cement down the drains - Posted by Chyna

Posted by JT-IN on March 08, 2009 at 24:54:57:


Even in IN, we need to have evidence these days… (unlike the old days when we would just tell Sheriff to go arrest Cletus, and it was done).

The problem that I see here is… yes, probable cause would surely exist, but conviction would be next to impossible, short of an admission by the tenant. My experience has been that incidents like these the sheriff deflates with the ole, “take em to civil court” response. I would agree to make a police report, and notify the ins co, but I wouldn’t expect to see this one on America’s Most Wanted, for lack of credible evidence. Cement in the pipe doesn’t mean tenant did it, unless you can prove who did it…


cement down the drains - Posted by Chyna

Posted by Chyna on March 05, 2009 at 16:44:46:

I have an extremely nasty tenant who is keeping a dog against the terms of her lease. The lease clearly says they will be evicted if they have a pet. Even worse, it’s a chow and I would be sued if the dog should bite someone.

I e-mailed (and snail-mailed) her and gave her a week to get rid of the dog upon threat of eviction. The week was up last Monday…dog is still there.

So, we’re getting ready to evict and it occurred to me that these people would paint the walls black and gouge the wood floors and pour cement down the drains just to be vindictive. There would be no way of recouping the thousands of dollars of damage they could cause.

I’m getting nervous about evicting. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks for your help.

Re: cement down the drains - Posted by DaveD (WI)

Posted by DaveD (WI) on March 07, 2009 at 08:23:07:

Laying waste to something that doesn’t belong to you is also known as criminal damage to property, or vandalism. It is a crime. If that were to happen, call the police and your insurance company. That is what both of them are for.

In the meantime, do what you can to pat them on the head, and roll them out the door. Money helps.

Re: cement down the drains - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on March 05, 2009 at 18:53:30:

Yes, deal w/your tenant face to face & be a nice, but firm, landlord. If you put up walls by e-mailing (the very WORST way to contact a tenant) & a barrage of letters, you’ll never be able to communicate.

Next time, of course, you’ll put a clause in your Rental Agreement that states how much additional security & per diem it w/co$t your tenants if they bring in an illegal pet:

" No pets, including dogs, cats, rodents, birds, fish, reptiles or insects are allowed on the premises; i.e. if it isnâ??t a plant or a human being, it isnâ??t allowed . If Tenant brings an authorized or unauthorized animal onto the premises, this Rental Agreement is automatically & immediately terminated, & a non-refundable pet fee of $500 will be charged. There will be an additional charge of $100, not pro-rated, per calendar month per animal. Although they must also be pre-approved, service animals (e.g., guide or hearing dog) are an exception, & shall have 24-hour access to the dwelling. NOTE: (1) Dogs may not be chained or left unattended without proper shade, as well as fresh food and water. (2) Yards must be maintained free from animal waste. (3) Tenant shall provide proof of obedience training for any dog older than 9 months, and hereby indemnifies both Owner and Agent from any liability for the actions of the animal against any person or property. (4) Tenant shall provide Agent with proof of personal liability insurance in the amount $500,000 with dog-bite rider. (5) Replacement pets are not allowed. (6) Upon vacating the premises, a pet-owning tenant shall provide Agent with proof of treatment of home and yard by licensed pest control company (bug bombs may not be substituted for such service). If Tenant fails to do this, Agent will contract with licensed pest control company, charging Tenant actual costs, plus a $35.00 management fee."

Too late for that clause, but now you need to make nice, explaining that though you love critters, your insurance company does not allow them. I’d offer to assist the tenant in finding a foster home for the dog (e.g. via P.A.W.S) until they can find a new home, & BTW, here’s here Move-Out Check List so she’ll be able to prepare for your walk-through appt. “so I can process the return of your security deposit.”

Depending on your state & contract, you may be able to get the tenant w/out going through the normal eviction process. The speed w/which I can accomplish this in NC take tenants by surprise.

In short, (1) make nice, while (2) following the appropriate legal process & (3) protect yourself from future situations like this. I don’t allow any pets, but when I bought my MHP it came complete w/pit bulls. It took me over a year of constant efforts to become pet-free & I even have a silent dog whistle in my car to detect illegal canines.

All that said, some landlords have a totally different pet policy that keeps their units filled & tenants happy. I would consider that type of policy if my rentals were in a different part of the country, someplace where negligence & animal cruelty did not almost automatically go hand-in-hand w/pet ownership. For anyone interested in this type of policy, check the Archives for Anne’s posts on the subject. (Anne’s the one who convinced me I could be a pet owner again, & I am forever grateful to her that I’ve been given the opportunity to love & be loved by my 2 incredible rescue cats for the past 3 years.)

Good luck, & keep us posted–