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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,605

    Default Unwelcome Guest -- Need COTH Wisdom

    I am looking for some sensible advice here before I turn into the Wicked Witch of the West and circle the Emerald City.

    I rent out the lower half of my farm house to a tenant who gets reduced rent for feeding during weekdays. Usually it works out nicely. Mr. IF, IF Jr. and I are here on weekends only. We do farm work, teach lessons and feed. We are out of the house most of the time. We will grill a meal on Saturday nights and use the kitchen. We are quiet, we stay to ourselves, we don't create drama. It's a nice deal for someone who likes living in the country, having cheap rent and can tolerate a roomate on weekends. We also pay 1/3 of all the utilities.

    Last summer I had a vacancy and found what I thought was a nice guy to rent the place. I still think that HE is a nice guy, but he sprung a GF on us. I declined to put her on the lease (no application and I didn't have any background check when presented with this person), so I said that we could let her be a guest (dealt with in my lease). He would be in charge of her. Guest can stay for 3 weeks max and I can ignore that limit if I choose.

    Obviously he is not in charge of her. This young lady has zero sense of boundaries and is careless. I have found on more than one occasion she has been in the top half of the house (our section) and used our bathroom or taken our stuff. I have also found that she commandeers my things in the kitchen, doing such things as using measuring cups as ashtrays rearranging our cabinets of stuff without so much of a "hey, would you mind if....". Also, she believes the children of the corn live nearby and has locked us out more than once. We finally had to disable a lock so we could get into the house with our keys. Trust me, the house has more than adequate locks. The utilities are 4 times what they have been in the past with a single tenant. She washes constantly and does not know what the off switch is on a light. The utility issue has been solved as we are now only paying up to a certain amount versus the 1/3 we were paying.

    Did I add that she is now pregnant?. This would be baby #2; baby #1 not being in her custody. One wonders why, but I did not ask as I had no interest in having her as a tenant. Also, she has no job and allegedly goes to school full time. I have been trying to get through with this lease until the summer when the baby arrives. The bottom half of the house will be too small for them. Tenant also has part custody of a daughter from a former relationship, so we have a PT 4 year old on weekends now.

    I am tired of having huge issues with GF every weekend. Recently she posted HUGE signs on the front and back doors tell us to take off our shoes when entering. It is a tile floor in the foyer. Mr IF and I do routinely, as in our own residence. IF Jr can forget. I have no problem talking with him about compliance, but really, a non-tenant posting signage -- not acceptable to me. You can just talk to us.

    She has also posted signs in the barn telling my boarders what to do about feeding the barn cats and their own horses. Again, not a word to me. Those signs were taken down immediately by me. All she has to do is tell me her concerns or better yet, tell my tenant! He can tell me if it is something he can't deal with.

    If I am being a totally unreasonable asshat, please tell me. IMO, I bend over backwards respecting their space and privacy. I know that I just want to kick her out. I would really like to avoid that, but I am at the point where I just want her gone. Tenant knows that she has been pushing it and there has been yet again another visit upstairs this week and more rearrangement. Mr. IF wants me to hit my ignore button and I am having a hard time doing it.

    I really need some COTH wisdom here. I've been a landlord for 25 years, but this is a special rental. I recognize that. I also have a strong sense of fairness. But honestly, I want to kick start my broom and skywrite!
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2006
    Location
    Cheesehead in Loudoun Co, VA
    Posts
    2,519

    Default

    Let me get this straight. This is your property and your house that this chick is squatting in? And you are supposed to ignore this stuff?!

    Oh, honey, I don't think kick-starting your broom is even close to what that chick needs. More like using it to whack her to the curb with a "Do not EVER come back here."
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


    28 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    You're not being an asshat, and she is trying to take over. Put her in her place. Which is that of a GUEST NOT A PAYING TENANT, BOARDER or anything ELSE.

    And let the BF know that his tenancy is dependent on him getting her under wraps. Sorry, but no.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    13 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    I Wait, you rent to them but reserve the right to leave their door unlocked and to track mud in when you're forgetful?

    I agree with you that some of her behavior has been out of line (signs in the barn when she doesn't rent the barn) but some of your behavior has been too. The guy you rent to is a tenant. He's entitled to have some control over the house. If he wants to lock it... that's his call. You say she lacks boundaries... leaving the door unlocked when you know you have a tenant there speaks to your lack of boundaries as well. You have a key, use it to get in. Let him have his belongings secure by locking the door if he wants. Especially since it sounds like the house is at your boarding facility. He has a legitimate reason to worry about boarders wandering around etc.

    The kitchen is a common area, right? And, let me get this straight, you're angry they put stuff back differently than you do?! If that's enough to put you over the edge, maybe sharing a space isn't for you.

    Or does it just piss you off that it's SHE who is doing these things and not HIM? Frankly, it sounds to me like you have something personal against the girlfriend. A lot of what you've posted about her is none of your business (what she does with her other child, whether she works, etc.) she's not your tenant, the boyfriend is. If you really dislike her that much, I suppose you have the right to tell the boyfriend that you're enforcing the "3 weeks for guests" rule and she has to go.

    Frankly, I think you're overreacting. I think more open communication among everyone is called for. The girlfriend should not be in your part of the house. She should not be bossing around your boarders. She does need to follow the rules. And that needs to be clearly communicated. You should respect your tenant and the fact that he's not a houseguest-- he lives there and is paying for the privilege. As for their personal business (whether she goes to school, her pregnancy)-- butt out!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,405

    Default

    You don't have a deal or a personal/financial relationship with her, so talk to her beau, your tenant.

    Tell him what you want-- usually just him fulfilling the terms of the lease. Let him worry about wrangling his lady. Make it clear that if he can't, you will break the lease.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6

    Default

    She's not on the lease, thus you can enforce the guest rule. And I would. She has overstepped the boundaries on too many occasions. Time to have a chat with the tenant.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    Sounds like you only want to rent to single people/people without kids. Not my area of expertise, but I have this nagging thought that discriminating on that basis in renting is illegal...
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,605

    Default

    Let me clarify on the locks. We have lots of locks that work off a key. There is a way to lock the storm door and there is no way to unlock it from the outside, The backdoor has locks, but there was also an interior bolt. We simply removed the interior bolt, so that we could unlock the two doors to the back and get in.

    I have zero problem with locking the doors, but I have a big problem with repeatedly being locked out. We only rent the bottom half of the house to them and we share a common access point.

    Under no circumstances am I asking her to live in an unlocked situation. I just want to be able to get in with my key.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    12 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    18,599

    Default

    Can you lock the door to your bathroom and bedroom?
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    5 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    Sounds like you only want to rent to single people/people without kids. Not my area of expertise, but I have this nagging thought that discriminating on that basis in renting is illegal...
    Doesn't sound like that to me. Sounds like she's fine with the PT custody of the tenent's child.

    Sounds to me the issue is someone who has moved in and isn't on the lease - and is greatly overstepping her boundaries.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    17 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    Okay, that's a little different.

    FWIW I don't think you're an awful landlord but I do think there's a major lack of communication and that you're letting your opinions of her as a person be part of the thought process, and that's not really appropriate.

    Is he a good tenant? Pays on time? Then I think you need to value him and either enforce the 3 week rule (in which case you'll likely lose him) or have an unemotional sit-down and discuss the problems.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MyGiantPony View Post
    Doesn't sound like that to me. Sounds like she's fine with the PT custody of the tenent's child.

    Sounds to me the issue is someone who has moved in and isn't on the lease - and is greatly overstepping her boundaries.
    Then how is the tidbit about the girlfriend's first child at all relevant? That was pure snark/personal...
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    Okay, that's a little different.

    FWIW I don't think you're an awful landlord but I do think there's a major lack of communication and that you're letting your opinions of her as a person be part of the thought process, and that's not really appropriate.

    Is he a good tenant? Pays on time? Then I think you need to value him and either enforce the 3 week rule (in which case you'll likely lose him) or have an unemotional sit-down and discuss the problems.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,605

    Default

    vfx11, the bottom of the house has 1 bedroom and an office. It has LR, DR, and kitchen. It is small. It seems to work well for one person or perhaps two, but I think 2 adults and 2 kids plus one arriving in the spring is a wee bit more than I asked for. I did agree in the lease about the 4 year old who visits on weekend. I screen my tenants, take applications, and do background checks. The first time I heard about the GF as a resident was move-in day.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    4 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,152

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    vfx11, the bottom of the house has 1 bedroom and an office. It has LR, DR, and kitchen. It is small. It seems to work well for one person or perhaps two, but I think 2 adults and 2 kids plus one arriving in the spring is a wee bit more than I asked for. I did agree in the lease about the 4 year old who visits on weekend. I screen my tenants, take applications, and do background checks. The first time I heard about the GF as a resident was move-in day.
    If you think your tenant is in violation of the lease... evict him. If the place isn't big enough, he'll probably leave anyway. But that's not really what you're concerned about. You don't like the girlfriend's behavior. And I'm with you that some of it is OUT OF LINE. But some of it is also NOT unreasonable it ONLY seems to piss you off because SHE did it and not the tenant. The tenant's responsible for feeding. If HE put up a sign about feeding, would that be out of line? If HE asked you not to tread mud in a common area would you be ticked? No. Clearly you don't like the girlfriend. I don't think her behavior is SO RIDICULOUSLY unreasonable but if it bothers you that much- evict the tenant. Then you'll have to find a new tenant and barn help. Doesn't sound to me like that's a better situation than having to chat like an adult with the tenant and be a little more understanding-- but you can decide for yourself.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,965

    Default

    She needs to get the f*** out! There is no excuse for locking you out. And, if I'm reading this right, her BF has his own space, own kitchen, etc., in which case she should absolutely not be in your space except to walk thru to the downstairs. You should not have to put up with notes or directions on what to do in your own home. And she should NEVER meddle with your boarders!! She has absolutely crossed the line.

    NOW... You WILL have to think about how hard you want to push this. So, she is wrong, yes. But are you going to push so hard that you lose your renter/feeder, as well? Something to consider. You do seem angry - rightfully so - and you clearly don't like her - again, warranted. Do you want to fix the worst offenses or do you want to go nuclear and possibly lose the guy? Your call, obviously.

    Good luck!!! Doesn't sound fun...!!!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    8 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    760

    Default

    I would have a real problem with GF, who doesn't pay rent, and isn't in the lease, having been upstairs in your space. I know my father (who had many years of experience in rental properties) has very strict rules about a tenant locking a house in a manner that prevents him from being able to use his keys to get in a house he owns.

    I think you're being generous letting her be there at all, and would be having a long chat with your tennant informing him that certain behavior on the part of his guest needs to cease immediately or he may be better off finding a living situation more suitable for his upcoming change in familial status.


    13 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,785

    Default

    I bet you will have to evict her also, because she has passed the 'guest' clause time period, and not been put on the lease. My guess is that depending on state law that she qualifies as a tenant. You need to get rid of her before she moves in permanently, and with the baby also. And if the tenant gets away with her staying permanently, then who comes to live there next? She is already rummaging through your personal space, and trashing your stuff, so are you waiting until something disappears? Or something bad happens to your place, or your boarders start leaving? I think it is past time to do something, and if tenant doesn't want her to leave, then he need to move out asap.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    13 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    Sounds like you only want to rent to single people/people without kids. Not my area of expertise, but I have this nagging thought that discriminating on that basis in renting is illegal...
    Only if you advertise Seriously. Check your State's law for particulars, and there are exemptions for owner occupied two-family homes.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,605

    Default

    FWIW, I have tried repeatedly to talk with the tenant. I have asked for appointments, asked for phone calls, etc. The only way I can talk to him is to literally chase him down on the farm.

    Two weeks ago I asked him to please just talk with me when something is up. I explained that I was trying to work with the GF, that I didn't want to ask her to leave, but I needed a bit more respect. And I definitely agree that if IF Jr was creating a problem, I would want to know immediately so I can take action. However, given that IF Jr. has a learning disability that makes it a challenge for him to read, posting huge signs on the exterior of the door is not very effective. It would be easier just to tell us.

    AOK has it right. The tenant is fine. He pays rent and he feeds. I do expect that I will lose him by imposing the guest rule in the lease. What I really want is to have her just leave my space and stuff alone. It's kind of like roommate 101. We're only one the farm 36 hours a week. I don't think this is too hard.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


    5 members found this post helpful.

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