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Need help with tenant

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  • #41
    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post

    Your own post where you suggested this started of with "IF YOU NEED AN EXCUSE..."

    Either way, passing it off as an insurance concern just makes you look indirect and like you're making an excuse. The tenant doesn't give a sh*t what your arrangement with your insurance carrier is. It's none of their concern.

    The tenant doesnt need to be convinced you have a legitimate reason - if you dont want them walking on a patch of grass because you believe the soul of your deceased parakeet perches there on the odd Sunday then all the tenant needs to know is "Also, that patch of grass there is off limits."

    Tell the tenant what your expectations are without any unnecessary side fluff and set the boundaries like a professional who doesn't need to make excuses.
    Context matters.

    We were talking about needing an excuse "as a talking point", not implying liability concerns themselves were an excuse, that "everyone" knows they are not.
    At least here land owners take those seriously.


    • #42
      Originally posted by Nevada10 View Post
      I definitely need to give her something in writing. I’ve never rented, nor been a landlord before this, so it is still new to me. Does anyone have a “template” for official communication? Friendly letter? Business letter? List of rules? Her lease is up this month and I’d like to switch to a month to month lease. I don’t know how to word that either!
      I'm going to PM you with a file someone gave me years (and years!) ago (It took some digging to find the one closest to the first one I had/used from him, and have attempted to clean it up a bit for you). It’s in Word format. It's a lease that was originally put together by an attorney who was a friend of a friend who gave it to me, originally in TX. You will need to adapt it to your own state. The attorney friend had a duplex or two, and wrote the lease for himself, and as issues popped up, as they always do, he added things to the contract to clarify things for his tenants so it has quite a few pages. It is quite large, as leases go and will cover many eventualities. I have found this to be a great asset. Only a month ago, I pointed out to my current tenant, the paragraph where it says that if their guest puts wrong things down a drain and cause a clog, they have to pay the plumber. Happy ME!

      I have numerous other forms on hand. But this lease covers so much, that I seldom need them.

      “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”


      • #43
        Originally posted by Nevada10 View Post
        I definitely need to give her something in writing. I’ve never rented, nor been a landlord before this, so it is still new to me. Does anyone have a “template” for official communication? Friendly letter? Business letter? List of rules? Her lease is up this month and I’d like to switch to a month to month lease. I don’t know how to word that either!
        OP, some of your posts above about why you bought a remote farm and getting tired of this suggest that you never wanted to be a landlord in the first place! Perhaps you didn't know that, but now you do.

        I do think that at lease renewal time, you need to have a frank conversation with your tenant. You can, of course, add a written addendum to the lease or month-to-month rental agreement that fixes all the problems with her or the guests that you have discovered over this past year.

        But before that, ask yourself if you want to keep your tenant on at all. Three things aren't fair to tenants:

        1. Making unreasonable demands or invasions of privacy such that they don't actually get a private and peaceful place to live in exchange for the money they pay. That doesn't sound like you. But remember that you have to allow your tenant some freedoms... the same ones you'd want if you were the renter of this cottage on someone else's farm.

        2. Being mad at them while you take their money and didn't specify what you want them to do in order to make you happy enough to stay in the business relationship.

        3. Making their living situation unstable. For some people, the month-to-month deal is too nerve-wracking. Few people can pick up and move with just 30 days' notice. But others can and like that freedom. It sounds like you don't need the rent money, but just in case: Remember that the month-to-month rental agreements means she can leave with just 30 days' notice, too.

        If you want no other tenant, don't worry about it. If you do want or need another tenant, consider the risk of the unknown. Most of the time, you'll do better with a tenant you know (even if they are a bit imperfect) rather than having to fund the vacancy, pay to refresh the place with paint or whathaveyou, showing the place, taking applications (which also has some legal stuff attached... since we have a history of housing discrimination to overcome) and choosing the next trustworthy tenant. Please don't think that there's a better tenant out there because this one has some minor flaws. And if you haven't tried to correct those with a conversation and then, if needed, a written set of revised rules, I think you'll find yourself in the same spot with the next tenant, too. Again, this business is an ongoing thing-- the ways that one tenant didn't think to piss you off might come naturally to the next one, LOL.

        If you don't like the rental business (at least when it's on your own private retreat of a farm), then the best thing to do is to give your tenant a generous amount of notice (like 90 days) and allow her to leave earlier if she likes. See what I mean? If she has to leave because of a decision you made, don't make the terms for her departure punishing... even if you don't like tenants.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #44
          I can’t like mvp’s above post enough. Every landlord or prospective landlord in the country should read it again and again and again. Landlording is not just about “letting” someone stay in your property as if it’s some kind of favor you’re doing them. Landlording is a responsibility to provide safe, adequate, and reliable *housing* to other people. Tenants are owed respect, prompt and courteous communication, and some sort of reliability that what was fine three months ago is not going to suddenly turn into an evictable offense and 30 days notice.

          Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post
          Only a month ago, I pointed out to my current tenant, the paragraph where it says that if their guest puts wrong things down a drain and cause a clog, they have to pay the plumber. Happy ME!
          Keep that up and tenants will stop reporting minor issues before they become big ones, or they’ll look up on YouTube how to make amateur attempts that are not up to standards and cost more in the end. Or they’ll let the kitchen sink leak into the cabinet for a few months until you have to replace the whole subfloor and your water bill is several hundred dollars (which happened not to me, but to someone else.)
          A little mutual respect and willingness to provide services and repairs in return for the rent they have to scrape together every month (which is probably their largest expense) goes a long way.
          The Noodle
          Boy Wonder
          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!


          • #45
            OP I am a lifetime renter and My current lease runs to 35 pages, it spells out everything! it is year to year unless there is a violation. My lease spells out that "visitors" of more than 3 days need to be reviewed by the office.. Is this "visitor" a long term one? If so they are no longer a visitor

            I think you have ample grounds to simply discuss with the tenant that visitors ( and herself) are not permitted in the outbuildings or in the barns or other area of your business

            I would love the living arrangement you describe
            If you would not object to an introverted retired Scientist with a love for archery, lets talk :-)
            -- * > hoopoe
            Procrastinate NOW
            Introverted Since 1957


            • #46
              OP please, please go find a good landlord-knowledgeable attorney and for heaven's sake do this thing right.

              If you use something you found on the internet, or attorney work done in another state (it is not right to share attorney work product btw), it's possible that some event occurs down the road that will make you wish you had spent a few hundred dollars on your own attorney when you had the chance. You are not going to become an expert in landlord law after a few hours reading up on general-info articles on the internet.

              Depending on which state you are in, if things aren't done correctly then your tenant could end up with more rights than you have. Many states that used to have conservative, landlord-friendly laws are now loaded with newer laws and legal theory that gives non-owners in residence on a property some extraordinary rights in certain situations. At the expense of the landlord / property owner.

              You may think that this particular friend "would never" do this or that. But people can do very surprising and discouraging things for whatever reason. Not having a lease is bad for both of you, but it is more bad for you, the landlord.

              It sounds as if you are in a very unprotected legal situation with this arrangement, regardless of any major or minor incidents. First, tidy up the legal end. Then you can think about the rest. Tell your (new) attorney the whole story and all your thoughts. Then listen to them and let them do their job for you. Before the meeting, write down what you want to cover and what questions you want to ask so you don't forget anything.

              Owning a property with a residence that can be leased out can make a person feel a) powerful and b) generous. But in truth, as others said more eloquently above, leasing is a complex relationship that has a lot of legal parameters attached. The landlord / property owner is not as much in the driver's seat as they may think before they are educated on the laws.

              It's not that hard to do things right, as a landlord. It can become very, very hard if one does things wrong. *Don't* take advice from non-experts. *Do* get good legal advice, and follow it.


              • #47
                Originally posted by Nevada10 View Post
                We have a detached house on our farm that is currently rented by a friend of mine. Recently, her guests have been petting/feeding my horses and wandering the property (without my tenant accompanying them). Yesterday, one went for a walk around the farm, smoking, and looking in the outbuildings. It made me really uncomfortable. Am I being a jerk for not wanting her guests anywhere on my farm other than in her house? She’s renting the cabin, not the farm, and I feel like it’s a massive invasion of privacy when someone walks into my barn uninvited... really no different than if they walked into my house. These people are driving me nuts and defeating the whole purpose of buying a farm off the beaten path.

                How do I handle this without causing friction? Do I need to get over it if I’m going to have a tenant? I don’t mind if she has friends over but they need to stay in her house.
                You can't handle it without causing friction. She's actually violating her end of the lease (where the property leased is described and doesn't include your part of the property or outbuildings) so you need to confront her about violating the lease. If you don't, she'll continue to cause friction.
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Nevada10 View Post
                  There’s a back patio, a fenced in yard for her dog, and a front porch... I’m not saying stay inside. Just stay out of my barn/buildings/pastures.

                  No, I’m not a smoker, and neither is she. I HATE smoking, and we are currently in a drought. My tenant is great. But giving permission to other people to enjoy my farm and my horses as if it’s her own is not ok.
                  I can't see any reason to dither over this. You're acting like holding your private areas private is somehow an affront. It's not. If she rented a house in town, her guests wouldn't wander into the yards of the neighbors, now would they? No. They just haven't plugged into the right mindset.

                  Help them out by marking stuff. "Private Property" signs located anywhere outside the confines of the cabin's yard are probably a good idea. Additional fencing, if you don't have it already, so marked. Also reinforce to her that a farm can be a dangerous place for a variety of reasons, both for her guests, and for you/your belongings, so she should remind her friends NOT to wander.

                  She makes a habit of that, or she gets to move out.

                  I absolutely would not tolerate a smoker in my farm buildings, a casual observer wandering thru my valuable stuff, or an animal-unfamiliar person treating my animals like a petting zoo. Too much can go wrong.
                  -- Member of the COTH Appendix QH clique and the dressage-saddle-thigh-block-hating clique.