I have considered having a management take over but I am so darn tight/stubborn I never actually have gotten there. Hope you get the bum out soon without too much hassle. Marilyn, the farmer's wife........
I really feel for you. It sometimes feels like when ever you do something things turn sour. But please dont give up on doing good deeds.
My b/f had been out of work for 3 months, he was renting a small apartment and just couldnt make the payments. The landlord was very nice and tried to let him slide but things just never got better. It seemed every job he found ended up bad. IE: the job where the carpet layer/cleaner wanted him to take over the operations, then ended up only giving him 2-4 hours of work a week.
He recently found a great job that was 2 hours away. Without having a job in the past 3 months of course he couldnt get an apartment or house. The forman of the place had an acreage that was empty but was reluctant to rent it but he finally let b/f move in. They made an agreement that he would work on/fix up/clean the place up from some past tenants abuse and basically keep the place up. Since he has moved in he has had the furnace repaired, cleaned out a mountain of trash and brought the house back to nice looking order. The forman is very happy he rented the place.
It helped b/f out so much he is very appreciative to have a place like this and will do everything he can to help make it a better place.
The difference in the situation is that he has values that dont allow him to take advantage of the situation. The old landlord and him are still friends and are working on payments. It really makes a difference to some people to get a leg up once in a while.
As far as doing good goes; I really believe that what goes around comes around. One time I had a co-worker who was very poor, she was dating a man who had to leave the state for work. They couldnt afford to travel to see each other so one weekend I offered to take her down to see him. At the time it seemed like such a hassle because it took 2 entire days for the ordeal. That very next weekend I was in a hurry to get to an appointment an hour away I didnt realize I was nearly out of gas until I ran out on the freeway. I hadnt walked 20 yards before a very nice family stopped and picked me up. They didnt just dump me off at a gas station, they took me to my appointment, waited for me to finish, and returned me to my car with a gas can.
If you really feel burned...watch the movie "Pay It Forward". I try to always keep my eyes out for a chance to do a good deed because I do expect others to pay it forward. It doesnt always work out but I know that I at least did my best for someone else. You cant make yourself a chump to everyone, you have to start realizing some people just use others but there really hard people out there that just need a chance.
These people sound like the type that use everyone. I would take the advice of the others on the eviction. A property manager sounds like a good idea but I think a lawyer drawing up a contract/lease would be cheaper (for next time).
Good luck getting rid of the freeloader and keep yer chin up. There are good renters out there.