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NJFrustrated

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
We have a tenant in NJ that refuses to allow us entry to repair or inspect.  They sent us a letter stating that there is a water leak and needs to be fixed immediately.  We responded the same day upon receiving the letter.  They refused entry saying come back at another time.  Less than a week later, they sent another letter saying they are not paying rent because nothing has been fixed.  Once, again we went to the tenant the same day asking to see the leak. They refused and said come back in the evening. Evening rolls around and tenant once again refuses entry and starts screaming and yelling.    Finally, we posted a 48-notice on their door, that will be by to inspect and repair around a certain time on that date. The date and time was highlighted in red.  The tenant left a note saying, we are not allowed inside unless someone is present and only a third party repair person is allowed and they need to know exactly what time and exactly what will be done and we are harassing them.  While we have a plumber coming, we don't know exactly what needs to be done because we have never been allowed to see. Every time they have refused entry, there has been a neighbor to witness it.  Once the cops were called because the tenants were ripping out the installed carpet because of the damage we have never been able to see. The cops told them we are allowed to make repairs to the house. They suggested that because of the situation only the repairman go inside to avoid arguments but never said it was illegal as the tenant is now claiming. We have a lawyer involved because we believe we have grounds for eviction. However, in the meantime, what should or can we do about the "repairs"? Doesn't a landlord have rights to inspect to asses what and how to repair something and then actually repair their own property themselves in a reasonably time frame without being subject to the tenants every single whim?
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Make sure you give them written notice, at least 48 hours in advance, that repairs will be made in xx/xx date and xx:xx time.  KEEP A COPY and photograph the notice on the door! 

Plan to be there with the repairman because you have to authorize repairs.  The tenant cannot authorize repairs, he doesn't own the house and isn't paying for them.  If the repairman has to assess damages, then report to you, describe damages you can't see, have you authorize repairs, then go make another appointment (with another entry notice) to make those repairs - it'll just take too long!  Much quicker to be there for him to point it out to you and you OK fixing it.  Then you can leave after giving him instructions to fix ONLY that item.

Also document all refusals to allow entry to make repairs.  You may need to prove these later.

Next question:  Why won't the tenant allow you in after they asked for you to fix it?  They have something to hide!
brandie

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
You may also try contacting the Health department to see if they can also provide some kind of assistance (especially if kids are involved) as the health concerns for toxic mold due to water damage.  they may be putting themselves and children in the home at risk. No hurt in giving it a try.  Check out the landlord tenant act...I believe you do have the right to enter due to an emergency or if you have given proper notice, even if they are not home or have said you are not able to enter.  
Good Luck!

Brandie.belcher@thewatersafe.com
http://www.thewatersafe.com - automatic leak detection and shut off systems, shuts water off within 5 seconds of a leak being detected.

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