Help! - Suspect Tenants are Using My Home for Illegal Activities!! - Posted by Randy

Posted by Jim IL on April 10, 2000 at 20:07:18:


Help! - Suspect Tenants are Using My Home for Illegal Activities!! - Posted by Randy

Posted by Randy on April 10, 2000 at 16:20:37:

Seven months ago I rented a SFH to a couple of young women in their 30’s. These women have always paid their rent on time and have only called 3 times about minor repairs in the time they’ve lived there. However, I got a call from the neighbor last night (he was my neighbor when I lived in the house, so I gave him my number in case there was ever a problem) and he was upset with me. He said that men are coming by the home constantly and at all hours of the night. He demanded that I put an end to it or he would call the police. I was shocked! But I don’t know what to do - I have no proof and don’t know what they’re doing in there. They could be selling drugs, running a brothel, or just having parties every night. Based on what he told me, I suspect the house is being used for turning tricks. I don’t want to be accusatory because I may be wrong. Any advice? Has anyone else had this happened?

Re: Help! - Suspect Tenants are Using My Home for Illegal Activities!! - Posted by Ben in Ohio

Posted by Ben in Ohio on April 11, 2000 at 07:03:44:

Sounds like a legal question. Call your attorney for advice.

Re: Help! - Suspect Tenants are Using My Home for Illegal Activities!! - Posted by Lynda (OR)

Posted by Lynda (OR) on April 10, 2000 at 19:22:40:

Be careful! Make sure you check out carefully any allegations and document your due dilegence. I have read of several cases recently where the owners have been sued because of illegal activities going on in their properties (one was prostitution and the other was drug running where the tenant was shot at through the door and wounded and then the tenant sued the owner saying that he should have been aware that they were dealing drugs and did nothing to stop it). I don’t know the outcome, but who needs those kind of headaches? All landlords need to take all allegations seriously and check them out. Other tenants not involved could also sue you if a robbery or assault took place due to these illegal activities, not to mention all your ‘good’ tenants fleeing.

Try Writing a Letter - Posted by Bill K. (AZ)

Posted by Bill K. (AZ) on April 10, 2000 at 17:51:53:


Communication is the key. I would write them a letter explaining that you have received complaints from a neighbor about the late night activities. Tell them that a neighbor has threatened to call the police, and you wanted to give them an opportunity to remedy any problem themselves first. Remind them that the neighbors have the right to “quiet enjoyment” of their homes. Since you have no proof of any illegal activity, don’t make accusations or assumptions. Be polite, but make sure they understand that you are concerned.

If there is nothing untoward going on in the home, then the tenants may choose to do nothing. If something is amiss, then they may choose to correct the problem before the authorities are called.

Writing a letter does 3 important things for you.

  1. It reminds the tenants know that you will not tolerate disturbances coming from your home.
  2. They’ll also know that you have someone looking out for your interests.
  3. It lets the authorities know that you have tried to remedy the situation, and not simply ignored it. This is extremely important in communities where the laws state that the home may be confiscated. If you show that you have tried to rectify the problem, this should go a long way towards keeping your home if confiscation is threatened.

Finally, let the neighbor who complained know when you send the letter. If the “problem” is not corrected within a reasonable period of time, then tell the neighbor you support them if they choose to call the police.

You may find more advice at

I hope this helps.

Bill K. (AZ)

Yes, excellent advice! - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on April 11, 2000 at 09:47:43:

Send that letter CERTIFIED/Return-Receipt.

For the small inconvenience of having to wait in line at the post office, they (tenants) won’t be able to come back on you and say, ‘we never received your letter’.