Tenant not responding: Request to show property - Posted by Corine

Posted by Rich-CA on October 17, 2008 at 10:30:49:

It will help filter out the less good tenants. Tenants search in price bands and a $2000 per month tenant does not look at a $1700 per month place. Not even likely on their list. Also, you need to get the higher rent while you can because in a year rents may be way down. By pricing at the lower middle of your target market you are less likely to end up with tenants worse than is normal for the area yet its still positioned as a bargain. Its not a matter of gouging, its a matter of building up reserves while the market allows you to do this.

Tenant not responding: Request to show property - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 16, 2008 at 06:19:07:

Received notice a few days ago that a tenant won’t be staying on after her lease expires. Initiated a small $100 rent increase after almost three years of tenancy. I simply am bringing the property up to fare market rent, which has in this case been 3 to 400 dollars a month under market.

She has not taken it well at all and has been difficult to say the least.

I told her I was sorry, you know, I wish everything could remain the same.

I have a new prospect that is ready to sign pretty much sight unseen…but understandably wants to have a look first, to make sure my pics represent the real deal.

I kindly, very respectfully emailed the current resident and asked very nicely when would it be convenient for her and could she please let me know when this other party could have a look.

That was two days ago, and the request has been pretty much ignored.

What are my next steps?

She’s clearly bitter and has been a pain since last June when she originally received the increase…which by the way she’s never paid me. It wasn’t worth fighting with her about it.

But I’m not about to loose a good prospect because she won’t allow entry.

She keeps referring to her atty. I just need to make sure everything is spot on to the letter of the law.

California law.

Request to show property - Posted by pboone

Posted by pboone on October 16, 2008 at 06:34:55:

Here’s an excerpt from landlord.com. note it gives reference to civil code for you to follow and get more info.

  1. Tenant Privacy and the Landlordâ??s Right to Enter the Dwelling

The landlord may enter the tenantâ??s premises only for specific reasons, during normal business hours and only after the tenant has been given at least 24 hour advance notice of the landlordâ??s intent to enter the dwelling {Civil Code Sec. 1954}. The only reasons a landlord may enter the dwelling are; 1. In an emergency, 2. To make necessary repairs, 3. To make agreed repairs, 4. To show the rental to prospective tenants, mortgagees or purchasers, 5. When the tenant has abandoned or vacated the premises or 6. Pursuant to court order.

Re: Request to show property - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 16, 2008 at 06:49:20:

Yep! I have the NOLO CA Landlord’s law book. I read the same thing.

I needed to be more specific. What type of notice do I need to present to her? I’m sure an email doesn’t suffice. Posting on the door? along with an email?

I’m personally not physically able to be there in person. I’m assuming if I write a contract with a property manager, that they would be allowed entry. Naturally, the difficult tenant would want to see the contract.

I know I’m going right to the worst case scenario, but what if she literally will not allow entry…there’s the new prospect with property manager, at the door and she physically won’t let them in. Now what?

All of her actions these past 6 mo. have been pretty spiteful. I fear cooperation; no matter how much I kiss her A-- will not be forthcoming.

Re: Request to show property - Posted by brandoncbsre

Posted by brandoncbsre on October 16, 2008 at 08:50:10:

Why not just evict her and slap a judgement on her credit for any amount owed in arrears?
I am under the impression that she has been in violation of the lease since June by not paying the increase.

Good Luck

Re: Request to show property - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 16, 2008 at 09:10:07:

I could, and have every right to do so, but there are battles I don’t have the energy for. The increase over 6 months is $600. It’s not worth the battle. She leaving and I couldn’t be happier.

In the meantime, I need to show my property. I have a friend in CA who’s hooked in with pre-paid legal and he’s going to make some calls for me today.

Basically, I can give her a three day notice if she’s insistent on digging in her heals…again; I just want everyone to act like grownups. She had the first right of refusal, said she couldn’t afford the $100 dollar increase.

I have done nothing with her rent for almost three years, and am frankly annoyed at myself for dropping the ball on the market. I’ve lost thousands over three years in lost rent.

My fault.

She saw me as an individual owner rather than me owning this place for business.

I understand from people looking, in fact the lady whom wants my place that her rent is being increased from 2250 to 2450, and if she doesn’t sign the lease or leave, the rent is 5K per mo. This is one of the large app. complex conglomerates.

This is the first property I ever owned, and like I’ve read somewhere in the past, sometimes you have to feed properties (I know this is going to illicit wild responses from some of you) in the beginning, but later, like in this case, 8 years, it’s paying off very nicely.

It will help offset other less fortunate decisions.

Being out of state is the real killer - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on October 16, 2008 at 13:39:46:

My lease (the ones I wrote for CA and AZ) allow the landlord to enter on 48 hrs notice during business hours whether or not the tenant chooses to be present. It also requires cooperation for showings and includes a fine for obstructing these.

I also have a copy of the keys so I can carry this out. If I find they have changed locks, the lease says I get to restore the lock to its original key at the tenant’s expense.

Never had to do either of those things but they were added AFTER I had the experience that told me I needed the clauses.

If your lease says she must cooperate and she does not, then you have a breach and can evict on that basis. I would start with a “Notice to Enter Dwelling Unit” provided with a delivery confirmation (which means that you know it went into her mailbox). Then if she denies access, follow up with the “Three Day Notice to Perform Conditions and/or Covenant or Quit” which is basically the “do what the lease says or get out” notice.

Re: Being out of state is the real killer - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 16, 2008 at 14:03:25:

Thanks Rich.

I sent her a second email today with, again, no response.

My keys are going out tomorrow along with the notice. It’s unfortunate, looks like I was right about her even though I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt.

I am out of state, but have more friends and acquaintances, many of them Realtors in CA than I do where I presently live.

If I have to go the route of the 3 day…I will go after the back rent increase.

Did she really think that after three years, rents going through the roof, her being literally 4-5 hundred dollars a month below market that things would remain the same?


I work my a-- off.

Using eMail - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on October 16, 2008 at 16:16:49:

I never use e-mail if things are not friendly. One reason is that while some may consider e-mail printouts to be decent court evidence. However, I used to develop collaboration systems and its not hard to make a message look like it came from anyone at any time, so I would not regard e-mail as enough documentation if things are no longer working.

If this is the same tenant you brought up before, get rid of her and be done with it. Sometimes you just have to ignore all their kicking and screaming.

I recently had a former tenant find my unlisted home phone number. They had been referred to collections and wanted me to remove it from their credit report (she was trying to get into a better apartment). She left a sob story on voice mail about being on disability and how she could only look at bad neighborhoods. My response was to forward the message to the collection agency (it contained her new last name and a phone number we did not have before). They called her. A couple of reasons I refused to listen even though we could prove the disability. First, when she had a chance to call and tell us she was having trouble the PM discovered her moving out when he showed up to make a repair she had requested. This was 5 months into a 24 month lease. Then after she left, the condition of the house - the urine and feces from her not housebroken cat - and no attempt to clean up. Plus she left behind anything she no longer wanted. Perhaps if she had left everything in good condition I would have said “forget it”, but she didn’t.

My point: some people are not worth any more than they already received and its by their own choice. If rents are going through the roof, get her out, get someone better.

Rich - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 17, 2008 at 06:44:25:

Yes, it is the same tenant from last June. She will be leaving end of December. I’ve never had this problem before, not like this.

It reminds me of what was going on in the rental market in Palo Alto in 1996 (and most likely still going on in the Bay area). Being a renter there was insane. Great for landlords though.

I guess if I look at it from her point of view, I would be very angry also. It will be very difficult, most likely impossible for her to find a comparable property…for the same price.

Thanks about the email tip. I do realize this, and will be confirming that she’s not renewing her tenancy via proper legal form sent proof of service.

Thank you.

Have you pointed out that - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on October 17, 2008 at 07:44:46:

even with your rent increase, the rent is still $xxx below market for the area (and show her the listings to back it up)? She may be feeling panic that she has nowhere to go because of the prices. Of course she does, but she’s like not thinking in terms of those being places to live.

I would send her a notice that YOU will not be renewing her tenancy. Its not as though this was the first major headache she has caused you. And if the rental market is really that good, then you should have no trouble replacing her.

Rich-Have you pointed out that - Posted by Corine

Posted by Corine on October 17, 2008 at 07:55:26:

She’s been high maintenance from the beginning. She’s pretty much laid low, most likely hoping I wouldn’t realize what’s been going on in the area.

Last June I sent a modest rent increase, which she followed up two days after, literally two days later with pics showing significant water damage to my hard wood floors.

She can find a place to live for 1700 dollars. Easily, in Escondido. A one bedroom, 15 miles inland from the coast. No problem…

I advertised the property, with pics, one time and literally within a few hours had 8 inquiries. I have a woman whom wants it desperately. Hum. Even now I realize I could go up even higher, but I’m not. I don’t want to be that greedy.

Dang. I wish all of my properties had this situation. Eight years from now. Definitely, (hopefully)

Thanks again Rich.