Im not an attorney but deal with my tenants on a daily basis.
When a tenant goes bad, it’s time for him to go. A tenant must have respect for you. If not, things will only go downhill fast. If one of my tenants pulled this stunt, he’d be out.
Assuming there is no lease, I’d wait two weeks, then send him notice. I’d tell him he was the nicest, kindest, best tenant I ever had, but that my brother, who really owns the house, is getting out of jail and needs a place to stay.
Assuming you have a lease, you have to know your state’s laws, and how easy or difficult it is to get rid of these lowlifes. In my parts a lease is far more binding against the landlord than it is against the tenants, so I’d have a hard time.
This is why all my rentals are month-to-month.
Don’t take this personal. Don’t argue. You’ll always come out ahead in the big picture. Just do what you can to get rid of these maggots.
My mother and siblings co-own 3 rental properties which I manage. Today one of the tenants (young couple) at one of the properties called, extremely upset with a demaning attitude. We had a painter in to waterproof the basement walls, and apparently she found two quarter-size spots of the concrete/latex paint mixture on a “$300.00” jacket. She stated the jacket was hanging on the wall in the basement stair well and paint must have gotten on it when ‘they were hauling paint in and out’. I know for a fact she had a rack of clothes in the basement, completely exposed. I also know that paint was not ‘hauled in and out of the basement.’ New cans were opened in the basement and discarded while still in the basement. I also had informed her ahead of time the painter was coming and that her personal possessions should be covered. She replied ‘all I care about are my new washer and dryer. I need something to cover it with’. As a courtesy, I provided her with a drop cloth from the paint store.
To date they’ve been good tenants, but have a tendency to be on the demanding side. I went over to inspect the jacket, with plans of offering perhaps a cleaning service payment. My mother and siblings all concurred that the tenant had the responsibility of removing/covering anything that could possibly be exposed to paint. Common sense also dictates in a situation where paint is involved. When I conveyed this to her, and before I had the chance to offer a cleaning of the jacket, she became outraged and stormed off to inform her husband that “they won’t pay for the jacket and she says it’s our fault.” To make a long story short, these people screamed at me, used profanity, constantly interrupted and it got nasty really fast. While trying to hold a sensible conversation with them, the young woman tried to order me out, repeatedly screaming “Get out of MY house!” When I reminded her (in an calm but firm tone) that it was not HER house, she then announced she was going to call her sister (a new law school graduate, clear across the country I might add.) I was not the least intimidated by that. While she made the call, her husband continued his foul-mouthed tirade and was impossible to communicate with. She came back, said from now on she would communicate with me in writing only, and said “I want you out now”. I informed her she was way out of line, disrespectful, and that they both need to re-read the lease they signed. Furthermore, I said it would be no problem for us if they felt inclined to move out(as they ‘threatened’ to do during the exchange). Then I left. As I neared the back door I heard her yell “Don’t let the door hit your @ss on the way out.” I relayed to my brother what happened, he went over there after work and in no uncertain terms made it clear to the husband that he would not tolerate him speaking to me that way.
My mother is outraged by this behavior. I’m disgusted. What recourse do we have, if any? Does a landlord have to stand there and take that kind of verbal abuse and attempt to be ordered off premises that they own? And what type of language can be put in a lease so there is recourse against this type of scenario? If my Dad were still alive, those people would be out of there in a heartbeat, laws or no laws.
I know it’s late to post this, but thought better late than never? (I had back-to-back PC crashes.)
Thank you for you input!
My verbally abusive tenants are gone. Two weeks after this incident they ‘coincidentally’ were transferred out of state, and informed me they had to move. (I checked, they lied. They moved a couple miles away.) I kept their security deposit, and sent them a termination of lease for breach of contract. At least they’re gone with no major damage done (unless you count the 3" hole they cut in the carpet for reasons no one can figure out.)
Re: Verbally Abusive Tenants - Posted by River City
Posted by River City on October 14, 2002 at 10:04:06:
I have to agree with Long Beach Ed. Just stay calm and keep your cool. Also, in my opinion, you do not owe them anything for the coat. They knew the painters were coming in and anyone in their right mind would have taken a “supposedly valuable” coat out of an area that was going to be painted.
Re: Verbally Abusive Tenants - Posted by Frank Chin
Posted by Frank Chin on October 09, 2002 at 18:30:42:
I’ve been advocating tenants getting tenant inusrance on these boards for a while for precisely the reason things like this can happen, and the tenant thinks you’re the insurance company. They are upset because its not Xmas and they can’t get a brand new coat.
You might try to file a claim against your insurance, but your rates might go up. Then, does your contractor have insurance?
I have a clause in my leases that require my tenants to by the insurance. But we haven’t enforced it, and tenants generally neglect to get it.
Then, when a claim arises, I tell the tenant to file a claim against his insurance. In several cases when they tell me they don’t have it, I tell them they are in violation of the lease. They usually back down.
One guy didn’t back down. We did settled with him, but aksed him to leave at the end of the lease. We told him that we can’t afford to have tenants buying expensive clothes and then fail to insure them per the lease.