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gocolts

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Reply with quote  #1 

It wa agreed upon that our tenants give us a 30 day notice before moving out. They sent us a letter notifiing us that they were moving, we recieved it on the 18....We call and let them know they will have to stey until feb 18 because regardless they have to pay for that month. She states that we can take the other half of the rent out of the deposit because they were going to move by the first of the month. Ok that's fine. So we put an ad in the paper for our property and mentioned it would be available as of Feb 1st! She notice the ad and now claims we don't need to take the other half of the rent out of her deposit, which she agreed to. Any advice? It was her desicion to leave by the first and that is not a 30 day notice being that we recieved the letter on the 18th! So we are intitled to our other half of the rent...Right? Also they had 2 cat's and a puppy when we said No Pets allowed! Advice would be helpful....Thanks!

OHlandlord

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Reply with quote  #2 

Are they on a m2m?  A 30 day notice rec'vd on Jan 18 would give them to Feb 17th to be out (remember Jan has 31 days, not 30).  Some states require a 30 or 60 day notice  (check your local law).  It also varies with Sect. 8 tenants.  Some states even require that a 30 day notice starts at the beginning of the next rent period.  That is, if her lease started on the 1st, the notice doesn't even take effect until Feb. 1st.  Again, check local law as I don't know your state.  If they leave early & you can't rent it in the 30 day time period, they owe you for this rent.  If you rent it again, they don't owe you for any period which it was re-rented.  The ad has nothing to do with it.  (She was the one who said they'd be out by the 1st.)  As the LL you are doing your due dillegence to mitigate & minimize any lost rent.   (I'd be sure to mention to any caller that you believe it will be available on the 1st.  Tell them that is when the former tenant is planning on moving.  You may have to repair damages, she may not be out...  Don't make promises you can't keep.)

By the way, many LLs will not take the rent out of the SD unless they must.  (I won't.  Unless I've seen the unit recently, I don't know what kind of damages they are going to leave in the unit.  Sometimes that alone can be more than the SD!  If she wasn't out on Feb 1, I'd tell her to pay her full rent and the remainder will be refunded after she leaves.  Also, who says she will actually leave on time?)  Many LLs would wait until she doesn't pay her rent on the 1st, serve her with the 3 day notice, and begin to evict.  It doesn't matter if she agrees to your deductions from her SD or not.  If she disagrees, she can make her protest known in court.  And by the way, you can subtract any damages from the unauthorized pets from the SD too.

 

Check your local laws on when notices take effect. 

gocolts

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Reply with quote  #3 

THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION. IM IN INDIANA BY THE WAY. THEY MOVED ALL THEIR STUFF SATURDAY AND LEFT THEIR CATS AND A LITER BOX THAT IS NASTY,FULL,AND STINKING UP THE HOUSE. THIS HOME IS ALSO FOR SALE AND THERE IS NO WAY WE COULD SHOW IT WITH IT STINKING THE WAY IT DOES. TODAY THEY SAID THEY WOULD CALL AND HAVE THE CATS OUT THEN TOMORROW I HAVE TO GO PAINT ONE OF THE ROOMS THEY REMOVED THE BORDER AND NEVER REPLACED IT AND WHEN I CAME OFF SOME PIANT CAME WITH IT SO THAT IS Y I HAVE TO REPAINT WHICH THEY ARE GETTING CHARGED FOR! ALSO MY HUSBAND HAD TO CLEAN UP THEIR BURNT TRASH MESS WHICH THEY WILL ALSO BE CHARGED FOR. WE DO HAVE A COUPLE THAT WANTS TO MOVE IN AROUND THE FIRST. BUT SINCE THEY BROKE THIER 30 DAY NOTICE AND DISREGARDED THE RULES THAT WERE SET I DON'T FEEL THEY DESERVE THEIR SD BACK THEY HAVE ONLY BEEN THERE 2 MONTHS! MY HUSBAND SAYS HE DOESN'T CARE...THEY WONT RECIEVE THEIR SD BACK FOR ALL THE WAISTED TIME AND TRASH REMOVAL AND STINKY CATS! THIS IS OUR FIRST TIME RENTING AND IT HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE!

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 
I'm sorry that your 1st LLing experience has been so bad. (You should see the tenant I'm trying to get rid of right now!!!)  It does get better.  But you have to screen tenants EXTRA well anymore.  There are a lot of con artists out there.   Charge their SD for all the cleaning, painting and any other charges necessary to bring the unit back to its pre-rental condition.  Since they were only in it for a few months, no judge would object to charging them full cost of painting, etc.  In OH, I can charge them for my time to do these things (at a reasonable cost per hour - I charge $10/hr) + all the supplies.   Instead of repainting that room, you might think about just replacing the border with a wider one.  You can often find these borders for < $5 per roll @ a dollar store, Big Lots, or other discount store.  (My husband hates when I use these borders!  But they are super easy to put up and much faster than repainting the whole room.)   Charge them for the trash cleanup.  Have the carpets cleaned (charge the SD) and you may need to bug bomb the place for fleas.  (Wear white tube socks pulled up over your pants legs when you walk through the place.  If they're there, it makes it easy to see.)  I had to bomb the last place I had w/ cats in it 2x to get them out.  By law, you can't just keep their SD (even if your lease says you can).  But what you can, and should do is this, make a list of any & all charges to restore the place.  (The law says you cannot charge for ordinary wear & tear but with them being there only 2 mos. its hard to have any wear & tear on a place).  List what you did, how long it took, and the cost for each thing you had to do to right that house.  Include the prorated cost of any days the house sits empty before it is ready to rent/sell again.  Make an itemized list that shows how you used all their security deposit (and then some maybe) and mail it to them at their forwarding address within 30 days.  You might want to check the "Landlord-Tenant Law" in your state to be sure you have to mail this to them within 30 days there, as diff. states have diff. timelines. If you fail to send this itemized list to them. the tenant can sue you in court and get 2 or 3 x their SD back from you.  Be sure to mail the itemized statement to them.  Also, screen those new tenants backwards & forwards.  Do credit & criminal background checks.  Call their last 2 LLs, check civil (municipal) court records for prior evictions, check employer & personal references.  I even check the net for their names on Sex. Predator lists.  Don't sign anything with them or take any money from them before you check all this and they sign a lease.  Have you read up on LLing with books from the libary?  Anything you can borrow that comes from NOLO is excellent.  If I can be of anymore help, let me know.  I try to check this site and several others at least once every day or two.  Good luck!
kurt

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Posts: 137
Reply with quote  #5 

Let me re phrase some thing.. it can get better...Screening works some, but often in lower income areas it's a pain in the bender and you will probably go through a lot of jerks, scum, sleaz, dirt bags, and so on before you find a good tenant.. I rent in Columbus, ohio, and I have seen tenants that don't deserve a clean trash can to move into(they would mess it up!!)!!  Many(not all) tenants will lie like rugs, make up fake references, say they "have it going on" because they worked a temp job for three months(if that long), and then there's the people that are using some tyoe of welfare assistance to move in and they want a palace yet they can't prove they have a job to pay the rent!!! Jesus wept!!

 

I would charge them out the ying yang for cleaning and painting, make it hig, but not way out there high price.. I even put a breaking the lease charge in my lease (if I have to evict them, or they abandon the unit), and I put the state max 28% interest on any debt they owe me..Courts suck wind on that, they ofer 5-8% a year, so I uped it in my lease.

 

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #6 

I just checked your state's statute on returning SD or itemized letters to them.  In Indiana, you actually have 45 days to do this.  So take your time, do all that you have to do, itemize every charge you need to, but don't mail that letter for 40 days after they give you back the keys.  If they call before then, just tell them state law gives you 45 days to get it in the mail!

gocolts

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #7 

Well today was the walk thru...they had the water turned off! We let them know they were not getting their sd back and she just thru up small claims court???? I have made a list of things that they r being charged for  and it will be mailed to them!!! What can they do???

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #8 

Before you start to fix the place, go take pictures of any damages you will charge them for.  (Photos of the torn off border, dirty walls, filty carpet, etc.)  Once you send them the itemized statement, they will look it over to see if they can dispute any items on it in small claims court.  (Sometimes they don't even look at it first.)  This is a common scare tactic by tenants.  They will tell you that they want it all back and 2 or 3 times the deposit for damages. (whichever your state requires -look in your state statutes 32-31-3-9 to 32-31-3-19)  They might even send you a demand for this.  If so, send them a nice letter telling them that you are aware of the state law and that you will mail their statement within 45 days.  Remember, they could only collect the double or triple damages against you if you wrongfully withhold the money.  If you have done your job well and itemized, explaining each item that you deducted, you will have no problem.  Keep your receipts and a log of what you did on which day and how long it took you.  Itemize their statement (for example ... Painted master bedroom, required 2 gals paint, completed 1-1-07, 4 hrs. labor @ $10.00/hr. + supplies = $78.00;  washed down and degreased all kitchen cabinets & walls, completed 1-2-07, 7 hrs. labor @ $10.00/hr + supplies = $82.00; Rent from 1-1-07 to 1-10-07, prorated @ $20.00/day, unable to rent unit due to tenant damages = $200.00; etc.)  Add it all up and it will probably total more than their SD.  If it doesn't come up to the SD amount, you send them a check for the balance with the statement.  Sometimes I note on the itemized sheet that there are photos of the damage. (makes them think twice - do they want a judge to see that?)

 

On a unit with lots of damages, I even make a separate page breaking down each task and all the materials/supplies I needed to do the job (painting master BD - 2 gallons Glidden semigloss paint, paint brush, rollers, dropcloths, painters tape;  degreasing kitchen - rubber gloves, bucket, sponges, scrubbing pads, industrial strength degreaser, paper towels, etc.)  I do not send this additional separate sheet to the tenant.  This is just backup if they decide to take you to court.  You can show the judge exactly what you did, how long it took, & how many materials/supplies you had to buy.  This sheet, along with the time log of work, your photos, and your receipts, will show him exactly how much work you had to put into the place to fix the tenants damages.  The judge will look at the pre-rental inspection sheet and note that these damages weren't present at the beginning of the tenancy..

 

Remember, don't mail that list to them yet.  They will still owe you $ for unpaid rent (they failed to give adequate notice, right?).  If you can't rent that unit immediately, they will owe you rent (up to the 30 days) that it remains unrented.  Besides, sometimes damages are overlooked.  What may seem fine at first, can turn up later to be damaged.  (Not to scare you but I've even heard horror stories about tenants pouring cement down the drains.  Never seen a tenant do it.)  But with the water off, how would you know?  Get the utilities on.  Do the walk-through again in a couple days.  Try every switch, outlet, faucet, drain, fixture, kick on the furnance & A/c, just to be sure they all work.  Plan on mailing them the list in about 40 days after you regained possession (you have 45 days in Indiana).

gocolts

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #9 

We actually didn't have a problem renting it again, new renters are moving in this weekend....I spent all day yesterday painting and picking up trash that was shrode all along the fence line and yes it's theirs, has their names on some pieces! So I took pictures of that. Also they chipped up the paint in the mbed,living room and 2nd bed. I took pictures of that also. They painted the kitchen a got paint all over the trim, also got pics of that don't know if that will be held as something or not. They left a grill and a box of trash it looks like.....what do we do if they don't come and collect their stuff?? Also is stinks because of the litter box they had and you very well can't take pics of that! So we are going to have to deoterize the carpets! Also the burnt trash my husband had to clean up...we didn't get pics of that and that was a mess. But as long as we send them a list of things we charged them for and an explanation of why within 45 days, they can't do anything until then...correct?

OHlandlord

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Reply with quote  #10 

You can always have the carpet cleaner (or an independant 3rd party) write a statement to attest to the smell of cat ****.  That works just as well.  I did have a thought overnight.  You may have to check your local law to see if you can charge for your time,  some states don't allow it.  In that case, I always get cheap labor to do the cleaning part.  You can charge for someone else's labor.  (I just list it as:  Paint master bedroom, required 2 gals paint, completed 1-1-07, 4 hrs. labor by JOE CHEAPLABOR @ $10.00/hr. + supplies = $78.00)  Remember to charge them (prorated) rent for even those few days until the new tenants move in.

 

Another thing I do is keep the remainder of the paint after I paint each time.  I mark the can with the room and unit that I used it in.  Then I can go back and just touch up instead of painting a whole room.  Just place the paint where the tenants can't throw it away (& it won't freeze - like a basement, or storage closet/room) or insist that they keep it there.  Saves time.

 

Just cause you send them the itemized statement doesn't mean they won't protest the charges in court.  Let them know you have pics, that usually makes them think twice about filing.  Keep good records, your receipts, pics, etc. all together in a folder in case you do have to go to court.  If not, file them away later.

BEST OF LUCK!!!

OH_vlf

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Reply with quote  #11 

OHlandlord you stated to contact the below;

Quote:

Call their last 2 LLs, check civil (municipal) court records for prior evictions, check employer & personal references.  I even check the net for their names on Sex. Predator lists.  

 

I am new to this board so first I would like to say Hello.

 

Next I want to ask you where I can get the info you wrote about in your post... For Ashland Ohio.  Meaning "Civil records" "Municipal records" and the "Sex Predator" records also. Is there a place you go to get this info and if so is there a fee involed?

Thanks for any help you can give me in advance.

Lyn

 


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OHlandlord

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Reply with quote  #12 

Hi Lyn!  For your area try http://www.ashlandcounty.org/ to find links to your common pleas court and the sheriff's site.  Comon pleas records should tell you about criminal cases in your county if they have a searchable index.  (Here we can search by name or DOB.)  Your sheriff's site has a link to predators  or you could go directly to http://www.ashlandcounty.org/sheriff/predators.cfm .  To find municipal records try http://www.ashlandmunicipalcourt.org  (this shows civil cases filed - divorces, local evictions, etc.)  I don't know if that is the correct site or not but that's how we find ours here.  If not correct, look for your city's home page & a link to municipal court.  Searching online is free but will only get you cases in that county.  (Works good for small towns.)  For more info from other areas you have to do an online search that costs about $15.  I can also go to the police & sheriff offices & fill out a form for a background search & get this info.  They do it for free here but are allowed to charge a minimal amount for xeroxing, etc.  Its just a pain having to go downtown, go through the metal detector, & fill out the forms.  If I can be of any more help, just let me know.  I try to check in here every day or two.

OH_vlf

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Reply with quote  #13 

Thank you so much for the links they were just what I was looking for.

 

Have another question.... What are the statues of limitations on taking a tenant to court in Ohio??  Meaning how many days/months do I have before I can no longer seek damages from them??.

 

Thanks again,

Lyn


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OHlandlord

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Reply with quote  #14 

Give me a few, let me see if I can look that up.  Do you mean, how long can you wait before you actually file a case against them, or for how long is the judgement good before it is ignored?  ....  I couldn't find the answer in my OH landlord-tenant law book (even though I know it must be in there somewhere)  I'm asking on another site to find the answer for you.  Let you know as soon as I find out.  ...  Someone told me that you have up to 7 yrs to file, but I don't think that is correct.  (You only have 2 yrs to file after a car accident.)  I know that the judgement you are granted is good for 7 yrs, then you need to renew it if you still want to keep it collectable.  Still not sure how long you have before you actually file though.  I would file as soon as possible just to be sure.  Maybe the municipal court could tell you? Sorry I couldn't find out.

OH_vlf

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Reply with quote  #15 
 
Hi again, I called my attorney stautes on taking a tenant to small claims is 6 years for an oral contract and 6 years for a written in OHIO.

I had a carpet cleaner send me an invoice 4 months past there move out date which I thought the tenant paid.  So now I will have to file in small claims to collect.  It is a long story but that is the if of it and why I was asking.
I am really upset the this carpet place... not sending me anything for 4 months and now I have to deal with it. (Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaning).
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