renters rights

kerry_musicianMay 10, 2007

I would like to know what my rights as a tennant are. My landlord hired me to do certain things around the building of which I have always done. When he asked me to do things not included on the list, I have always accommodated him with no pay. I have helped him with projects without pay just to be kind.

He has asked myself and my roomate to put up with tennants he refuses to evict when they have not complied with rules of the building repeatedly. He has asked us to just tolerate their actions and other things about them till they just move out on their own.

He has been doing this to us for 3 years. And we have always complied. I have asked him if he can evict the tennants doing damage and illegal activities andhe just tells us no, his hands are tied..and to just wait till they move out.

When things have been damaged or broken on the property..he does not always get them repaird right away. We are paying for building security and when the doors have been broken by tennants abuse..he takes his time in getting them fixed.

We have had strangers in the premises because of broken doors.

We have dealt with our cage broken into and things stolen..laundry stolen by other tennants, our mail stolen etc.

What are our rights at paying good standing tennants?

kerry

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mike_73

well he should value you as a good paying tennant. you need to realize that its not easy to put blame on the ones that brole things in comman areas and charge them for it like if it were in the apartment. repairs don't come cheap these days. you also do not know what is finaces are like he may have tennant that are late with their rent for a month or more while he has a mortgage on the place to pay and can't afford to fix it untill they pay. to me most of your complaints center around the kind of people that live there. they are propably not decent people that have good morals or they wouldn't be stealing from neighbors.... you can't always tell that when you meet someone once. stealing mail is a federal crime but hard to prove and who is stealing your laundry could be tougher, so how can he kick them out for that. you can't expect you landlord to find all new tenannts just because you don't get along with them. If you can get you issues resolved you may have to excrecise one right you do have. The right to move out when the lease is up.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 3:03PM
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Twinkledome

First of all, I just happened onto this forum - just didn't have the interest after 18 years in the property management business, but now after 6 glorious years of retirement, I thought it might be interesting to see what is going on in the rental world. Bear in mind, I have California experience and every state is different in their real estate law. Hope you don't mind my joining you.

You sound like a very good tenant and an easy going person. Your description of your landlord indicates to me that he lacks courage to do the right thing in getting rid of the problem. Your landlord is taking advantage of your good nature in getting you to fix things for free, so I think you might want to figure out a way to let him know you are being taken advantage of.

You are guaranteed certain rights as a tenant and one is quiet enjoyment which means that the landlord has a duty to keep peace on the premises.

There are three marks of a good tenant.

1. They pay rent on time
2. They do no disturb others
3. They do not damage property

Obviously, the tenants have proven they are not good. The landlord has recourse and often, some landlords let situations develop and go on for too long a period of time. But, eventually they will get tired of the expense of the bad tenant and the complaints against them and move to do something about it. the quicker the bad tenant is dealt with, the easier it is on everyone, the building and the landlord, if he only knew it. Landlords can be their worst enemy. They just don't realize the damage that is done by not correcting and preventing problems. It can destroy a building to the point the landlord has a bad investment on his hands.

My feeling is that if you want to continue, for whatever reason, to live in this building start out by continually bringing to the landlord's attention every violation or problem that occurs in a polite, respectful way. You have already been doing this, so now write a respectful letter to him listing all the violations so that you have given him "Constructive Notice" (very important if he should give you a notice to move). Continue to let him know what they are doing. And, if there are other tenants, perhaps they will also approach him separately with the same issues. But, don't form a tenant's group. He will only become more stubborn about the issue. He should, in time, grow tired of hearing you and take some action. He should be giving written notice of violations to the offending tenants.

With regard to payment of rent: A tenant should be given a 3-day notice to pay rent right after their grace period, not a month later. Actually, the Apt. Association trains managers to give a 3-day notice to pay rent on the 2nd day the rent is due.

With regard to security. If the landlord advertised security or put it into his contract with you, he has a duty to provide security 24-7 with whatever devices he advertised as security, whether it be a drive thru gate or entry doors or security patrol - whatever. Landlords have been sued for not complying with this fact and any landlord with any smarts would never advertise security, because there really is no such thing.

If you have mail stolen, report it to the Postmaster as, I am sure you know, it is a federal offense. With regard to the mailboxes, are they good secure boxes, or are they the old easy to pry open types?

Good tenants are so valuable, but, sometimes they just fade into the woodwork because they are never a problem. They should be appreciated and sometimes to be appreciated, they have to take action. If you were my tenant, the bad tenants would have beeen dealt with swiftly and I would do what I could to keep you in my building.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 2:06PM
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mike_73

Twinkledome your advise is very good. and he the poster wants to stay he should do those things to see if anythingmoves the landlord. if not he should look for another apartment to move to before the place gets worse

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 4:29PM
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