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Old 08-03-2011, 05:07 PM
 
8 posts, read 17,716 times
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I own a home in western north carolina that I recently rented to some very nice people. I rented the upstairs portion of the house, and I live in the basement. The basement has it's own bathroom and is totally closed off from upstairs. The entrances are different, two parking places, etc...

I told these people the a/c didn't work in the ad, and also before the lease was signed. I even reminded them of this when signing the lease.

The day they moved in, they complained about a "cat ****" smell and changed out the toilet seats. There have never been cats in the house, and we've got hardwoord floors. I believe they smelled the orange scented cleaner we used.... and the toilet seats were just bizarre. The very next day they complained about the ac not working. I told them I'm hot too, and I will have someone come out soon to fix it. They complained often about the ac.... and then they said the house was infested with fleas. We've never had a flea problem. The tenant showed me her legs, and she had numerous mosquito bites..... fleas? right...

Anyway, I even offered to bug bomb the house, but they declined because of health reasons. They then installed a window unit air conditioner without my consent, but I didn't say anything about it.

On Sunday morning, I got into a fight with my significant other. One of the two people on the lease came downstairs to tell us that they are moving. I walked upstairs to tell him they will both be responsible for the lease... he then screamed "get away from me, you're scaring our kids"

Baffled once again

We had a "text" battle on monday morning... and he then wanted to speak to the owner directly. I informed I was the owner then it hit the fan. They both starting packing things and moving. They haven't spent the night in the house since.

Today, they got a home inspection for the upper portion of the house. At first, I was like "who is on my roof?!?!?" But then they told me they were doing a home inspection.

I've already told these people if rent isn't paid I will take them to court.

My question is this.... why would they have gotten a home inspection? Is it to prove the house is uninhabitable? (which it's not......) or is to show proof of any damage I may accuse them of?

The whole thing is very, very confusing.

Any input would be appreciated.


Thanks
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:29 PM
 
912 posts, read 4,554,070 times
Reputation: 2029
Well, the good news is that you came to the right place. This board is full of really helpful individuals.

Your whole affair seems beyond strange.

I hope you have a lawyer on speed dial, because you may need one in a pinch.

Pray to all heavens that the bites on her legs are not bed-bugs that they brought with them.

The AC shouldn't be an issue, since you did detail it on the lease that AC wasn't provided... right? You did write that on there, correct?

My take on what little information you provided is that either...

1) These people are insane, and you'd be better off without them at your house. Rent or no rent. Get rid of them.

2) They are very sophisticated tenants, and they will ride you out for free rent for as long as possible. Delaying court, asking for extensions, ect. Either way, you'd be better off without them.

The home inspection is what bothers me. Why would they pay to get that done? Generally that's at least a $400 affair. It seems that they are setting you up for some nasty and expensive games.

Best of luck, and keep us posted.

EDIT: FORGOT TO SAY. Stop having txt msg battles with them. Stop having verbal arguments with them. From now on, all communication should be done via certified letter, or recorded conversation (if legal in your state), or at least with a non-biased third-party to act as a witness.
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:42 PM
 
8 posts, read 17,716 times
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Thanks for the reply.

In NC A/C is considered a luxury, so I've got no worries about that, and also as of this morning it was fixed. I even offered them 20 dollars off their rent as a courtesy, which a friend of mine advised me to in case we go to court. I did not say it wasn't provided in the lease, but I also didn't say it was. Regardless, it's working now

They're mosquito bites. Fleas need a host... if anything, they are infested, not the house! I understand eggs can be there... but we never had a flea problem. And I offered to bomb the house.

Yes, I do believe they're insane. They're extremely passive aggressive. Every time I've communicated with them I've let them know that I want to know what I can do to get our relationship terminated. Today when I spoke to one of the tenants after I got the AC fixed, she acted like none of this happened. So I don't even know the best way to approach them at this point. They're not upstairs! They're staying with their parents down the road from here..... very, very bizarre.

And the thing is... they have money. I'm sure they paid at least 400 for the inspection. They paid first months, last months and a deposit which totaled about 2700 bucks before they moved in. We always got along very, very well, and they seemed really nice. But today when I mentioned to her that I was bothered by the "get away from me you're scaring our kids" comment, she just said "well, I have to go now, it's a bad time"

I also need to point out that when he told me to get away from his kids, they were smiling and waiving at me and saying hello, and he was holding them back....

Today she did mention the fight we had, but you can't just break a lease because the neighbors got into a tiffy. I honestly think they are scared to live here. Call me crazy, but these people have over exaggerated and made up stuff since day one!

At this point I'm waiting until the 5th to see if they pay rent on time, then I have to serve them with a ten day notice to pay, then take them to small claims court to file for a summary eviction. They're so passive aggresive though, I may get a rent check handed to me at 11:59 on Friday.

But the home inspection? He mentioned having a lawyer.... so do they intend to stay? Or use that as evidence?
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:46 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 20,621,796 times
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1. Retain a lawyer cause it sounds like your in for a battle.
2. Agree with CB that the a/c would not be a problem so long as you have it in writing and their signature saying they know the a/c is not being provided (not the same as saying it's broken and will be fixed which I hope was not the case)
3. get your own pest inspection done ASAP in hope they can tell if the problem is in the house or possible if it was brought in. Did you have a pest inspection done prior to them moving in? Something PMC's highly recommend with the bed bug situation.
4. the spat with your So is something ajudge will have to decide if it is grounds to break a lease.
5. If they called in an inspector without your approval and the inspector was ont he roof, document this in detail.
6. get your own home inspector ASAP to have them check the place over paying particular attention to any damages their inspector may have caused. the sooner you do this the easier to prove it was their damages.

Now, don;t get too wrapped up in what they did, get totally wrapped up in your next course of action. It sounds like they are preping for something and what that is is anyones guess. So don;t sit back and wait to be the victim. The lease and your state LL Tenant laws spell out the proper steps when a tenat has an issue. Make sure your familar with those proper steps and document if they jumped the gun or didn;t follow it.

Next, as soon as the day comes where the tenant fails to make any rent payment due, start the eviction process. just cause they moved out doesn;t give you any added rights until the first day the rent is due and not paid. Don;t delay, don;t hesitate, don;t asume all is forgotten & forgiven, start the eviction process.

As an FYI, the lease and LL Tenant laws will also spell out your right to enter the unit for inspections or to make repairs or address problems. So if you planning to check the unit over make sure your following the law even if in your eyes they moved out because nothing requires a person to live in a place they are paying rent for.

Edit - I see you responded to some before my post so disregard the stuff you already covered!
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:47 PM
 
4,398 posts, read 9,455,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ih8kee View Post
Thanks for the reply.

In NC A/C is considered a luxury, so I've got no worries about that, and also as of this morning it was fixed. I even offered them 20 dollars off their rent as a courtesy, which a friend of mine advised me to in case we go to court. I did not say it wasn't provided in the lease, but I also didn't say it was. Regardless, it's working now

They're mosquito bites. Fleas need a host... if anything, they are infested, not the house! I understand eggs can be there... but we never had a flea problem. And I offered to bomb the house.

Yes, I do believe they're insane. They're extremely passive aggressive. Every time I've communicated with them I've let them know that I want to know what I can do to get our relationship terminated. Today when I spoke to one of the tenants after I got the AC fixed, she acted like none of this happened. So I don't even know the best way to approach them at this point. They're not upstairs! They're staying with their parents down the road from here..... very, very bizarre.

And the thing is... they have money. I'm sure they paid at least 400 for the inspection. They paid first months, last months and a deposit which totaled about 2700 bucks before they moved in. We always got along very, very well, and they seemed really nice. But today when I mentioned to her that I was bothered by the "get away from me you're scaring our kids" comment, she just said "well, I have to go now, it's a bad time"

I also need to point out that when he told me to get away from his kids, they were smiling and waiving at me and saying hello, and he was holding them back....

Today she did mention the fight we had, but you can't just break a lease because the neighbors got into a tiffy. I honestly think they are scared to live here. Call me crazy, but these people have over exaggerated and made up stuff since day one!

At this point I'm waiting until the 5th to see if they pay rent on time, then I have to serve them with a ten day notice to pay, then take them to small claims court to file for a summary eviction. They're so passive aggresive though, I may get a rent check handed to me at 11:59 on Friday.

But the home inspection? He mentioned having a lawyer.... so do they intend to stay? Or use that as evidence?
Is your house zoned as multi family?
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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I'm not sure it's zoned multifamily or not...... I don't think that will be an issue. They pay me a flat rate for utilities.... they way I see it, it would be no different than if I lived upstairs and had a few roomates paying me rent.



Do they need approval from me to do a home inspection? One of my very successful friends who manages many rentals said he's had a few people do this before moving in, but they've only done it after they've moved in to try and prove the conditions are uninhabitable.

I've been documenting every conversation we've had so far.

The lease states I can enter for inspection at any time, but just to CYA I still do a 24 hour notice, which is what I did yesterday, and then entered today. The house is fine, except for the things I knew of. Like a piece of broken drywall in the garage... which I saw the home inspector taking a picture of....

I'm sure at this point that they did this to prevent me from saying they caused any damage, which I had no intention of, I just want them gone! But they're unpredictable, and very entitled... I don't know what to do.... I just have to wait and see if they pay rent I guess.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
13,968 posts, read 26,960,424 times
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I've never heard of a ten day notice to pay. I've always assumed it was three days - pay or quit.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:18 PM
 
8 posts, read 17,716 times
Reputation: 10
It's different in every state.

[url]http://www.thelpa.com/free/statenoticechart.pdf[/url] - check it out
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,274 posts, read 5,964,552 times
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So is the house two separate units -- a kitchen and bathroom on each level?
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:13 PM
 
Location: In the gawdforsaken desert
6,415 posts, read 7,492,572 times
Reputation: 12540
You said they were packign and moving? Did they leave? Is the place vacant? If so check your abandonment proceedures.

Secondly, it sounds like they want to leave, so help them on their way. If they are still there offer to give them back their last month rent and deposit if they move immediately - nearly anything to get them out is cheaper than a court case. Don't put it in writing in case there are damages.

Get them out, refund their money unless they caused damage, and move on.

Otherwise I'd say they are setting you up for a suit.
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