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lufeitan

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
I own an apartment complex and I recently had tenant say that he wants to file a discrimination lawsuit against us. The reason being that my property manager told him to move his motorcycle, which he has parked in front of a staircase, to the designated parking space. The motorcycle was posing a fire hazard and we believed that this was reasonable. However, the tenant claims that we are discriminating against him because there is another tenant, whom we inherited from the previous owner, who parks his motorcycles outside of his unit, but posing no fire hazard threat. Since the inherited tenant already had an agreement with the previous owner regarding his motorcycles, we believed that his right has been grandfathered in. With any new tenants, we do not want their motorcycles on the property, especially if it proofs to be a fire hazard. 

Am I correct in thinking that the inherited tenant's agreement with the previous owner has been grandfathered in? Also, does the tenant claiming a discrimination lawsuit against us have any ground in his claim? How worried should be be if this issue goes to court and should we settle?   

We have liability insurance with Travelers Insurance, but we are not sure if the policy covers discrimination lawsuits. Does the typical apartment owner insurance policy with Travelers cover discrimination lawsuits?

Thank you for your time and advice.
Marytmary1978

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Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #2 

I don't think you have anything to worry about.  However, you are free to change to rules that you would like to inforce, with reason and reasonable notice.  You have a valid reason ( fire concerns) about parking both motorcycles near the building.  I would suggest you make a standard policy and inforce it the same for everyone.  Forget about the grandfather clause.

Marytmary1978

Registered:
Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #3 

I don't think you have anything to worry about.  However, you are free to change to rules that you would like to inforce, with reason and reasonable notice.  You have a valid reason ( fire concerns) about parking both motorcycles near the building.  I would suggest you make a standard policy and inforce it the same for everyone.  Forget about the grandfather clause.

lufeitan

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks to everyone to gave me advice regarding my problem; I greatly appreciate it.

There is a second part to my story. Besides the complainer's lawsuit threat, he also did not pay rent for May. He told my property manager that, since the manager treated him so badly, he will only speak to the owner from now on. My family gave in to his demand and we met up with him. Long story short, we the owners are now dealing directly with him and are planning on attempting to retrieve the rent one last time before starting eviction proceedings. Was this a bad idea on our part (giving in to tenant demands) and, if so, how can we alleviate this problem?

Thanks in advance for sharing your time and wisdom.

Phillip
5/22/12
11:17 AM
Marytmary1978

Registered:
Posts: 445
Reply with quote  #5 

Bad idea.  Just start the evition with a 72 pay or quit notice.

KristinWard

Registered:
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #6 
I had a potential tenant, a black male in his 20's, try and sue me for discrimination a while back. I reviewed said person's application along with several others. I ended up renting to a woman in her 40's, who was white. I'm sure you can immediately guess what kind of discrimination he tried to take me to court for. However that wasn't the reason I ended up renting to her. She had double the income and excellent credit, while his was only so-so. 

Fortunately I keep all my paperwork regarding any potential applicants I do tenant screening from the site I use http://www.tenantverification.com/ for at least a year. 

My advice to you is start the eviction and make sure to document everything. I would also take pictures of where the motorcycle is parked or was parked just in case you have to prove in court that it was a fire hazard. Never hearts to be safe.

__________________
http://www.tenantverification.com/- Fast, Easy tenant screening. Or try our sister company http://www.atenantscreen.com
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