Boy did I mess up! . Help Please! (Kinda Long) - Posted by Brad

Posted by sfshadow on January 23, 2001 at 15:52:36:

Thanks so much for posting your story, it is tempting to enter into deals with tradesmen it all sounds so reasonable and thrifty in the beginning. I like contracts, certificates of insurance, deadlines etc…I actually had a seductive (not sex…)conversation with a guy who could do work for me, tried to convince me he would work while living in a rehab, blah, blah…I said no. As a paralegal I also look at all liability stuff, do you really want someone living in a property that isn’t really habitable?, equipment left around, possible electrical problems, you all have been around work sites…also, why would someone who is supposed to work for rent work at rocket speed?

And Brad your attorney was so right. Everyone…never, never, never turn the utilities off on a tenant. Especially if you screwed up and didn’t take care of business. that is just wrong. Also, don’t change locks without the sheriff present. just my 2 cents.

Boy did I mess up! . Help Please! (Kinda Long) - Posted by Brad

Posted by Brad on January 23, 2001 at 10:45:54:

Ahh… the old landlord tenant problem.
I bought the property a few months ago for rehab and then rental. Had a guy who did painting work for me in the past as well as a few freinds. He needed a place to stay and I needed painting work done as well as some carpentry which his freind does. I said fine, my wife’s known both of these guys for years, and it seems like a good deal to me - work in exchange for a place to live for two months. The carpenter did his work Ok but the painter hurt his leg and couldn’t work. Fine I said I’ll paint. So I did and everything’s fine I thought. The carpenter moved out early so no problem there, but the painter is refusing to move and claims he hurt his leg on the property which is b.s. because the carpenter says it was down the street.
My problem - No Lease (stupid, stupid, stupid!) Our agreement should be over at the end of january, but he says he’s not moving.
I have the 3-day notice to pay rent form, but the spaces are for failure to pay $ rent and nothing about exchanges or work. Should I still use this one and just fill in the rental amount I should be getting?
I also have the notice terminating tenancy form but I have to file it before 15 days of the end of the month. Which means I might have to wait until the end of febuary before he’s out if I go this way. Should I fill out both forms just to CMA?
Thanks in advance,

Re: Boy did I mess up! . Help Please! (Kinda Long) - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on January 23, 2001 at 12:09:33:

I would get a good attorney real quick.

Having said that, I had sick tenant once, and some of the same issues may apply here. It seems a tenancy had been created and an evicition may be in order.

In my case, my tenant got very sick - though I don’t know of what. When I visited him - he looked absolutely horrible. Though he’s 45 years old, his mother paid the rent for nearly a year. One day she called me to say that I’ll have to evict since she can’t keep paying the rent.

I called my attorney and described the situation. He outlined two alternatives:

1- Kill him with kindness. Offer to find a place and help with the moving. Maybe his mom would pay for a cheaper place.

2- Take the hardline eviction route. The problem is that courts tend to give an automatic 30 day delay for illness, and another 30 days with a doctor’s note. And if he shows up in court looking the way he does, a judge may yet give him another 60 days or more. This is beyond the 30 days notice that you’re providing.

There are two other options

A - Shut off the utilities - electric, water etc., that is, if its still on. Since he wasn’t really a tenant, I assume the utilities ar eunder your name. One consideration is he may retaliaite and wreck the place, which is difficult if he really has a bad leg.

B- Safety/zoning issues: After the electric and water is shut off, and he lives on bottled water and candles - you can complain to the town about fire and health hazards he’s created. The town may have to give this poor man emergency shelter. One friend of mine had a group of squatters evicted on the grounds that the one family house is not zoned for boarding house purposes.

The advantage of using the safety and health argumant is that hearing on these issues are expedited and his bad leg is not the main consideration.

You’ll have to be the judge of which option is better.

Re: Boy did I mess up! . Help Please! (Kinda Long) - Posted by Brad

Posted by Brad on January 23, 2001 at 12:46:29:

I thought about shutting off the utilities also but I looked up the landlord/tenant statutes here in florida and it seems they consider that cruel and unusual and expressly forbid it.
I called him this morning and said we were on the way to the courthouse and that I was wondering if we could work this out man to man but he said there was nothing to talk about so the kindness thing is out.
Talked to an attorney an hour ago and she said to give him a bill for next month (when he was actually to start paying) and wait until he defaults on the first of Feb. and then serve him with the 3-day notice thing. And after that a notice of lease termination which apparantly will keep him there for another month.
My first landlord experience was a dream and this is my second and turning out to be a nightmare.
BTW - he separated his achillies tendon and has a cast from big toe to upper thigh so I’m worried about the court apperance thing also. You know - crippled, no job, no money and me the big bad fatcat landlord throwing him out in the street! How dare me! But alas, the mortgage payment still comes in the mail and I recently lost my J.O.B.

Re: Boy did I mess up! . Help Please! (Kinda Long) - Posted by Jim Locker

Posted by Jim Locker on January 23, 2001 at 13:31:26:

Your attorney has given you some good advice.

One thing you should keep in mind is that eviction courts see the same things over and over. Usually the tenant has some deadbeat excuse for not paying; occasionally the LL is at fault.

So you shouldn’t worry about the perception of the fat cat LL evicting the poor injured pitiful tenant. They won’t blame you. After all, you are in business and you can’t go to your bank and sob to them “my poor tenant can’t pay me, so I can’t pay you.”

That said, a prosecutor just three months ago said to our Real Estate Investment Group that he wished we wouldn’t evict pregnant, unemployed, single tenants who weren’t paying. He said something about us needing to have “compassion”, or something like that.

Personally, I reserve my compassion for those who deserve it. And my feelings of compassion drop substantially when I am not getting paid, and my resources are being consumed, and I have to dig into my reserves to pay the mortgage.

Update - Posted by Brad

Posted by Brad on January 23, 2001 at 14:58:40:

Just found out he’s done this twice before and one of those times he took it all the way to court but the landlord won. Funny thing, he told me he won that one, and he’ll win this one. Seems He’s blowing smoke.

Certified letter went out at 3:15et today stating rent and security are due by the first…We’ll see.

Kinda glad I purchased this one through my new corporation :wink: (learned that right here)
Good thing I found this site. And a good thing my new pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-rent and security giving, lease signing tenants are the patient kind!