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ethan_elite

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Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #1 

New to being a landlord. My wife and I just purchased three duplexes in the state of Missouri for investments. All units were occupied when purchased with leases.
Upon taking possession, one renter, who had only been there one month under old management, decided that she could not live without her dog. It specifically states 'No Pets' in lease. What are my first steps? What type of documentation should I give these tenants to make life easier down the road? And were online can I get a copy? Someone mentioned that I need to serve them a "Notice to Perform", is this correct? Thx for helping.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,717
Reply with quote  #2 

I'm not familiar with that name since I'm not from your state.  However, most states have some version of this type of notice.  In my state there is no specific version to use, but these forms usually includes the form's title (I use: Notification of Lease Violation), the tenant's name, address, today's date, a lease violation line to specify what they did to violate their lease, and what clause of the lease they are violating -quote it from the lease, (some versions have a violation date line -the date you became aware of the violation).  It then goes on to tell them what they need to do to remedy the violation and the time period they have to comply with the lease.  You need a signature line for you to sign at the bottom.  (Always keep a copy of anything you send the tenant.)  I did not see a time period in your state's laws on how long they have, but make it a reasonable amount of time if their lease does not specify that "violations must be cured within X days."  (Missouri was listed as "Landlord can terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice to terminate for violation of lease."  I would do this only if she didn't cure.  If you do give her this, she must move out within 10 days or you evict.) 

Write out a notice of this type - you may wish to make a form on your computer if you can't find a specific one.  As long as you have included the above information, it should still stand up if challenged.  Tell her she has to get rid of the dog in X number of days.  Let her know that you will inspect after that many days to verify the dog is gone.  (I see no statute on LL access for your state either.  But most states require that you give a 24 hr. written notice before you go in to inspect.)  Make sure she gets rid of the pet, or the other tenants will start bringing in pets too!

 

Perhaps you should send the tenants a welcoming letter to inform them of the new management.  Let them know that there won't be a lot of changes.  Tell them you have received copies of their current leases (I hope you did) and that they'll be glad to know that you intend to live up to your responsibilities under the lease, as you are sure they will live up to theirs.   Give them some other general info as to where to send you notices and such.  Then whenever you see one of these tenants violating the lease, send them notice of the violation.  You need to let them know that will not allow them to violate the lease.  They need to get the idea that you are firm but fair.

I hope this helps.  Good luck on your new units!

 

hector99

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #3 

Well a notice to perform usually comes after you address the problem by talking to the tenant, writing letters, etc.  Try getting pet agreement This document not only lists the pet’s information (Name, weight, age, etc.) but also clarifies the rules and regulations for the pet. It is important to explain to the Tenant that each pet must be accounted for to prevent unauthorized pet(s). Allowing pets may make your property more appealing and easier to rent. You may want to consider collecting an additional security deposit or increase the rent when allowing a pet; but it is important to check if there are limits or restrictions in your state. The advantage will be that any damage to the rental unit from a pet is solely the responsibility of the tenant and must be immediately repaired, cleaned and/or replaced at the tenant’s expense. The agreement form you can get on ezlandlordforms.com

Keep in mind that if you are evicting for rent-it's far more black & white as far as the courts are concerned.

If you are evicting for any other reason than rent-it's a lot harder and you have to documentation that you tried to correct the problem outside of court.

This could a tough one because this tenant can go get a note from her doctor saying she needs the animal as a "therapy dog.." and it could get dragged out in courts for months.

Unfortunately-at this time the "therapy" animals are sort of a new thing and there isn't any legislation covering them yet that I've heard of. HOWEVER-if it's an "assistance animal" you can't turn the person down for rental or evict them.

Try reasoning with her verbally first and follow-up with a letter.

Good luck. It might wind up being easier to just collect a pet deposit and go from there.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,717
Reply with quote  #4 

As the last poster said, you can get a pet agreement to cover the animal for the tenant.  But keep in mind that if you allow this tenant to have a pet, you may have to allow the tenants in the other units to have pets too (if the units are close and identical), or at least on the other side of this duplex.  (Wouldn't want to discriminate against anyone - someone will file suit if you let her have the dog and you don't allow them have a pet too.)  If you don't mind having pets in all (or both) the units, get the agreement and have her sign it.  Definitely check your state laws on pet deposits (in some states you have to treat this as another SD), non-refundable pet fees (illegal in some states), and increasing her rent for the pet (but you will be unable to increase it if she's still on the lease).  

It sounds like the Notice to Perform is almost the same as a Notice of Lease Violation here.  You are just notifying the tenant in writing that something is not up to the agreement and allowing them time to correct the problem before you take further action.  (Here we give 30 days to correct the situation.)

And as Hector said, it is easier to evict for non-payment of rent.  (Some states are pro-tenant and it is difficult to evict for little else.)  But personally, I would not want dogs (or cats for that matter) in all my units.  I don't know how nice your places are, but animals can cause a lot of damage, especially to wall to wall carpets.  I've seen new carpets ruined by people with pets and unauthorized animals.  Perhaps they were good pet owners (or maybe not), perhaps they just couldn't get home in time to let the darling out.  But the smell and stains in a carpet from pet accidents just don't come out.  Usually you end up replacing the carpet.

Just so you know, I am not against pets.  I have 2 pets at home, and I have dogs in 2 of the single family houses I own.  One house has no carpet at all (hardwood floors), the other does have brand new carpet.  I checked the dog out thoroughly, as well as the owner, before I even considered it.  I took a non-refundable pet fee (legal here) and increased the rent each month just in case the dog does damage it.  I've been in the house 2 x since she's been there, so far so good.  No accidents, and she keeps one of those doggies pads (for accidents) by the back door just in case.  Is your tenant willing to do this?

Ronaled

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #5 
If you do not have a pet there, what is the problem? They can not evict you for NOT having a pet in most places. I have not found an apartment complex with a mandatory pet requirement-meaning you must own a pet.

Landlords will have stated clauses in the lease agreements concerning pets and the requirement of notification and payment of deposits when the need comes up. The violation can lead to eviction; it depends on what spelled out in the lease and how mean your landlord is.
Anatory

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Reply with quote  #6 
View our Unauthorized Pet Lease Violation form and hundreds of other rental forms for all situations.
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alexjhon

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Reply with quote  #7 
 Animal Control Officers may issue citations to citizens who violate city Animal Control ordinances.
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prin1113ci

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Posts: 86
Reply with quote  #8 
This Notice is to inform you that you are housing a pet on the Premises in violation of the Rental Agreement.



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Isaac32

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #9 
The breach can cause to eviction; it relies on what explained in the rental and how mean your property owner is.
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jill028

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #10 
Me too i am not familiar but a piece of paper and agreements can make it done.All you have to do is that agreement have an signature of an lawyer.
gustalves001

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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #11 
is there any sample of personal agreement? i have no idea about this...
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