Registered: 1515953886 Posts: 4
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We had an electrical repair that needed to be done, which was agreed upon before move in. When I told her that I would be accompanying the electrician on a certain date (well more than 24 hours notice), she said that she didn't feel comfortable with me coming in the house, but would be ok with the electrician. This startled me and concerned me for several reasons. I had sensed that they were being evasive for some time, but I wasn't sure why. Taken aback and not wanting to be accused of harassment or some other landlord violation, I told her that since it clearly made her uncomfortable, I would have the electrician go without me, but that I was concerned about her evasiveness.
About a month later, I had expressed my concern to one of my contractors and he said that he always sees 5 cars parked in front of the house and that he thought that there were several families living there, and that he was sure there were more than what I had thought. Our lease indicates that they are not supposed to sublet and that any guests staying beyond 14 days are considered tenants, so they would need to be added to lease on approval of landlord. It is supposed to be the husband and wife with their children. In addition to denying, she went on to talk about her culture and how my questions make her very uncomfortable. She told me that she suffered trauma when she was younger and that is the reason that so many people are always at her house. I told her to please not feel that she needed to tell me her personal business, and I reiterated that I never once asked her personal questions, and that this question was to address my concern that she was not subletting, which was against our contract. I told her that I did not need to know her personal details, and I accepted her answer that it is just she, her husband and children. I don't believe her answer, but since she will not allow me into the house for even an agreed upon repair, I have never seen the inside of the house and have no way of knowing if she is being honest. I think that the 5 cars parked there every day and at night indicate that there are others living there and that she is lying, but I have no way of proving that. Frankly, I have had very little interaction with her except to collect rent. Two months into the lease she told me she lost her job and needed to pay rent late, and went into all of her details. I allowed a one time courtesy to pay part of it on the 10th and the rest by the last day of the month. Things seemed to go down hill when I asked them to sign an agreement promising to pay that month and acknowledging that it was a one time courtesy. For about 3 months, they were late paying rent and I waived the late fee each month. After being accused of spying and of "stressing her out" with my questions, I decided to protect myself by laying low. She does not even like me coming to the house to collect the rent payment. When she pays electronically, the payment is not posted to my bank until the 16th of the month, which is too late for me. I told them that I cannot accept ACH anymore and suggested that we meet at the bank, a neutral location, for rent payment. I feel that she was trying to set me up as a harassing landlord, so I am trying to protect myself. I decided to allow the lease to expire and then not renew. The lease is one year and they will not have been there for more than one year, so it is my understanding that I am only required to give 30 days notice. However, I am thinking that I will give them 60 days notice of non renewal so that they can find a new place and I can find a new tenant in the meantime. I am very uncomfortable with the fact that they are so evasive and I have no idea if my property is being properly cared for, or if something illegal is going on in the house. I appreciate any comments or advice from your experience on how you would proceed.
Registered: 1472494503 Posts: 503
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If someone doesn't want you there, you need to go there asap. You should have insisted to be there with the electrician since she was notified with more than 24 hours notice. She can't fight that in court and no reason to ask that of you. In Virginia, we can go in with 24 hours notice, regardless of how they feel about it (unless we keep doing this over and over and it is harassing them).
What does your lease say about terminating/not renewing? Ours requires a 30-days notice. If your lease doesn't specify it, then it should and this time it is whatever the state law says. Don't waive late fees more than once. If they habitually pay late, give them a 5-day pay or quit notice (or whatever your state requires) and move forward with it. People who are given slack, take more. You gave on not going in with the electrician, you gave on late rent, you gave on the late fee, etc. When people know you are willing to do all that, they keep pushing for more and it ends up being a nightmare for you even though you were just trying to not be a jerk landlord.
Registered: 1334473780 Posts: 33
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Trust your instincts. They're probably right even though you don't have any concrete evidence.
I had tenants from awhile ago that did the same sort of thing. They didn't want me in the house when repairs needed to be done. One even made accusations of "harassment" when nothing could be further from the truth. As it turned out, these tenants were, indeed, violating the terms of the lease. In my opinion, if your tenants don't have anything to hide, then, letting you inside the house shouldn't be an issue, especially when a repair was needed and you gave them the 24hrs notice as required by law. If you don't trust them for whatever reason, it's time to cut them loose.
Registered: 1513338580 Posts: 3
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Registered: 1483655218 Posts: 29
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As I read your post, I was thinking I would let it all ride if the contractor reported that the house looked okay and if the rent was always paid on time. A paying tenant who doesn't trash your house is sometimes as good as it gets!
But when you said she was faltering on the map, I think she has proven that you most definitely do not want to renew. So I agree with LLinVA, follow everything to the letter between now and when they move out. And I'm sorry to say this, but be prepared for there to be damage to the house, if not now, then between now and when they move out. __________________ One unit in complex of 100+ 2x2 Property manager takes 10%, handles almost everything Owned since 2009