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fablandlord

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 
In the past there have been problems in the house but they are fixed the next day.  It has been four things this year:   A pipe busted under the slab and caused water seepage in the hallway.  That was fixed and repaired back to normal really quickly within the same week, beginning on the day they reported it. 

This winter they complained of high gas bill.  I said, call the gas company and see if you have a leak as you hadn't had any trouble up to this point.  They didn't do it until 3 months later but complained every month.  The gas company said they had a leak and I got it repaired and their gas bill went down.  It really got me upset as they were blaming me that the gas bill was so high when all they had to do was call the gas company. 

Termites came this spring and an exterminator was called and within the very week, no more termites.

I decided to buy a new furnace this week.  For some reason, now, the a/c isn't cooling the house.  I just found out about it earlier this week as they never reported it to me.   They had the repairman's number and he wanted to come but they would not call him back.  When he calls they said that he couldn't come because of this reason and that reason.  In the meantime, the tenants are callling me screaming that they have no air.  I explained to them that they are not available, that they don't want anyone in the house, not even me, the landlord when they are not home so until they decide to be home, nothing can be done. 

This smells either of some plan to not pay the rent or maybe they're manic depressive OR ARE THEY HIDING GUNS OR DRUGS IN THE HOUSE?  I'm sort of afraid now.  What do I have to worry about?

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 

Send them a notice saying that the repair man for the A/C will be there on XX/XX/07 at xx:xx time and that you will accompany him to repair the problem.  Give at least 24 hours notice.  If they are not home, go on in and let the guy do his job.  Leave a note on the way out saying that the problem is fixed.  If they turn you away at the door, document it.  Have the repairman sign a statement that he arrived to fix the problem on that day, but the tenants refused entry.  Then if he bills you, you bill the tenant for the call.  If they fail to pay, subtract it from the next rent payment and mark their rent insufficient and late.  That way if they try to withhold rent, you can prove that you tried to fix the problem.

fablandlord

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
All well and good except for one thing:  They changed the locks and I have no key.  I asked them to give me a key and I would wait for the repairman myself.  She refused.  They don't want anyone in the house while they are not there.  In the meantime, she tells me that she had to send her son away because he has asthma and she can't stay and wait for the repairman because she has to attend a wedding.  It's just one excuse after another.  I don't have a key.  I was reading that I could evict them just because of this.  Is that true?  I have all the proof in the world that I have tried numerous times.  I am at a loss as to why they won't let me gain access if it's so important that the a/c gets fixed.
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 
You have a right to a key to your premises at all times.  This is what I would do.  (You may want to check first to be sure this is legal in your area.)  Give her notice that states she has 3 days to provide the key to the premises.  Tell her that you will do the following if she doesn't comply.  If she fails to give a key, post a 24 hour notice that you will be coming back with a locksmith.  Return to the premises the next day with a locksmith.  Change the locks and post a notice that you have done so.  Leave a phone number where she may contact you 24 hours a day to receive her key to the property. Bill her for the locksmith.  When she pays the rent again, subtract the locksmith charge first, leaving her rent short.
Your alternatives are to try to evict her for failing to provide you access to your property or to seek an injunction from the court forcing her to allow you access.  If you try to evict for failure to provide access, give her a notice to cure this violation first by providing you with a key within a reasonable amount of time.  Then you can prove that she will not let you in, she refused to permit the contractor in, and that she refused to provide you with a key.
fablandlord

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for being so faithful in returning replies.  I"m very impressed.  I will follow your instructions, not with the locksmith but with the eviction notice.  I am more worried now about why I cannot gain access than anything else.  I have a suspicion that something not kosher is happening within the residence.  Thanks for everything.  I will check with DeKalb County this morning about the eviction proceedings under this claim.
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #6 

Your instincts may be right.  There may be something in the house they don't want you to see - extra occupants, unauthorized pets, drugs, growing pot, etc.  Or it may be that they are just peculiar and are afraid of everyone.  They may think that someone will steal all their precious stuff if they are not there to guard it.  Hard to tell.  Just get your evidence together.  Are you going to try to evict yourself or hire an eviction attorney to do this?  Have you done an eviction before?  (If not, I suggest seeking an attorney.)  If you do not follow the guidelines to the letter - one mistake, and you have to start over.  Good luck.

fablandlord

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #7 
You're right on the money.  I found out I do need an attorney.  I was going to file it on Friday but I found out I have to wait until the day after.  In the meantime, when I left voice mail telling them what I was going to do she called back immediately and said I can have the key but she doesn't have it.  I will just go with what I wrote in the letter which is to drop it off at the clubhouse.  Thanks for everything!  I'm now wondering how much a dispossessory attorney will cost me and can I charge them for it.  Thanks again!
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #8 
To find a good attorney, you may want to call a local LL association and ask who they recommend.  Otherwise call around and ask specifically if they specialize in residential evictions.  Look for one who charges a flat fee to do a standard eviction.  Or if you have time, go sit in court tomorrow and listen to any attorneys who have eviction cases.  This way you know how they operate in court.

BTW, what does this mean?  "In the meantime, when I left voice mail telling them what I was going to do she called back immediately and said I can have the key but she doesn't have it."  How long does it take to go to the big box store & have one made, 5 minutes?
fablandlord

Registered:
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #9 
Haha!  I know, it should be a simple process of making a key.  There's a hardware store not two minutes away.  UPDATE:  She did not give me a key and she is no in eviction status because of it and the rent was due today so she is now in eviction status for two breaches.  She's making it really easy for me in court...Thanks for all your help.  I have another question I will post now...
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