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sean

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #16 

thanks OHlandlord to reply to my comment.

Greg, Suzanne .W  do these things for living, I am posting in my web site Amy's Story and  her experience with them. they left her house in June/09
by the way I was screwed  Financially more by 3 Lawyer that i have had, than  I was by Greg and Suzanne W.
My lawyers would tell me what I had to pay to take my case in writting.and than after they had my money, they would ask for more money, I could not sue my own lawyers, they were the worst.


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my horror stories will make every landlord’s toes curl.
What’s the worst case scenario if you decide to become a landlord?
None paying tenants?
Damage to the fixtures and fittings?
A huge cleaning bill?
None payment for utilities bills?
Thrown in jail?
Extortion?
http://www.protenants.150m.com
only1gibby

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #17 

my tenant had a grease fire in the kitchen, we went right in there and cleaned up her mess for her thinking we were doing a good thing she wasn't even out of the house for a week. she paid the next months rent. then the month after didn't pay. I started the eviction process. went to court asking for a money judgment. she wanted a lawyer, they adjourned it a week. the next week she had a note in the case file she had been supenod as a witness. The judge decided to proceed(the judge in our court was not in so I has to go to a different court) so I go to get my writ and find out the tenant has filed a motion. So I go back to court. and now she is saying the house is unfit. so now the house has to be inspected. and I have to wait for a new court date.

Onenuttree

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #18 

I have a question for anyone out there.  I have a tenant who is threatening to sue me if I tell the new landlord anything at all except that he was a tenant.  I live in PA.  I thought we were allowed to say they were late with their rent and that they were also evicted.  Can someone advise me?  I'm relatively new to the landlord business and this is my first eviction.

NeedHelpASAP

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #19 
Thanks for the advice!

I'm trying to figure out wit 15 days notice to quit exist in Massachusetts and how to do them properly!

I went to court today getting already to evict this tenant. But all of sudden it gets dismissed because of a stupid date i put on the paper! I swear, the Court is ridiculous of not showing me how to do the Notice to Quit just because they can't give any legal advice.


OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,720
Reply with quote  #20 
only1gibby, was this a section 8 tenant by any chance?  Let us know how this works out.

NeedHelpASAP, I answered your questions (as best I could) on your other post.

Onenuttree, there are a few states who have a privacy issue about disclosing ANY information at all about a current or former tenant.  Crazy, I know, but you'd have to search to see if PA is one of them.  If it is, ask the tenant to sign a release to allow you to give information about him to prospective LLs.  When he refuses, tell all callers simply that the person has refused to sign a release allowing you to verify ANYTHING about him at all.  Then tell the caller nothing - don't even verify that he was a tenant.  When they ask if he is a tenant, did he pay on time, was he a problem, and so forth, simply say, "I sure do WISH I could answer that but I'm not allowed."  The caller will get the idea without you saying anything. If you filed eviction on him, you could simply suggest to all callers that they check all public records on prospective tenants to get more information.  (You still told them nothing in particular about this tenant.)

If PA is not one of these nutty states, he can't sue you for slander if you only state factual information.  If asked if he paid on time, you could report that you received rent late on 6 occasions (backed up by your payment records).  If asked if he was a problem, you could state that the police came to his residence on 4 dates (and they could pull the court reports).  Just make sure you say nothing opinionated, just facts.
Natalie777

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #21 
I am reading all of those stories and just wondering if it pays to be a landlord. We've been lucky for 7 years and now are having tenant who is harrassing us with inspections and tenant actions. We have her appartment in a pretty good shape, there had been 3 inspections already. After the tenant action we had several violations B issued and by now corrected. She has the rent past due 3 months. We started the eviction... I don't know yet how the process goes in New York... How come tenants are allowed to harrass the landlords this way? We have a No harrassment law here against the landlords and nothing like this against the tenants. My impression is that lanlords are discriminated based on their source of income... I am also looking for the LL association to join... Any advises?
Btw, screening of this tenant didn't bring any results. So I am not sure if this is her first case... We will definetely report her everywhere...

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MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #22 
Natalie777,

It sounds like you rent to section 8 tenants (you mentioned having inspections, etc..). Here's some advice: Don't rent to section 8. Rent to applicants that have an income of at least 3x what you're asking for rent and with good credit scores and 99% of your issues will vanish. I'm not kidding when I say that if you do this that you will always: get the rent paid and on time, few maintenance calls (because they keep your units clean and don't ware them hard), and in some cases you'll get the unit back from them even cleaner then when you rented it to them.

Answers to your questions:

How come tenants are allowed to harrass the landlords this way?

They're not only bad tenants, but they are backed by sympathizing tenant advocacy organizations that seem to think that all LL's are deep-pocketed slumlords.

I am also looking for the LL association to join... Any advises?

Joining a LL (Apartment owners) association is an excellent idea! there are many around the country. Here are some suggested links to AOA's and LLA's:

http://www.thelpa.com/lpa/associations/new_york.html

http://www.apartmentjournal.com/associations

Good Luck!
Natalie777

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks. No she is not section 8. With housing inspection this is how it works in NYC. She calls 311 and says she has such and such problem (just anything). They enter it in the NYC housing system / complaints section. Then the inspector comes in to check.
She kept complaining until she got the full apartment inspection (even hired a lawyer). We even didn't receive any violations notices. Somehow it just goes to the housing court/tenant action case. And boom - the court order comes it with the demand to fix violations or we will have to pay fees for failures to correct. We've been shocked... Trying to deal with all this... There are loopholes that we are not aware of, she is working in the law office and I am sure her lawyer gives her free illegal advises...

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Natalie777

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #24 
So here is the end of the story. She moved out. Left the apartment clean and returned the keys. Now what? She still left a mess - opened complaints, etc. And she didn't pay of course. She didn't answer the housing court petition either... How likely that I make her pay what she owes?
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MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #25 
Well first and most important thing to do is: relax and have a sense of humor about it .  It's not worth it to stress over something when you did nothing wrong.  If you followed a "reasonable standard of care" (that's an actual legal term) in maintaining the unit and the building, addressed all concerns and fixed all problems in a timely matter, then you did your job.  

Sounds like this tenant was trying to make you out to look like a slumlord - which you're obviously not.  A true slumlord will never fix anything, conveniently be "unavailable" to any tenant that try's to contact them for anything other than paying the rent, etc.  That's the kind of LL that the courts go after and slap with penalties, etc., etc.  What this tenant (and probably their lawyer) is trying to do is scare you into thinking that you could never win if you were to take them to court to collect on what they owe you. 

So here are your options, you can move one and accept this as a loss or you could pursue legal action against them and collect any unpaid rent, late fees, and anything else they might owe you.  If your plan is to pursue them then make sure you have solid documentation of everything that happened as well as a copy of the rental agreement.  You will need to show the court that you followed the "reasonable standard of care" and had everything fixed in a timely manner, but before you get too involved in this, you will need to ask yourself if this will really be worth it.  Reason being, is that pursuing them is going to cost you in legal fees, court costs, and time off work.  You may be able to collect on those as well, but typically in liberal jurisdictions (where the court sympathizes with the tenant) the court will deny you to collect on those costs.  Lastly and most importantly, you will need to act soon/fast if you choose to go this route since many states have laws that require you to act soon.

Good Luck!

Natalie777

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #26 
Thanks Mike. You are right - I need to look at all this with the sense of humor. I was pretty tired dealing with this crap and had been stressed for long time. If I apply the security to the unpaid rent - then the losses are 21 day of her living and not paying. As she gave us hard time with inspections (one after another) and complaints I do want to give her hard time right back. Probably this is not worth it to file the claims, etc. I will make sure she is reported everywhere... Will be careful next time... No more bitches like that one...
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MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #27 
See it's not as bad as it could've been.   All-in-all, financially speaking, you're just out 21 days of rent (not that bad - really).  I've been through times (deep in the recession) where I had a vacancy that I couldn't fill with a good-qualified tenant for more than 3 months.  Just like you said, be careful in the future about who you rent to and look out for any applicants that you perceive to be the "high-maintenance" type.  Good way to get even with her, with reporting her everywhere.  Hey maybe she'll even be dumb enough to reference you as a previous LL and you get a call from a PM or LL that she put in an application with - I'll leave you think about how fun that will be .
Natalie777

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #28 
True. Her boss is a lawyer. I suspect this is where it came from. I have to say that here in NY many of the small residential properties owners are not screening their potential tenants. Until they get burned. From now on I will screen and ask for the proofs of financial stability. And I will be using my intuition as well, as I had doubts about her in the first place. The bottom line she was insane. By the way my lawyer said the same thing. Meantime we will refresh the apartment and look for the new tenants...Thanks for your support.
Good luck to everyone!!!

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MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #29 

That's the most import part of being a LL - having a good screening policy.  Some tips:

1.   Check credit, and never, and I mean NEVER rent to anyone that has a score that begins with a 5 or lower.  600 is a good cut off.
2.   Make sure and verify that their gross monthly income is at least 3 time what your asking for rent.
3.   If possible check their car (if they have one).  Look inside, it's the window into how they will be keeping your unit.  Their car is something that they own, if they trash that, then just thing what they will do to your unit (that they don't own).
4.   Require that they show a US government issue ID (e.g. driver license, etc) when they go to sign the rental agreement.
5.  have a general "sniff test", but make sure that you follow HUD's federal laws when you do this to avoid being sued for discrimination.





Natalie777

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #30 
I am going to use tenants reputations site as well. It seems easy easy... Good point about potential tenants car. Thanks again.
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