1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Rental house nightmare

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trailblazer, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I was reticent to post this but I am in a situation and I need some suggestions and/or moral support. I do not have time to explain all the details right now, but I have constant problems with one of my rental houses and I always seem to find tenants who are problematic for various reasons. My present problem is with a tenant who wanted to move in before the rental agreement started to do some work on the house. It did not really need anything; it was just cosmetics, painting and putting sealer on the aggregate stone floors.

    We agreed to the date she would start paying rent was April 15 but apparently she thinks I told her she would not have to pay any rent in April. Nothing was ever put in writing and she has not paid me anything yet. A long while back, I asked for a security deposit but she would not give me one. I should have insisted but I didn’t so now she is trying to negotiate on the security deposit as well as April rent, saying the work she did should be exchanged for rent and the security deposit. But I never agreed to that. Doing the work was her idea and I agreed to pay for certain things she needed which I plan to reimburse her for. I also agreed to pay the handyman for some minor repairs.

    I have two long e-mails I am about to send her setting the limits and telling her what I expect her to pay. I am going to tell her that if she does not like my expectations she should leave now and not sign a rental agreement. I am afraid what she will say. She puts on a “nice act” but she is very bossy and manipulative and I just cannot deal with this kind of personality.

    I have been through this before with tenants and I have an MA in Counseling Psychology so I am not stupid. Does she really think she can bully me like this? It is my house, not hers. Tenants often mistake how I cut them slack for weakness so they think they can walk all over me, but I will not allow it again.

    Why am I afraid of her? I think it is probably because I had an older sister who bullied me and I was afraid of her. At least I understand some of the dynamics but it does not take the fear away. But what can she do to me? She has been in the house since March 23 and she has not paid me one red cent. No normal landlord would put up with this. I don’t know why I allowed it. I just let people walk all over me and then I am sorry later.

    Now, I have been told by the attorneys if I want to get rid of her I have to have her sign a rental agreement and then evict her. I cannot get her to leave any other way unless she leaves voluntarily. Since she has not paid me anything, technically she is a squatter, but the law says I would have to go to court and get an expulsion and that would take longer and cost more than an eviction so they do not recommend it.

    This rental house has been my worst nightmare and it has practically taken over my life. I have another rental house and the tenant has been in there over six years and he is not a problem at all. He never complains even though there are things that need to be repaired there, but he is behind on his rent so I am not obligated by law to do repairs, and they are not serious issues. He got way behind on his rent but he got most of it paid up. He is very respectful and he never tried to manipulate me. He is constantly thanking me for allowing the rent to go unpaid until he has the money, and I have also paid his water bill a couple of times so he owes me for that. But I think he will pay as soon as he gets the money because he is honest. A little over a year ago, he owed me $11,000 but he paid $10,000 of that but then he got a little behind again. He could have just walked out owing the money and I could not have ever gotten it because he has no regular job, he has his own business, and he has no assets. But he stayed and paid. It is sad that we live in a society where there aren’t many people like him that can be trusted.
     
  2. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    822
    Ratings:
    +501
    Religion:
    Sikh
    One never lets anyone cross the threshold without a written agreement specifying everything in detail. There are websites such as Cozy that allow one to use boiler plate agreements and there are websites such as www.landlord.com and www.biggerpockets.com where you may find individuals with experiences similar to yours that can offer some personal experience outcomes
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Thanks for the websites. I knew better than to let her in there with nothing in writing, but now we have to sort it out. I cannot say why I do these things as if I don't know better, it must be something in my unconscious mind. :(
     
  4. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    37,114
    Ratings:
    +13,969
    Religion:
    Love
    Even with the MA you have in Counseling Psychology, I think it's almost impossible to hold your own mirror up to yourself. I hope you can find someone to help you delve into the pattern you write about.

    Outside of that, all I can do is wish you have the best possible outcome.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I might still have the feelings but I do not have to continue the behavior.
    I am putting a stop to the pattern right now by setting the boundary with her. If she does not like it she can vacate the premises.
     
  6. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    15,405
    Ratings:
    +4,426
    Religion:
    deist
    Hello Trailblazer......
    I'm more worried about you than your tenancies.

    The very very best advice that I can give to you is this:-

    Either give up the extra houses that you own or go to a proper professional Letting Agency to handle tenancies for you.

    You seem to be continually at war with tenants, have (more or less) even referred to some as evil or wicked when it has seemed that they actually have cases against you.

    I think that you are wasting the precious days and nights of your life in upset for dollars that you don't need. It's completely wonky, imo.

    Now I guess you'll think that I am wicked too? Come on! Letting properties was never for you..... never was. :)
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    15,695
    Ratings:
    +11,117
    Religion:
    None

    My first thoughts here are :-

    1, you shouldn't be handling this yourself, it's time for you to sit back, relax and enjoy life.

    2, consider a letting agent. They always have a constant supply of prospective tenants who it is in their interest to check their financial suitability, after all, if the tenant doesn't pay then they don't get their cut.

    3, think about selling the properties and investing the money. Maybe not as profitable but far less stressful.

    4, this is closing the door after the horse has bolted but simply make sure everything concerning a tenancy is written down with copies to the tenant.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    151,437
    Ratings:
    +42,948
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    Tis as though you're channelling me thru your own brain.
    Btw, I respected your privacy by not poking around in there.
    I even ignored that memory of the Chippendales incident.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5,601
    Ratings:
    +2,223
    I have many rentals. My wife is a paralegal. Her skills and knowledge is essential for our business. You have to know how the laws affect you and the renter. It's different per state. In California, where I'm from, the laws are very tenant friendly.

    You should have had a lease signed detailing everything you wanted. And then you should have collected the rent and deposit before releasing the keys. That deposit is your leverage against bad behavior.

    At this point, it really depends on the laws of your state. I would suggest to you to go through court to evict her. If you have emails proving her situation with your house then they should favor on your side.
     
  10. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    15,695
    Ratings:
    +11,117
    Religion:
    None
    Channelling you through my brain? So were you also involved in the Chippendales incident?

    And feel free to poke all you want, but be aware, i may poke back
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    151,437
    Ratings:
    +42,948
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    @Wirey & I were the live band.
     
  12. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    15,695
    Ratings:
    +11,117
    Religion:
    None
    What live band? Was there music? I missed that ;-)
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    151,437
    Ratings:
    +42,948
    Religion:
    Bokononism
    I said we were the live band.
    I never said there was music.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Well Badge, thanks for that advice and concern. I know your heart is in the right place.

    Here are my thoughts...

    I do not think it is good to generalize from one to many or even from two to many since that is illogical...

    Sure, I have had some bad tenants, but I have also had some good tenants. Every landlord knows this. You only know about the two bad tenants I have had, not about the good ones. Moreover, in 10years of renting that house and 8 years of renting the other house we have, not one tenant has ever caused any property damage. Aside from the man who is trying to sue me, the worst thing they have done is not pay rent or leave junk on the property.

    Let’s look at the reality of the situation. I have two rental houses. I have no problem with the one housethat has had the same tenant for over six years. Before him, I had another great tenant in that house,and we remain friends. She always paid the rent and took care of the house and never complained.

    The problems I have had are with the other rental house. Part of the reason is because it is a rustic country house and people simply do not seem to understand that even though I advertise it as such. Then some tenants expect it to be “Better Homes &Gardens.” The smart ones who know their own minds walk away when they come to see it and do not like it. But some other have big dreams that they are going to make it into a palace.

    The thing is, I never promised them a palace, so if they want to spend their time and money fixing it up I don’t mind. I had one good tenant who always paid rent on time and she remodeled the kitchen and the bathroom. She was creative so it cost her hardly anything in materials. I liked the rustic look. Then new tenants came on scene and didn’t like it so they changed it, a painted over what she had done. I let them do it because I do not really care, it is just a house, an investment. I am a little sentimental about the house since it was our first house as a married couple, and we lived there for 17 years, but I do not love it as if it was a human or an animal.

    Now, about the letting agent (what we call a property management company here in the United States). I do not mind paying someone to manage it but i do not even know if they would manage it because it is rustic so it probably would not meet their standards. However, that does not mean it is uninhabitable. It meets the standards of habitability by state law. Moreover, even if they would manage it, I do not think they would take the same care I do to find tenants. You see, I have had some good tenants who stayed several years. The primary mistake I have made (that the property management companies would not tolerate) with one of those tenants who stayed five years is that I let her get behind the rent and trusted she would pay me later. The other one vacated on her own because she had to move for personal reasons.

    As I think you know a property management company would not allow people to do remodeling and they would not allow rent to be late either. These tenants know that full well, so they would rather rent from an owner like me who is more flexible. Then some of them like this one in the OP complain. I have had it with their complaints. If people do not LIKE the house, the solution is not to rent it in the first place. I am not a mind-reader. I do not find these things out until AFTER they move in. In this case though, I have nipped it in the bud because she has no rental agreement so I can ask her to shove off. One attorney yesterday told me his advice was to post the notice on the door “3 day pay or vacate.”

    I am in the right here with the tenant in the OP. That other tenant that lived there previously is still pursuing litigation and time will tell if he has any case at all. The only thing I could have possibly done wrong was to rent the house to him when it was in need of repairs, with the stipulation that the repairs would be completed as soon as possible. He went into that with open eyes and signed a lease that said “accepts house in its present condition.” So the only legal issue is of habitability. Did the fact that about one this of the house was unusable render the house uninhabitable? So far, several attorneys have said no to that.

    If he has health issues from mold exposure that is because he tore the house apart and exposed the mold into the environment, and that was a breach of my lease, because I did not give him permission to tear things apart.

    Moreover, if he did not LIKE the conditions I told him he could vacate the second month and I would give him all his deposits back. He chose to stay so one has to ask why. Then he continued to try to manipulate me into hiring him to do the work the house needed and he was going to charge me three times what the insurance company gave me for those repairs. The man had lied to his attorney, pretty much everything he told him was a lie. I now that because I know what really happened and there is no “gray area” on some of the things he said. Even if he had health effects from the mold the question is whether I am liable. My insurance company took the claim and I have an attorney assigned to it so she will sort it out. If they pay out on his damage claim I do not care anymore. That is just how these things work out sometimes. Justice is not always served.

    You need not assume that my keeping these two rental houses is all about the money they bring in. There is more to it than that. We talked about this before. If I sold the houses I would have to pay capital gains and I would have to do something with the money. I own them free and clear so that is a lot of money. I have a lot in the stock market and I do not want to put any more into it, since nobody knows what the future economy holds.

    So, in my mind, it makes more logical sense to keep the rental houses and find a stable tenant for the one I talked about in the OP. That is exactly what I was working on, because this woman had plans to settle in and stay a long time, but she cannot have the upper hand because it is not her house. If she comes to understand that we can work together but if not she will not be renting the house and I will find someone else to rent it. When I advertised it on Craigslist, I had over 200 inquiries in two weeks. It is an easy house to rent because it is so unique, a country house on acreage on the river close to town, and the rent is reasonable.

    Moreover, even if she rents it, she will have a monthly rental agreement, not a lease with a one year term, so I can ask her to leave any month I want to and I do not need to give her a reason. In other words, she is at my mercy. I will do what is necessary by law for a landlord to do but she has to pay the rent and abide by the rental contract.

    This is kind of like what happened on that forum where the owner came down on me about the forum rules. I was not really breaking the rules, he broke his own rules and I proved it, but he was the owner so he can DO whatever he wants to DO. I have no say in what he does, so my only choice was to leave. Likewise, if that prospective tenant does not want to play by my rules, she can leave.
     
  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Thanks Christine, you are very kind. I also like the way you reason things out. See what I said to @ oldbadger above regarding 1, 2, and 3.

    Regarding 4, I will make sure that I have everything in writing from now on; even communications between me and her are going to me on e-mail, not on the phone. That way I have a record of what was said. And she won’t be staying there much longer without a written rental agreement. The problem is, I cannot give her that until she gives me all the money I require, unless I have a separate agreement stating she can pay some of it in the coming months. I told her I would allow her to pay the last month’s rent in installments over the next few months, but she has to pay the security deposit and the rent that is now due.

    Yes, I know I should either handle this so it is not causing so much stress or sell the house. My atheist friends on my forum have been telling me this for years. We only have one life, at least on this planet, and I do not intend to spend the rest of it under this kind of stress. The thing is that my husband does not like to do what I would do if I had the time, travel, so we are stuck at home. Also, we have 10 cats so that makes travel difficult. As such, I have adjusted and I stay at home when I am not at work. That’s okay for now, because I see people at work and I have the forums and the cats when I am at home. I also get outdoors a lot since I have three hour bike commute to and from work. That is the extent of my recreation. :rolleyes:
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Messages:
    9,048
    Ratings:
    +2,055
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    I live in Washington State and the laws are also very tenant friendly. I know the landlord-tenant laws like the back of my hand.

    I should have “something” in writing before I gave her the keys, but she was not yet ready to move in and she wanted to do some work to make the hose more to her liking. At the time I saw no harm in that since the house was vacant and I trusted her. I figured that with no rental agreement or lease she could not hold, me to anything. The mistake I made was not having the conversations in an e-mail such that I could have something in writing. She did not use e-mail much and preferred to talk on the phone. I know what we agreed to verbally but apparently she thinks I agreed to something else. I almost cannot believe she is doing this, but maybe from her perspective I am not being fair because she thought I had agreed to what she wanted. I do not think she is lying, I think she really thought I agreed to what I never agreed to.

    So now we have to move on and decide what to do. My point to her when I sent two long e-mails last night, is that I am the landlord and she is the tenant and she cannot be telling me what to do. This is completely improper and disrespectful, so if she does not cease and desist, I will not give her a rental contract.

    The reason I did not give her a rental agreement sooner is because she was not yet officially a paying tenant until April 15 and I thought it was to my advantage to get to know more about her from working with her until the official move-in date. I figured that if she was working out, I would then be more confident about giving her a rental agreement, but if she was not working out I could ask her to leave.

    What I did not know was the laws about squatter’s rights. Since she had not yet given me any money and she has not signed a rental agreement, technically she is considered a squatter, so now if she refused to vacate I would have to do a legal procedure called an expulsion, which I was told is not as easy as an eviction. The attorney and the WA Landlord Assn. legal assistant told me this, but then I looked it up online and came to discover there is a new law in WA state whereby a property owner can bypass the legal procedure and have law enforcement remove a squatter. But she really is not a squatter and we can probably work it out, so this is just the worst case scenario.

    In my e-mail to her last night, I told her that an attorney suggested that I post a 3-day pay or vacate notice at this point. I am sure she did not like that I have to be up front and honest. She has been trying to use the ploy that the house was not move-in ready so she had to work on it before moving in, and I should give her free rent for that, but my contractor told me it was habitable on March 25, so just because it was not up to her “Better Homes & Gardens” specs does not mean it was not habitable according to the state law.

    I think that what happened is that she thought she could order me around because I let her do what she wanted up until now and I did everything she asked me to do. So she just kept going, like a steamroller. It would be in her best interest to back down at this point and just pay what I am asking her to pay, the security deposit and the rent that is due.

    She responded to my e-mail and she has backed down somewhat. She says she has the money for the security deposit but she still thinks we agreed she won’t have to pay for the second half of April. I responded and told her that she has to pay for the second half of April. If she agrees to pay that this could work out for both of us. I know she really wants to stay so hopefully she will agree to pay and we can move forward with the rental agreement.
     
  17. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    15,405
    Ratings:
    +4,426
    Religion:
    deist
    Hi........
    Rabbi Lionel Blue put it very clearly:-
    'We need good friends, but good enemies are even more valuable.
    Good enemies will tell us important things about ourselves, whereas good friends would never say a word.'


    In the past you have told us on RF that you have been so fraught and upset that you have considered suicide.

    The reality has always seemed to be that you are very very unhappy about a lot of things. I never read a post of yours which showed that you are contented harmony. Anybody who really really loves you would be speaking loudly to you about a bunch of things. imo.

    Do you write this kind of stuff in the Ts&Cs?

    ...so it's nothing to do with Capital Gains?

    You see? You knew what would happen..... true?

    I think you love attorneys, Trailblazer.
    I wonder if you have paid out more money to lawyers than you would have done to a decent Letting Agent?

    If you are wasting your life over this stuff then you are in the wrong. You won't starve in any event, just continue in your depressions. That is a loss.

    Trailblazer...... so you have more houses than you need, more stocks and shares than you need, and more money than you need, yet you write to us to tell us of all your 'hardships'?
    There are members on here who struggle for a bed and something to eat. It's up to them to introduce themselves, so I will not.

    There are many members here who could help you, I clearly cannot. The one member who absolutely has been bouncing around in my mind whilst writing this is @Amanaki .
    I really do think that you should have a conversation with Amanaki. I just can't get my head around people who tell me that they are in hell over their money, stocks and material wealth.

    I'm sorry........ you probably didn't want to hear any of that.
     
  18. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5,601
    Ratings:
    +2,223
    If she hasn't paid you for any service then I think that would qualify for a 3-day notice to pay or quit.

    But still, you should have a written contract signed and, especially, the deposit funded before moving forward.

    Others are noting that this might not be worth all the troubles if you do not want to deal with it.

    I would suggest the other side of the same coin concerning perspective. Being a landlord comes with various responsibilities and hardship, some of which are having to deal with untrustworthy tenants. I've had multiple situations with bad tenants and even had to involve the police in various cases. It's just part of the job. It's worth more to me as I'm still profitable.

    Good luck.
     
  19. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Messages:
    822
    Ratings:
    +501
    Religion:
    Sikh
    @suncowiam

    With apologies to @Trailblazer - for hijacking her thread - what do you do about maintenance and repair? Do it yourself or have a set of people that can attend to stuff that breaks in a reasonable time?

    I have about 4 jobs and so use a Prop Mgt Co (or as our european friends have mentioned a letting agency) for my properties
     
  20. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    5,601
    Ratings:
    +2,223
    I have properties in my city, and i'm an engineer, so I can do most simple/basic repairs. For larger scale projects, I have to source it out to contractors. It depends on the project but I find the best bid on Yelp. Their rating also matters. In general, my wife and I manage our local properties just fine.

    I also have properties in the same state but around several hours of commute time away. For these, I have do maintenance when I can afford to commute, but mostly I built a social community of contractors for most of my needs. It's a growth process and it changes over time. It just depends on how much time you're willing to do it yourself versus having others do it. For these remote properties, we pay our wife's friend to be our psuedo property manager. We still do all the contracting and legal stuff but the friend is there physically to present letters, sign contracts, exchange funds, keys and any other physical stuff that we can't do remotely.
     
Loading...