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Old 07-17-2009, 01:44 PM
 
30 posts, read 138,084 times
Reputation: 29

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I've been renting a house to a man and his family for a couple years now. The tenant has not been very easy to work with. He negotiates everything, is very cheap and avoids paying for anything possible, and tries to get us to pay for fixing things unnecessarily. The first few months they rented, he would call and complain about something trivial about once or twice a week. The problem was always a life and death exaggeration to what was really there.

After 4 months, he called to complain about the heating system running and wasting electricity costing him a fortune. It was on, duh, it runs. At that point I said I'd come look on the weekend, he wanted me to come now, and I refused. He said he wasn't happy with the condition of the house, so I said then he could move. That seemed to do it, he called later, talked to my wife, and suddenly everything was fine. After that he stopped complaining about things, unless they were real. So we let them stay. Overall they have always payed rent on time (once it was late a couple days, we warned him he would get a late fee, he was always early after that) They keep the house in ok condition, no major damage, reasonable clean.

Now, trying to renew for the 3rd year, we were negotiating a rental increase. He wouldn't agree to any increase. He kept asking about returning the deposit, and I told him the process, after he moves out, I do a checklist and return it with any damages noted. He accused me of playing games with the deposit. He kept wanting me to come tell him what to fix. I said fine, I'll walk through and see if I notice anything, but you still don't get the checklist and deposit back until after you move out. We had this conversation about 3 times.

Now, a month before the end of the lease, we get a letter from him saying he plans to move out at the end of the lease. He has rented a place for july, and will use "the rest of the month" to move his belongings. Rent was not included with the letter. I called and asked about the rent, he said he wasn't paying, I was playing games with the deposit, etc. He accused us of being thieves, trying to steal his money, he wasn't paying.

It appears they are actually moving. He has been moving furniture around, and has been fixing things that I point out should be fixed. I have already sent a letter summerizing our conversation and telling him he is still responsible for July rent. I have sent a pay or quit notice. He ignored them both.

Would you start eviction proceedings anyway? I just wonder if it's worth it.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:51 PM
 
1,121 posts, read 3,100,101 times
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Evection will cost you about $1000 in legal fees and your tenant may damage the property.
After he moves out, you can take him to small claims court and if he doesn't show up, you will get an automatic judgement. If I were you, I would let him go and not risk damage to your property.
On the day he moves, I would go to the property with a video camera and film every room in case he has done damage to the property. If he objects, you tell him he did not pay the rent and therefore has given up his rights.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:06 PM
 
30 posts, read 138,084 times
Reputation: 29
I'm debating that. The major worry is that if he DOESN'T actually move out at the end of July. The way he is, I really doubt he would rent another place for a month if he didn't need to. He might have rented something for August and planning to move on August 1 when he gets in the new place.

Anyway, eviction seems pretty straightforward here. $91 to file at small claims court. I called the clerk and asked about everything I need to bring to file. I'd represent myself, so I don't see the fee being that high. But I've never done it, so don't know.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,481 posts, read 3,173,101 times
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BUT you know he will demand you return HIS deposit and depending on the state he can get up to 2 times the amount of the deposit for your not returning it in a timely manner ( Bet his idea of timely is day he moves out )..according to him anyways .. and in some states its illegal to use the deposit to pay the last months rent! which is excatlly what he is doing ..
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:13 PM
 
30 posts, read 138,084 times
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I'm in NC (should have mentioned that.)

So laws here based on my understanding; I have 30 days to itemize and return deposit. I am allowed to deduct unpaid rent (so he is due none already). There is no law that says deposit can't be used for rent, but the lease specifically says this is not allowed. So I don't think I have to worry about him getting damages from me. After he moves, there are already some items in depute (he didn't want to pay for cleaning a clogged drain), so he will owe me after the deductions.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,481 posts, read 3,173,101 times
Reputation: 2377
IMHO I wouldnt go after him for unpaid rent he is very likely to trash your place .... sad isnt it that folks do that but its very likely to happen ..
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:27 PM
 
25,833 posts, read 49,727,953 times
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Make sure you know the law as it applies in your State... no room for guessing when you are the Business Owner.

At one building the former owner was notorious for not returning deposits and the tenants knew this... everyone basically would not pay the last month's rent and I would have to educate them to the perils of doing so and serve notice...

You are right to be concerned... the risk is the deposit will fall short and then you have to go after them or they don't move at all.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,603 posts, read 31,161,722 times
Reputation: 26673
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzy92 View Post
I've been renting a house to a man and his family for a couple years now. The tenant has not been very easy to work with. He negotiates everything, is very cheap and avoids paying for anything possible, and tries to get us to pay for fixing things unnecessarily. The first few months they rented, he would call and complain about something trivial about once or twice a week. The problem was always a life and death exaggeration to what was really there.

After 4 months, he called to complain about the heating system running and wasting electricity costing him a fortune. It was on, duh, it runs. At that point I said I'd come look on the weekend, he wanted me to come now, and I refused. He said he wasn't happy with the condition of the house, so I said then he could move. That seemed to do it, he called later, talked to my wife, and suddenly everything was fine. After that he stopped complaining about things, unless they were real. So we let them stay. Overall they have always payed rent on time (once it was late a couple days, we warned him he would get a late fee, he was always early after that) They keep the house in ok condition, no major damage, reasonable clean.

Now, trying to renew for the 3rd year, we were negotiating a rental increase. He wouldn't agree to any increase. He kept asking about returning the deposit, and I told him the process, after he moves out, I do a checklist and return it with any damages noted. He accused me of playing games with the deposit. He kept wanting me to come tell him what to fix. I said fine, I'll walk through and see if I notice anything, but you still don't get the checklist and deposit back until after you move out. We had this conversation about 3 times.

Now, a month before the end of the lease, we get a letter from him saying he plans to move out at the end of the lease. He has rented a place for july, and will use "the rest of the month" to move his belongings. Rent was not included with the letter. I called and asked about the rent, he said he wasn't paying, I was playing games with the deposit, etc. He accused us of being thieves, trying to steal his money, he wasn't paying.

It appears they are actually moving. He has been moving furniture around, and has been fixing things that I point out should be fixed. I have already sent a letter summerizing our conversation and telling him he is still responsible for July rent. I have sent a pay or quit notice. He ignored them both.

Would you start eviction proceedings anyway? I just wonder if it's worth it.
Won't it cost more to evict him and take longer than he's got on his lease to complete the process?
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:50 PM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
15,711 posts, read 22,772,956 times
Reputation: 17461
Finding out exactly what the moveout procedure is for your state is
the first thing you'll want to do, how long you have to return security deposit
monies after the move out. Make your tenant aware of how
the procedure works, give him a copy of the Landlord Tenant code
for your state, highlight that section.

Even though the tenant has informed you he'll not be following
procedure, you need to follow it to the T on your end.
Offer the moveout walk thru set up a time a day with the tenant,
if he declines, have him sign saying he declined a walk thru in writing.
Make sure to get a forwarding address. When he sees that you are following
procedure and not playing games, you may see the rent for
July. My point is should you want to go to small claims to recover monies,
the judge will see you've taken proper steps as an LL.

Should he stay past the end of July, charge the tenant a prorated
amount for each day he stayed after the end of the lease, or ask him to leave,
have the Police come if he refuses.
You have the right to do so, if he didn't verbally or in writing ask to extend,
his lease is over.

Good Luck

Last edited by virgode; 07-17-2009 at 08:19 PM.. Reason: paragraphing
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Clermont Fl
1,715 posts, read 3,951,614 times
Reputation: 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faworki1947 View Post
IMHO I wouldnt go after him for unpaid rent he is very likely to trash your place .... sad isnt it that folks do that but its very likely to happen ..
I would also just let him go but not because I was afraid of the tenant but because its not worth your time and money
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