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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #16 
Wow, you are a real pro. I don't have that clause, but I will certainly add it in.
My atty. specializes in Landlord/Tenant law. He represents tenants a lot, but his partner is strong in Landlord law. He is one of the best around. Everyone knows him and he's got many years of experience.

They are serving a civil suit on them as well for the lease, etc. So, they get served 2 times. Once for the Eviction and one for the lease break. So you know it won't go over too well.

It's all retalitory. The attorney told me when he read the letter it was all nonsense. But, since the tenant is a litigatin divorce atty. she may have some free legal services, or connections. But, my atty. told me atty's sue each other all the time. This is common practice.

Bottom line is that they agreed, to accept the house in its current condition.
I gave them the EPA book let when they moved in to review. They agreed to pay me each month. They were supposed to give 60 day notice to end the lease. There's never been any letter that I know of. I wouldn't put it past them to come up with one, but why would I let them out of a lease in the worst time of a year to get a tenant, in the winter? They are saying I agreed verbally then changed my mind.  I told them I would get back to them and I did, in writing.

If their stuff was damaged (another one of many claims) they were required to carry a renter's insurance policy. I doubt they had one.

I am sure they are wondering what my next move will be.

Nothing would surprise me after what I hear, of, etc.


Posts: 3,741
Reply with quote  #17 
Keep in mind that a divorce attorney probably knows absolutely nothing about LL-tenant law, just as a real estate attorney wouldn't know the particulars of a divorce case.  The problem with renting to attorneys though, is that they have this idea that they do know it all since they are an attorney.  The mere idea is bull.  Would you go to a proctologist to examine your ear?  He's a doctor after all, right?  (Thank goodness doctors don't think this way!)

Was their stuff damaged by mold?  A falling ceiling?  If it wasn't a problem you were informed of and had a chance to correct, how could you be liable for it?  I try to emphasize to tenants that they need renter's insurance when they move in.  I let them know that my insurance will not cover ANYTHING of theirs.  I even put it in the lease that "IT IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT THEY MAINTAIN RENTER'S INSURANCE".  Many still fail to obtain it.  Not my fault if they lose stuff because it wasn't insured.

Oh, and verbal agreements don't hold up in court.  The judge hears both sides and it becomes a he said - she said argument.  It needs to be in writing to be effective.

After 15 years of renting out places, I always think that I've heard it all.  But tenants never cease to surprise me.  (Thus, I am always upgrading my lease.)  I have a whole file of new clauses/wording that I want to incorporate in.  As my attorney once told me, "You want a lease so tight that if they pass wind in the unit they have broken the lease!"  It helps with know it alls like this one.  Review your lease while you await the end of this situation and revise it.  You'll be glad you did and the attorney can look it over while he's doing everything else.  Good luck and happy holidays to you.

Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Ohio- Your emails are so enlightening. It's all information that a reasonable person with an education and a mind would know. Yet, they still try to weedle their way around the responsibility they agreed to.

My lease notes in it that they are required to have renter's insurance. I don't think they did. Additionally there was a clause in it that said, you except the dwelling in it's present condition.

They will be served today, at my house, although they are not living there. They have stuff there still. Mainly the mess they left behind and other items, I can see outside, etc.

He figures they will counter and say I was harrassing them, place wasn't habitable, etc. Yet, there's only the proof they created, of the relatives that supposedly hear me bang on the wall. (thier witnesses). Well, I was moving furniture that day. And, there were never any complaints to the PD, etc. that I know of.

So, what happens, they come up with this stuff, they pretty much are out of my house living someplace else, then I evict them for possession. I realize alot of these cases go to a mediator in the court system, then do the landlords actually end up getting any of the fees back they had to lay out?

I evicted a doctor years ago, I paid 3K, to get him out, got all my rent money, then he put cat pee all over the house. (he came with the home purchase and had problems with the former owner, carried over to me).

I think I wrote off the pet damages, and the 3K was also on my tax return as an expense I think?

Now that I served the current clown's, I can't really go in there. I don't want to anyway unless there's an emergency. (as long as thier stuff is in there, I am staying out). No sense in giving them any opportunities to make up anymore lies.

So, I am sure I will get served this week too after they get my notices.

So, time will tell. I just wish they would get the rest of thier stuff and surrender the keys, but it's not going to happen. I am sure this will go on a few more weeks at least. Ms. Jr. Associate Atty. wants to show her power, and fight it out with me. I hope she has some friends in the business to help her out. I told my atty. I am not making at "deals" at this time unless they are in my favor.

Have you won any of your cases?


Posts: 3,741
Reply with quote  #19 
Banging on the walls on only one day?  Gee, that wasn't harassment.  Weren't you hanging new pictures that day???  Installing built-in bookshelves?  Putting in a closet organizer?  One day of banging is usually construction work, not harassment.  They'll have to do better than that!

We always tell tenants to get insurance, but they rarely do.  There really is no way of making them get it.  Even if you have them show you a copy of the insurance policy (with you listed as an extra insured), there's no way to make them keep it in force after the first month.  They can always just let it lapse.  Its the tenant who suffers when they don't get it and something happens.  Then they always want to blame the LL.

I would have sued the doctor.  Cat pee is not wear & tear, but you would have to ask for a depreciated amount for the ruined carpet.  A doctor is always collectible.  And most licensing boards don't like to see liens on doctors' houses.  When he sold the house or refinanced, he would have had to pay you off.  Some tenants you rent to are not collectible (and never will be).  For those, you just have to take a tax write-off and deduct for the repairs to the unit.  For the others, a judgment from small claims is good for 10 years (here) and can be renewed for another 10 years.  That gives them 20 years to get their life together and pay off the judgment.

In my case, I have only had to file eviction a few times in 15 years.  I try to screen well, use a month to month for any tenant that I believe may be "iffy" or later cause problems, keep rents to (or just below) the market level, put in some updates to the unit every few years (tax purposes), send notices of late rent immediately, enforce all late fees and NSF fees (and quit taking their personal checks), etc.  I send "nastygrams" (my term) for lease violations to bad tenants, and notices to the good ones.  Some are worded much more strongly than others.  I try to be reasonable and keep the units in good repair, calling for service as soon as there is an important problem, and handling less important ones within 30 days.  Cosmetic issues are not handled while a tenant is still in the unit.

Usually the tenants will leave just before I go to file eviction (I usually tell them I am going to file on xx/xx date - they leave the day before).  Tenants need to know you take the job seriously and that it is a business and will be run like one.  You have to "train" new tenants within the first few months to get them to follow the rules.   I don't remember any cases I've lost, although I have had to refile one or two for errors on my part.  (There were some tense times on occasion!)  Whether that makes me a good person I don't know, but I do think I am a good LL.  This is a business that I am in to make money.  If I can't make money at it, I'll sell and invest in something else.  I don't run a charity.  Update me when things start progressing.

Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks Tom, you sure have some good words of wisdom. When I talked to my atty. this morning, he said they may counter my suits. But, that's common, and he didn't expect it to go on and on. Hardest part is over. they are pretty much out of the house.

I am wondering how much success landlords have with these suits, as in CT, they sometimes involve a mediator. I shouldn't have to take any less then what I am owed.

I assume they will try to make a deal. But what constitutes a deal?  There's There's 4 mos. left on the lease (6K) @ 1500 a mos.. Plus, a swapped appliance, another 1000 plus, painting /repairs, cleaning. My legal fees are 2K already. Time lost from work, and who knows what other surprises are in the unit once I get in there.  Hopefully, I can get possession, fix it and rent it fast so I don't lose too much money.

Do you have a "lease break" clause in your lease? These fools wanted me to take 700, to break the lease and the late December rent, which I still don't have.


Posts: 3,741
Reply with quote  #21 
No lease break clause here.  State law prohibits any "liquidation" clauses.  We have to prove our actual damages and the judges will only award us 1-2 months of unpaid rent, no matter how long was left on the original lease.  Lots of big complexes still have these clauses in their leases though.  Usually they ask for 2 months of rent since that's what the judge will give you anyways.  Few of those tenants contest the lease break fee.  The best I can do is to get them out and re-rent quickly.  That's not usually a problem, except in this type of weather in this season of the year.  Nothing is renting now except to those tenants you'd never want anyways.  I've got 2 places empty now and have been using the time to renovate the units with new flooring and paint.  I'll start really advertising again in January.

BTW- no mediators here.  Only the judge or magistrate (and they're bad enough!!!)  But you won't get money for time lost from work.  Good luck.

Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #22 
I've heard of the 2 mos. buy out's on the other landlord sites. My tenants offered this great deal, give me the December rent and give up 1/2 the security which is 100 less then the rent they are paying. So, they think they are doing me a big favor paying me what I am entitled to anyway with no late fees, and 700 for the lease break. And, they wanted me to pay for the paint for the rooms they repainted. 

I think in all fairness, they should pay Dec. and late fee.
forfeit all security and interest
correct all unauthorized changes at thier expense not mine
replace refridgerator with current model of what they swapped. For all I know the one in there is stolen and it's not a brand I even use. I had a warrantee on the other fridge.

What's next, listing appliance serial numbers on the lease? LOL.

The rental market in the NorthEast is hard enough especially in Winter which is why I had them sign a lease. 

It could very well take me a month or so to get a new tenant due to holidays, weather, eviction, etc. The place is a mess also. I can see the junk from outside.

Well, all I can do now is wait and hope this attorney can get this in order. I know they like to move the cases fast. He did think mine was going to be easy. So, I will see.

I will give you another update when I get some news. I will probably get served for a counter suit, unless they are too cheap to get a housing atty.

She may represent herself. And, cry, my young son, bla, bla, husband out of work, etc.

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