Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Kristin

Posted by Laure on January 06, 1999 at 20:58:07:

I won’t deal with my Tenants at all anymore. Not since they cussed us out and flailed their fists at us. I had my attorney call them… sure took the aggravation out of the pit of my stomach. Although, I don’t think they have made contact yet… they are not returning the attorney’s calls !! LOL But the lawsuit is filed, and we go to court on the 15th


Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Kristin

Posted by Kristin on January 06, 1999 at 10:11:52:

Any advice from you seasoned landlords?
We rented to a couple from out of state. Originally, they planned to move in on Jan. 1. They were selling their house in MO. On Dec. 9, the wife called and told me they had to move in no later than the 20th because their buyers were moving in early.
I had a home-tender in the house and was required to give her 15 days notice, which was impossible in this situation, so I offered to move her at my cost to another of our houses which had just come available, and give her 2 weeks free rent to make up for the short notice. She agreed. It cost me $1300 to move her, but we got it done.
The new couple wanted to rent for four months,then buy the home once they got their new office set up. That was fine with me. We agreed to do certain additional updates on the house in the event that they decided to purchase. (The wife didn’t like the kitchen counters or the trim paint on the exterior.)
They move in on the 20th (Sunday). On the 23rd, they call us, and have complaints about some things in the house. (Very Minor). I tell them to make a list and fax it to me, and we’ll get it taken care of. So I get this list(8 pm on the 23rd) saying that the locks must be changed immediately, because they’ve interviewed the neighbors and the previous tenant was a druggie(night worker), the cable wires hang out too far from the wall, the master sink drips,the hall toilet wiggles, and there is a hairline crack in a window. . The locks should have been changed before they got into town,but my locksmith wasn’t around on Sunday, and I just didn’t get it done- my fault! The 24th, my locksmith goes to the house at 1pm. The tenant sends him away, saying she’s already had the locks changed. My locksmith is irked, but he leaves.
I can’t get anyone else out before Christmas.
4pm Christmas eve she leaves a voice mail which says that I am to send an electrician out immediately because her dryer is a different voltage than the house, and she wants the laundry room rewired. 6 pm Christmas Eve, she leaves another voice mail which says “I am NOT going to a laundromat- Call me immediately”.
I call her. No one is in. This happens three times. Christmas Day, I don’t call her. The 26th I call, and explain to her husband that they need an adapter. He says I’m wrong,the house needs to be rewired. I explain to him that the house is 220v, as it should be, but their dryer is 110v. The adaptor is readily available,but it’s his responsiblity. I tell him we haven’t received the prorated rent check. He says it’s in the mail.
The 29th, no rent check has arrived. We leave him a message that the repairman is coming out the following day, and that the rent check must have been lost in the mail. Please cancel it and send one by Fed Ex (same town).
The rent check arrives the following day with the deduction for their locksmith and no receipt.
The repairman does their repairs. Yesterday, I talk to them, and they have not sent January’s rent check. I let them know that company policy has just changed, and we will be sending out a notice to all tenants that all payments must be by money order or cashier’s check starting Feb. 1( I have a majority partner on this house whose office is out of state, and they want certified funds.)
The wife informs me that she doesn’t care what I send her in writing, she will not under any circumstances pay by certified funds,and she’ll go to her lawyer if I press the issue.
At this point, I want her out, because she’s driving me insane. (The post was to long to mention the 40+ other calls and pages I received in detail). Any suggestions?

Change in Rental Terms Question - Posted by John Katitus

Posted by John Katitus on January 07, 1999 at 24:22:35:

A question for those more knowledgeable in legalities than I am: After you sign a rental agreement with a tenant, can’t you amend that agreement by providing written notice of the change and a reasonable time to implement it?

Obviously the amendment could not alter the basic agreement, but if a tenant’s check gets “lost in the mail” or bounces, wouldn’t it be reasonable to amend your agreement to stipulate that due to those reasons future rent payments must be delivered to you in certified funds? And if this is reasonable, wouldn’t a tenant either have to accept and abide by this change in terms or decline, void the agreement, and vacate (or be evicted)?

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by John Katitus

Posted by John Katitus on January 07, 1999 at 24:12:12:

Every landlord that has encountered these type tenants understands your frustration and outrage. It’s easy to sit here and bravely tell you what I would do (or maybe should have done when it happened to me).

Some landlords treat their tenants like scum and some treat them like people. And vice-versa. Like you, I long ago decided to treat mine like people, and in so doing assume that they have the same needs and are responsible and reasonable as I am. If they need help and understanding, and I can provide it without a great amount of cost or exertion on my part, I try to provide it.

If you treat your tenants like ignorant children, they will treat you like an overbearing bully. But they won’t often be able to take advantage of your good nature.

I’m not sure your tenants planned this entire scheme. I think it’s more likely that they are arrogant and overbearing. Just like some people think landlords should be.

It is time, however, to end your relationship as quickly and cleanly as possible. Things won’t get better if you do just one more thing that they want. Instead, they will tell you how irritated they are about two other things.

The easiest way would be for them to send their rent late. The first day it’s late, post a notice on their door telling them to vacate according to your State’s laws. Then evict them if necessary. After all the other money you have spent on them, paying a lawyer to evict them would probably be well worth the cost. Then you can take them to Small Claims court to collect the legal fees. Good Luck.

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Irwin

Posted by Irwin on January 06, 1999 at 23:05:24:

Does anyone use a clause in their lease requiring the tenant to pay for repairs under a certain amount, say $50-75. I’ve heard landlords sometimes do this and it would seem to be a handy device to eliminate the little annoying calls. If it’s a small repair job, it’s their responsibility.
This is why the lease option is such a great tool. If you had done the l/o up front, all repairs afterward would have been theirs. Our l/o form states that the tenant accepts the property in “as is” condition.
The only thing I’ll ever get involved in are the serious problems like roof leaks, furnace, or electric or plumbing problems, because it is my house, and it has to be in safe and habitable condition for them live in and to get financed. But if they call me with minor crap I just tell them point blank that if they can’t handle it themselves, they are free to move, and I’ll refund their rent pro-rata for the month.
Actually, (and truthfully) I’m a pussycat and a sap for a sob story. Therefore I’m always sending out a guy to fix something or other. Most of which I pay for, because the tenants don’t have any money, especially if they’re paying my rent. BUT, I never, never cater to the kind of people you have described. After what you did to get them in early, I would have told them in no uncertain terms to stuff their repair list where the sun don’t shine, and if they don’t like it they can move immediately. Always help people in genuine need, but NEVER, NEVER let them dictate to you. You are not their servant, as some tenants like to believe.

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by George

Posted by George on January 06, 1999 at 22:07:48:

  1. No one moves in until they pay 1 months rent + security.
  2. Lease that spells out things like responsibility for repair, acceptable forms of rent and due date. Discount rent for on time payment is a beautiful thing.
  3. Use a move-in / move-out form. On day one, tenant signs a checklist stating that appliances, locks, heat, electric, air conditioning, etc, etc, etc is in working order. Pull out the same checklist when tenant leaves and be sure everything is still in working order.
    I would have given them a day or two for the check and then hit them with notice to vacate for non-payment of rent. Whatever the rules are in your state, you are simply serving them with formal notice that you are not playing around and you will immediately file for eviction. Tenants are just like children, they need to know the rules right from the beginning. If the first check is late and they get away with it, you’ll never see an on-time check.

Re: Troublesome tenant question…Answer! - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on January 06, 1999 at 21:29:19:


You know what I would so with these tenants?

If I was going to keep them, I would do this. when she starts her whining, look her in the eye and say:

“You know what? You are right!!! You deserve a better place to live then here. If I was you I’d move. There is no reason you should be living in a place like this. Oh, by the way, if I don’t get my rent by the second, you’ll be getting a eviction notice.”

Then turn around and leave. If she calls again just ignore the call. If she doesn’t pay, drop the hammer on her!

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on January 06, 1999 at 20:50:26:

oh !!! ME TOO !! I have a pain like yours, except mine is just around the corner from me. He refused to put his complaints in writing, and quit paying his rent after 4 months. I have gone to small claims to get possession of my property, and sued him for 6500.00 which is the balance of his lease. I am finding that my upscale homes are getting Tenants like these. I am about ready to go back to “cheap” homes.

Good Luck,
Laure :slight_smile:

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 06, 1999 at 19:28:01:

I would immediately get to a lawyer and find out your options on eviction. Do I hear “Pacific Heights”?

Didn’t you check these people out before you rented to them? I always require a very thorough investigation before I just hand over a 50K-100K piece of property to a stranger. Also deposit and 1st months rent are ALWAYS cash or certified funds. Deposit gets paid when they sign the lease and 1st months rent is paid before they get the keys.

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Johnman

Posted by Johnman on January 06, 1999 at 15:40:38:


It sounds like you just encountered “professional tenants”. I would suggest contacting your lawyer immediately. Be swift and get it over with. Tenants like this will drain your energy and resources.


Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Reif

Posted by Reif on January 06, 1999 at 12:41:26:

Oh by the way . . .

Did you get a set of the new keys (and make sure they work???


Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by MilNC

Posted by MilNC on January 06, 1999 at 11:54:23:

I woudl get an atty immediately and follow local laws regarding eviction.
This appears to me to be a pre-orchestrated scam, not
just a series of unrelated events.
Did they infact own a hous in MO?
Their buyers moving in early (if in fact there were any) was a negotiation on their part, not YOUR problem.
They should have had MORE money (for your rent or a motel) not less, to compensate them for having to move on short notice.
They could have stayed in a motel, and stored their things with the mover.
So, first mistake, you let them convince you that their
problems were your problems. I have heard this set -up
before, on this board-that they "have to move in early. On a Sunday–how convenient.

We don’t know what your contract with your house sitter
says, but you doubly compensated her, 1st with the move, then with free rent.

By saying they “wanted to rent for four months, then buy the house”, they essentially made you think of some future reward- a sale,or that they would be good tenants, while keeping you obligated as a landlord, and then finding things wrong, starting with
the usual obligations, like safe electricity (what a miracle that their dryer doesn’t fit your wiring-but that isn’t your responsibilty, since you didn’t provide the dryer), and
of course the locks (by “having to move in early”), they of course gave you no time to change them. My current understanding of a lease/option is that the tenant/future buyer is responsible for repairs or whatever you want to work out, like you pay for repairs over a certain amount. Also, the L/O concept is sugested as a benefit to investors partly just because there are no tenant hassles–but I may have missed something. So, you have no rent and no option money, no deposit.

Cable wires can easily be stuffed back into the wall, so that is bogus.

Did the rent check bounce yet? If it’s local, you can
go to their main branch and get cash for it same day.

This is not going to end. They have no intention of paying full rent, but will continue to deduct, with no receipts and threaten you; they will attempt to find
a way to pay no rent at all, and then leave, or fight the eviction and drag you into a long court hassle. This is their business. This is what they do for a living. The wife is a bully.

So, have the atty review your rental agreement, send
appropriate letters, and I think you can have him get them to send the rent to the atty’s office and refer all questions to atty’s office or see if a management co will take care of this (I don’t know) and get you out of the loop.

Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 07, 1999 at 17:30:51:

My lease requires the first $30 to be paid. In addition they are responsible for all of the following on their own: broken windows, stopped drains (except for acts of God, tree roots, etc.), locksmith services, carpet cleaning, pest extermination, and a new clause that I just drafted a week ago…ALL appliances are now “as is”.

First $75 of repairs per month - Posted by johnman

Posted by johnman on January 07, 1999 at 24:03:25:


My lease states tenant is responsible for the first $75 of repairs per month. I don’t have problems with repairs. Sometimes they forget so I just refer them to that section of the lease. Case closed.


Re: Troublesome tenant question - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on January 06, 1999 at 20:53:09:

Mine were previous home owners just transferred to this city… Mine checked out, my guy is just an arrogant A-- He came to my front door and cussed my husband out because we didn’t wash the windows !!! LOL

Laure :slight_smile: