Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by Mike

Posted by Mike on July 28, 2008 at 18:58:15:

Thank you for all of the insight everyone. I have tipped off the local PD about the suspicions of criminal activity and tried to be more diligent in my monitoring. I was afraid my financial interests were clouding my judgment, so wanted a reality check. Best wishes.

Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by Mike

Posted by Mike on July 26, 2008 at 19:52:46:

Hey all,

I’ve visited the boards for a few years now and have learned a lot. I am finally in a bind and need some tips.

As background, I own one SF rental in an aging city neighborhood. I lived in this house for a few years until I moved on (renting was always the plan). I have had the same tenants for 18 months, a young couple with 2 young kids. They have been good tenants, good payment history and easy to deal with. Unfortunately I have had a couple former neighbors come to me with concerns about drug dealing from the home.

I have not seen any proof myself, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. I am in the house every month and never saw/smelled any problems. My former neighbors are either a) prejudiced b) confused b/c there are some vacant houses on the block that are attracting the criminal element or c) 100% right.

Anyway, the lease is up for renewal very soon. I am undecided about renewing. I don’t want problems in the house, but I don’t want to ask otherwise good tenants to leave without more proof. Help?!

Re: Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by IB (NJ)

Posted by IB (NJ) on July 28, 2008 at 09:36:57:

I agree with Ken. The only way to know for sure is to see it yourself. Park down the street on a Friday or Sat. night.


Re: Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by Mark

Posted by Mark on July 27, 2008 at 18:20:38:


Just a reminder that SF has strict rent control laws with your current or future tenants…


Re: Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by Ken

Posted by Ken on July 27, 2008 at 06:57:40:

You can let the lease expire and just keep it on a month to month basis.I do not like leases anyway because it ties you into the timeframe but the tenants will move whenever they want to anyway and judges will only grant you 1 month of rent if you sue them in small claims court anyway.Then keep an eye on the situation.Park a block away for an hour on friday or saturday evening and see how much activity there is,you will know pretty quickly if there is a problem.I have drug houses with more business than a grocery store

Re: Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by Edwinjcb

Posted by Edwinjcb on July 26, 2008 at 22:15:36:

It’s a hard call, Mike, because you hate to make a move without sufficient proof, but I’d be inclined to err on the side of caution. Which means don’t have any tolerance for any drug activity. Sadly, many otherwise good tenants can get swept up into drug dealing and/or using the stuff. I used to be very naive about this stuff. How reliable are your neighbors who are reporting this? What is the basis for their complaints? One common suspicious sign is several cars and visitors to the house who don’t stay very long.I would try to chat up a few more neighbors to see if you can get anyone else to voice any suspicions they may have. It could be several neighbors have seen strange activity, but only two of them so far have bothered to say anything. Neighbors, without an ax to grind, can be pretty reliable sources of info. about what’s going on in the neighborhood. You might also alert the police about your suspicions and ask them to keep an eye on the place or do more frequent patrols in the area. I don’t care how nice or well-behaved and prompt payers these tenants might be; if you suspect any kind of illegal drug activity, you must get rid of them. Also, keep in mind that one possible reason they are such seemingly good tenants is so you won’t have any reason to ask them to leave. If they get evicted because they pay rent poorly, it can be a hassle alerting all their druggie friends they have a new address.

Re: Renew or Not Renew? - Posted by michaela-CA

Posted by michaela-CA on July 26, 2008 at 22:09:22:


have you talked to the police precinct for that neighborhood? Why not approach them and tell them that you have a house on that street and are thinking of buying 1 or 2 more on the same street. Can they tell you if there is any shady activity going on on that street?

It’s not specific enough to ‘rat’ out your tenants, but detailed enough that they might tell you more, if there’s something happening.

If your tenants seem ok and there are no reports by the police and there are no other reports (ask the neighbors on the other side if there are any problems with your tenants - that this is just a routine check-up). If you don’t hear anything else, then I’d ignore the neighbor’s comments.