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vkky2k

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a very difficult tenant. She is making a lot of troubles for me and for the other unit, and trying to make my life difficult.

She reported to Housing department that there are 4 repairs(didn't reach out to me first). they are all minor issues as the result of Housing inspection. On the phone the inspector described me what these issues are. For instance, a little leaking under kitchen sink and happened only when a large water coming down;  water faucet in a bathroom got broken (by her).

Though the inspector described me on the phone, but I still would want to to check out myself first in detail, to prepare for parts and what kind of people should I hire to fix. 

Here is the problem:
She doesn't want me and my wife to go inside to check out the damage. She said she can only allow us to get in if I have a license plumber. My question, just for checking purpose, do i have to hire a licensed plumber to get in?

secondly, during the repair time, she doesn't want me to be inside, i have to be outside until they get fixed. I would want to stay in during the repair. Can I allow to stay in ?


Who has the legal ground on these two? Thanks!
Anonymous

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Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #2 
First of all how long have you had this tenant?

What state are you in and what do the renter right and landlord law say?

What does your lease say?

If you own the property you could do the repairs yourself for all she knows thousands of landlords do their own repairs and don't hire anybody unless they have to. She doesn't even have to be there for you to enter the property as long as you give notice, and very likely doesn't have any ground to stand on to say whether or not you can enter you own the property.

My gut's telling me she's got some stuff going on in there ours done a lot more damage and doesn't want you to find out about it I might be wrong but I doubt it.

I suggest posting your message on a free legal website which there are numerous and or ask an attorney because it sounds like this won't be your last issue with her especially when you deduct the cost of a bathroom faucet from her security deposit.
AccidentalRental

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Posts: 207
Reply with quote  #3 
Your lease should be very specific as to when and how you are required to notify your tenant for access.  Follow it and let her know you expect her to abide by the lease terms.  If she refuses, serve her notice to cure or quit.  She doesn't get to dictate the terms of how you do repairs.
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AvonLady

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 
Google what your state law says about your right to enter when there is an issue which needs repair. In my state, I have to give my tenant 24 hours notice if they report an issue (or a city/county inspector does) to let them know I will be entering the unit. The time I enter has to be during regular business hours 8am - 5pm, Mon - Fri.

If they do not acknowledge the email by writing me back, my state has a form I can tape to their front door where in print stating the time window and date I and/or a state licensed contractor will be entering. To play it safe, I tape the notice on their door 72 hours before I enter.

In my state I can do my own repairs and do not need a contractor's license to do so.  Good luck and hope you can get in there legally!
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #5 

Thank you both very much for valuable advise!

>>First of all how long have you had this tenant?
I had this tenant since 06/15/2019. Later, I found that she has had almost 7 outstanding lawsuits with her previous landlord.

Since first day, she is making a lot of trouble:
Brought a large dog in even clearly prohibited from Lease; Making racial slurs to other tenants; making heavy noise; paid 5 days (within graceful days) later than due day in every month; smoked in balcony though not allowed in surrounding area etc. According to my lawyer, all these would not reach to a degree that the judge would order to kick her out.

>>What state are you in and what do the renter right and landlord law say?
New Jersey

>> What does your lease say?
The following is the entire section about this from Lease:

17. RIGHT OF ENTRY FOR PERIODIC INSPECTION 
The Owner or his agent may enter the premises with prior consent of the Tenants, or with 24 hours written notice to any Tenants on the premises to be entered. The Owner may enter during reasonable hours and for the purpose of inspecting the premises, making necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supplying necessary or agreed services, or exhibiting the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, prospective Tenants, workmen, contractors, or insurance inspectors. The Owner shall be deemed to have given 24 hours written notice by posting a notice in a noticeable place stating such intent to enter, at least 24 hours before the intended entry, or in the event notice to vacate has been given by the Tenants, the Owner shall have Tenant’s authorization to show the premises at any and all reasonable times, regardless of whether the Tenants is present or not. However, in the event of an emergency constituting a danger to life, health or property, the Owner or his agent may enter the property at any given time without the consent of or notice to the Tenants. The Owner shall have the right to enter the property at any given time upon the request for repairs.


>>My gut's telling me she's got some stuff going on in there ours done a lot more damage and doesn't want you to find out >>about it I might be wrong but I doubt it.
You made an excellent point! You reminded me of other things, and I have had same feelings. 

My follow-ups:
1.  Does that indicate that I have the right to enter for the inspection without a license plumber? and I can stay in during the repair? If yes, Should I serve her notice to cure or quit?
2.  She is demanding me to hire a license plumber, otherwise, she would not allow me to fix. Do I have to? Cann't I do it by myself, if I can?





 

Anonymous

Registered:
Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #6 
I suggest meeting with a different Attorney to see what they say.  This woman is violated your lease, which she has signed, in multiple situations.  I'm not a lawyer, but i disagree with your attorney.  I bet when you go inside to fix the plumbing, you will find a bunch of other violations.  She's hiding something or somebody.

Document her violations.... have a letter drafted, service notice and evict, is my opinion, but you have to do what works for you.

Why didn't you check her references and with previous landlords?
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #7 
She lied about her background and credits. I neglected on checking. A listen I learned in a hard way. 

I have sent her a formal request. If she refuse again. I am going to file a complaining to the court. 


Anonymous

Registered:
Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #8 
Good luck.  Keep us posted on what happens.
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
Update:

I just found  that she sued previous landlord for not fixing apartment issues back then, and demanding $15,000. The case is still outstanding

In my case, she reported 4 issues (all minor) to Housing without reaching out to me first. Housing doesn't sound care about how minor issues is. They filed a violation reported to me. However, that raised a red flag. Here is my question:

Should I file complaining to the court for Lease violation? Because Lease clearly said that if there are issues with  the apartment, tenant is responsible for reporting to Landlord asap. Without reaching out to me, reporting to Housing directly, that was a violation.

If I do, would that have any negative impact, Would judge  feel that I am making a big fuss over a minor issue?
Anonymous

Registered:
Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #10 
I hope I'm wrong but I think it's inevitable you're going to have a lawsuit with this woman too.

I don't know exactly how it works in your state I'm in California which is an extremely renter friendly State and very tough, but you've got numerous lease violations that you've previously mentioned which alone is grounds for eviction. So I don't know what your current attorneys talking about saying that a judge might not rule in your favor this won't go in front of a judge if there's no lawsuit. The purpose of a lease is to Define rules and regulations and boundaries but have to be abided by by both parties, landlord and tenant, if not there are consequences. She obviously has no respect for you or the lease that she signed by her various breeches and although they aren't major issues the fact remains she has no intention of a fighting by them and like I said before I can only imagine what else is going on within that unit since she's so paranoid about letting you in. I would try to contact that city inspector and get something in writing from him in regards to what he inspected and his opinion get it on paper, document all the violations either send it to your current attorney could draw up a letter and or file for eviction. I would also do what that other responder above said and post a notice on her door when you an Dora license contractor will be coming in to check the plumbing issue and make sure you take a picture of the notice posted on the door and possibly even with a witness standing there because she'll likely say oh I didn't get it. Or send it certified letter signature required.
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #11 
The tenant finally orally agreed to let us in. We are in NJ.

To protect us, I would like to hire a witness, any recommendations on how or where i can find such person? I called local police. they don't do that, and saying only can come if there is something happening.

Thanks a lot for your advise.
Anonymous

Registered:
Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #12 
a witness can be anybody family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor.... Might even consider having them record on your phone what's going on and or the condition of your place check also if there are any laws against that in your state
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #13 
Update:
When we got there, she didn't allow us in, and demanding for a licensed worker, although she agreed in advance via text message. We had waited for 17 minutes long, then left.

I consulted with my lawyer who is very experienced with NJ L-T law, and knows the tenant very well. He indicated to me that all issues I encountered with her, judge would not evict her based on those. He recommended me to file "no access complain". This is a tenant friendly state/county. I reported to Housing Department last week, the rep also said that I have to file a complain.

The same lawyer also said, she cannot dictate whom I have to come with in order to get in. 

She is demanding not only I have to have license worker for the inspection, also have to have a license worker to do repairs.

Should I hire a lawyer or file myself?
Anonymous

Registered:
Posts: 90
Reply with quote  #14 
What is the point in having a lease agreement, which is a legal document, if even though a tenant has multiple violations and won't let you in and according to your attorney, you still can't evict her?

How could she not let you in, you gave proper notice and she doesn't have to be there for you to enter.

Whats is filing a complaint going to do???

File a complaint with the police tell them that you suspect illegal activity on the premises.

I'd get a second opinion, just because someone has experience doesn't necessarily mean they are any good or right, but if you have the patients and trust him, your call.
vkky2k

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #15 
I would ask 2nd opinion (2nd lawyer), if I have a chance. However, based on my own research, the lawyer I am checking with seems correct. The are all violations, but since this is tenant tender state, the judge would not therefore evict her. 

The filing is to get in the property, and also to show Housing that I could not get in and repair, because the tenant won't allow me in. 
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