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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:53 PM
 
16 posts, read 13,663 times
Reputation: 15

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Ok well, I'm looking for some help or some incite to what I can do. We moved into a 4 bdr. farmhouse on 2.5 acres of land on august 18th 2013 and signed a 2 year lease, and it had some small problems but the landlord said he would fix them. We had great open communication with our landlord, but his wife not so much. We figured out very quickly that she is just money hungry. Our landlord came in and fixed most of the problems that the house had. After living in the house for a while we realized that there was a lot more wrong with the house. When we did find something we would call the landlord and let him know that this will need to be fixed in the future. One of the big problems we had was ladybugs. We were infested! We could not used 3 rooms of the house and they were everywhere. We did what we could to get rid of them but with no success. We called the landlord to let him know and he said he will fix the problem and have an exterminator come out. We waited for someone to come out from Oct 2013- Feb. 2014. NO ONE CAME. We then called the landlord again and he said he will not call someone to come out and that we will just have to live with it. We said we are infested, we can't just live with it. Moral of the story we ended up paying for terminix to come out and spray. His wife then said that we complain to much and need to move out. ( we still live here). Now he moved 15 commercial satellite dishes in the yard. We called him to see when he is going to move them and he said they are on his half of the yard and he is not moving them. We looked over the lease and it says nothing in it about sharing the property. We told him this and he sent us a letter saying if we don't agree that we share the yard then we need to move out by august 1st. We don't agree to this. nor is it in our lease. Now he is trying to evict us because we don't want them in the yard. Am I wrong by saying no? I have 3 children all under the age of 8 and I don't want them getting hurt by climbing on them. The landlord lets his friends and family get drunk and be on "their side of the yard". I don't think it is fair to be walked on like this Do you?
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:53 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 2,667,986 times
Reputation: 3016
If you are current on your rent payments and you've not violated any provisions of the lease, the landlord can't legally evict you by sending you a letter to vacate the premises. If you haven't paid the rent or are withholding it in order to pay for the exterminator, then he might be able to go to court for a formal eviction and then be able to sue for the balance owed on the lease.

Some leases require the landlord to make all necessary repairs to the house (but possibly not the appliances) and some require the tenant to pay for all or some of the repairs. It's all in the wording of the lease. An insect infestation is a serious matter in that it affects the health and safety of the tenants.

As to whether the landlord has the right to store his own things on the property, again it depends on the wording of the lease. If the lease says the "property" located at XXXXXX, then you've leased the entire property. If the lease says the "house" or "dwelling" located at XXXXX, you've just leased the house.

Of course, anything can be argued in court and my best advice to you is to seek out a lawyer specializing in landlord-tenant issues.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:32 PM
 
16 posts, read 13,663 times
Reputation: 15
Default Thank you

Thanks Well5 for your incite. Yes I am current on my rent and have never been late. The lease does say the Dwelling but it also says we are supposed to maintain the grounds. When we were looking at the house we were interesting in renting it because it was advertised that it was on 2.5 acres of land.

It says in the vacate letter that he is evicting us for damages to the home, frequently and excessively late rent, malicious dogs, disturbing the peace and disrupting the neighbors by shouting profanities while outside of the home, and setting my thermostat below 50*.

Like I said I have never been late on rent and I can prove it with receipts. I have a German Shepherd and a Rottweiler, my German Shepherd has police K-9 training. One of the stipulations before moving in the home is that they meet the dogs. Since then my dogs have not liked him. He has gone as far as to say he will kill my dogs. I have gone to the neighbor and asked them if we have ever disturbed them in any way or if we ever do to please come and let us know and we will stop. They said they have never heard a peep from us. They hear the kids in the yard sometimes but they said that is to be expected. Now I have never set my thermostat below 50 in the winter but it's off in the summer. I'm not sure where he is going with that there but that's what's in it.


I don't really want this to go to court but If need be I will. He is just using bully tactics to try and get his way.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:59 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 2,667,986 times
Reputation: 3016
Was the letter from your landlord sent by certified mail? This may be preliminary to going to court. If he does, he will have to show cause as to why you should be evicted. This is called an "action in ejectment."

Since you are current on your rent and the lease hasn't expired, there are only 2 legal causes: 1. a "serious" breaking of any lease provision and 2. criminal or drug activity on the property.

I'm assuming that there is no criminal or drug activity in your house, so the landlord will have to show that you have broken in a flagrant manner a provision of the lease. You can argue this yourself in justice court, but a lawyer would add a lot more weight to your defense. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:06 PM
 
16 posts, read 13,663 times
Reputation: 15
No the letter was not sent to me certified, he just placed it in my mail box, but I sent a letter back to him and I sent it certified. I wanted to make sure that he received it and that I would have proof of that in court. (if need be). He called me this morning and said that "he wants to come out and look at the things that he is supposed to fix and he wants to see if there is anymore damage to the house". I told him that we are busy because of the holiday weekend and he will need to schedule another day to come out but I want to make it clear to him that he is not permitted in the house unless my boyfriend and I are both here. At this point I think he realizes that he made a mistake by not putting in the lease that the land is shared and is now trying to find reasons to evict us. Because of all this BS we have made the decision to look at other houses. It's sad that it has come to this, over some satellite dishes but we feel very strongly that what he is doing is wrong and you can only walk on people for so long before they get tired of it and snap.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:41 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 2,667,986 times
Reputation: 3016
You've made the right decision to move on. While I think that you could have won in court, it's no fun having a hostile landlord to deal with. He's given you plenty of time to find another place. Just make sure that he signs an agreement to terminate the lease early. Otherwise, he can sue you for the balance of the lease.

Let's hope that he refrains from bad mouthing you when you make an application to rent another house. This often is the case in situations like yours.
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