Neighboring Tenant Issue! I'm Stumped? - Posted by Steve-nc

Posted by John Corey on May 30, 2006 at 14:28:34:

I do like the story and it is even more interesting given it was reported by a UT news channel.

John Corey

Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by Steve-nc

Posted by Steve-nc on May 29, 2006 at 16:05:24:

Hello everyone.

To set the stage:
I currently have a property that I own as a rental. This is not a lease/option deal and as a matter of fact this is my very first rental I purchased back in 1993. The property is a condo and the unit is on the lower level with another condo unit above. And the above unit is rented to a tenant also. I have a great tenant in my unit who pays the rent every month 10 days before it’s due, never complains and also does their own repairs and she will live there until she dies. Perfect.

My problem:
The tenant upstairs is a bad tenant. Noise, loud music at 1:00 & 2:00 am, people in and out at all hours, parties, disrespectful to everyone around, grouping outside causing disturbances etc… etc… This has been going on for a year. The police have been out around 20 times over the past year. The city noise ordnance is in violation and the condo by-laws. The association has received numerous complaints from my tenant, another neighbor and me. The associations can fine $100 per incident and did fine the owner of the above condo over $1,200. I have spoken to both the tenant & the owner of the condo who both just blew me off. The owner went in front of the association board and convinced them that this is an issue between the tenants and they simply do not like each other. Not true. The association is washing their hands of the whole thing and will not enforce the by-laws and has dropped the fines. I’m at risk of losing my perfect tenant and not being able to re-rent because of these bad tenants upstairs.

Is their anything legally I can do? I am considering contacting my attorney to discuss what options I may have. I am thinking of going after the owner and the condo association.

Thank you for any advise.

Re: the perfect tennant and coors light - Posted by Jack

Posted by Jack on May 30, 2006 at 11:11:30:

This guy was described by his landlord as a perfect tennant also:

Re: Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on May 30, 2006 at 07:56:52:


I rented a condo to a perfect tenant. Lives by himself, never there, quiet when he is, unit in immaculate condition (you can eat off the floor), and pays rent a few days before the first. We have the keys, and we got authorzation to go in any time if there’s a problem.

Condo owner next unit over rents to two colleage girls, plays loud music into the morning, got visitors trooping in day and night. My tenant said he’ll leave if they don’t.

Per procedure, we wrote to the management company, and the matter was taken up by the board. As my sister managed the unit, lives downstairs, and her husband is active doing volunteer work for the HOA, so our complaints I believe, carried a little more weight than perhaps another “absentee” owner.

My sister’s husband is the resident go to buy for changing burnt out light bulbs, serves on the ground’s committee, and the HOA’s liason to the local police department. In other word’s we can’t see the HOA looking at him saying “we can’t help”. In fact, he’s been asked nurmerous times to serve on the board, but declined.

Long and short of it, the unit owner was fined, paid it, got after the tenants for it, and did not renew the lease. My tenant stayed, but gave hime some rent concessions while all of it was going on so he won’t fly the coop.

Keep in mind the better managed condo complexes try to keep “tenant occupied units” to a minimum, due to the the low regard for the quality of many tenants and the troubles caused by them. I simply can’t see the HOA throwing up their hands unless:

  • They don’t care for absentee owners to begin with, and you are one of them.
  • There are just too many absentee units, and they don’t want to start playing the landlord’s “agent”.
  • The other guy got an “in”, and they gave him preferential treatment.

I believe in the “squeaky wheel” theory, as others have mentioned, but before you totally alientate the HOA, and assuming they don’t like “absentee owners” to begin with, I might write a letter first to “all the owners” saying you want to maintain the value of the units and you want to avoid confrontation and the “legal expenses” involved, which might later on “raise maintenance fees”.

Another way is to be more active in HOA affairs, by running for office, but many sbsentee owners of condo units choose such investments for the convenience of letting others handle things, and occasionally such a management style may come back to bite you.

Frank Chin

Re: Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by michaela-FL

Posted by michaela-FL on May 30, 2006 at 05:55:46:

several years ago 2 guys in Atlanta (Kirkwood neighborhood) filed a civil suit against their next door neighbors and won. TH eneighbors were selling drugs. I believe the suit was about ‘quiete enjoyment olf their property’ or similar. That could work inyour case.


Re: Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by Sailor

Posted by Sailor on May 29, 2006 at 21:13:20:

It sounds to me (jaded mhp owner) like a drug situation. I would document the activities (log, video, whatever it takes) & the provide the police reports to the owner & the association. I’d also pay my attny to write letters, notifying of my documentation & intention to file suit (you might be able to do it in small claims, depending on damages). Your attny can tell you of your rights & options, but you should be able to check out the basics online. Don’t forget to ensure that you specify exactly what you expect from the other owner & the assoc. The police dept. doesn’t need to make 20 calls on one condo–would they send a rep to the next mtg? If not, can you get a letter? Are there legal ramifications for the owner if drugs are being peddled? Perhaps most importantly, I’d bring some flowers & chocolates to your long-suffering tenant. Lobbying other owners might pay off, too. Good luck!


Re: Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on May 29, 2006 at 18:01:53:

I think you REALLY need to be the squeaky wheel. You need to contact the police repeatedly- get them to fine the tenant.

Also, you need to remind the HOA repeatedly of their duty and their bylaws. I would call them early and often and I would follow up with fax/letters, documenting every single thing. The owner can say whatever he wants about it being an argument between 2 tenants. But what do the police say? Why have they been out there 20 times? Will they give you anything in writing? You and your tenant should INSIST that the police put something in writing every time they come out. Then you take that to the HOA.



Re: the perfect tenant and coors light - Posted by John Corey

Posted by John Corey on May 30, 2006 at 13:32:58:

Mr. Landlord talks about how you have more profit when you have less turn over.

Lets assume it took some time to clean up the place. How much time and costs compared to having a tenant that did not stay for 8 years paying on time and otherwise not causing a problem.

While I would not to find my rentals so full of empty cans I can not assume this was a bad investment. If you have a new tenant every 12 to 18 months that is worse economically.


John Corey

Re: Neighboring Tenant Issue! I’m Stumped? - Posted by dealmaker

Posted by dealmaker on May 29, 2006 at 20:56:44:

I had a similar situation once, I asked the board how much their premium was for E & O insurance and how much they thought it would increase after I successfully sued them under Articles B, D, G and K parts 1 and 3 or whatever.

Their attorney stood up and said they wouldn’t respond to idle threats. I told them I didn’t believe in idle threats but unless I saw a marked improvement in 30 days they should prepare themselves.

Thirty days later I filed suit, and the fur flew!

Everyone in this country gripes about lawyers, until they need one. It’s just like all these “so called” conservatives who think government is the enemy, UNTIL THEY NEED A FRIEND.


Re: the perfect tenant and coors light - Posted by Sean

Posted by Sean on June 02, 2006 at 09:51:58:

Now whats the real cost of getting this unit ready for a new tenant? After 8 years, the carpet would need replaced either way, and the place needed painted… so what additional cost is there other than just clean out?

So, lets see, cleanout of say 3 days of labor at $15 an hour is $360 to the handman, plus some contractors bags… Now, each of those bags is going to be worth some money at the recycling plant…

So other than the gas for the truck to make trips to the recycling plant, which the cans should cover and then some… looking at an additional cost vs just a regular tenant move out, of only a few hundred bucks… and lets not forget, full forfieture of their security deposit so…

While I would probably at first blush, not be happy to find my unit like this… fiscally its not that big a deal… after all, he was there for 8 years.

Re: the perfect tenant and coors light - Posted by Mark(SDCA)

Posted by Mark(SDCA) on May 30, 2006 at 16:25:20:

Agree 100%. Turnover is a killer. Only 1 time in my 14 years as a landlord have I ever moved a tenant in with no loss of rent. (On a similar note, only one time have I ever returned someone’s entire deposit. And that was on a low income apartment. Go figure.)

Good tenants should be kept around with “perks” (I send a little Home Depot Gift Card out with an XMAS card), fewer and smaller rent increases etc. It’s WORTH it.


Re: the perfect tenant and coors light - Posted by Jack

Posted by Jack on May 30, 2006 at 14:09:29:

I agree with your reasoning. I just htought it was an amusing story.

Re: the perfect tenant and coors light - Posted by John Corey

Posted by John Corey on June 12, 2006 at 05:57:24:


Great reply!

Side note. Sorry about my prior response where I dropped a word. Looks like you handled it fine.

John Corey