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Honored Advisor

People!

Well, we have agreed to let the house tenants across the yard from Jenna's out of their lease, five months early. We had hoped that knowing the girl's family very well, they might make a decent effort to be good renters and neighbors...WRONG!

The guy has made a couple of very inappropriate remarks in the few contacts we have had with them. Although his job is in corrections, where no weapons are worn at work, he wears a sidearm at all times here...weird!

I have bitten my tongue, when they parked a ratty truck full of garbage in our common front yard view (the houses are set at a right
angle...terrible arrangement). A couple of months ago, a tiny puppy was dumped in the yard...obviously a Rottweiler mix, which is an insurance problem...and left to basically fend for itself. Mike has left out food for it, and given it a lot of attention.

About a month or so ago, it started digging up the flowers I have been planting to Jenna's memory. Again, I bit my tongue...most things were dormant, so it was hard to say precisely how much damage was done. Last week, I started missing entire rose bushes, dug out and dragged away.

Then, a $50 dwarf evergreen was badly scratched out. Another tree has over half of its rootball undermined, and perennials have been dug out in several spots. It all added up to $195 in plant material alone...and, pup has started gnawing on the porch rockers, while we are sitting in them...oh, and she peed on the porch right in front of me last week, so I had to scrub that down

We talked with the realtor who placed them here earlier this past week. In the meantime, we informed them that the dog had to be penned...there is a huge pen in the backyard, with the old smokehouse for shelter. In am charging them $80, for he things that are simply destroyed, and forgiving the rest, as long as the dog stays penned until they move.

Now, since Thursday, Mike has been to pieces because every time he checks, the dog has no food or water. He has gotten so angry, I cannot tell you. We have shifted from me being upset over seeing garbage blown and plants dug up all over our yard, to him being out of he frame because the dog isn't being treated appropriately. I feel bad, but I refuse to feel guilty.

Now, I can see how much tension this whole "pets next door" issue has been causing between us, for several weeks now. We have had a couple of emotional conversations about this problem since he found the dog wasn't watered or fed, when it was put in the pen on Thursday...this was when he had to take it back, after it broke out once. Its owner was in the house, asleep, I guess. He had to give it water on Saturday, and it acted deprived, gobbled up a handful of pet food he gave it, too.

I am having to see Mike very depressed this morning, instead of us having peace and calm here. I am torn over whether to go over and beat on the door...deadbeat pet dad is evidently sleeping in again..., or to stick another note in the door, like I did their damage bill, call animal control, or call the girl's parents. Like I said, we have known them forever, and they are salt of the earth. This guy is not her husband, but they do have a baby together...we know they aren't thrilled with him, either.

I expect this bunch will be gone by the first of May. A trailer her family owns just came available next to her folks' house, and her mom raises her two kids, so that is where they belong. What I have to solve, until then, is how to keep this little pup from being neglected, and Mike's kind heart from being broken.

I feel he's mad at me on some level, for insisting that they pen her up...but, she was starting to follow us out every time we left, too. Even if not for the yard damage, she had to be hemmed in, or end up hit in he County road. We have agreed that future leases will say " no pets", to avoid this sort of problem.

In the meantime, he's starting haying this week, and worries that the dog will die, if he isn't up here to water her, at least every other day. I will probably come up a couple of times, as usual, but I am not inclined to make this easy for them and hard on us.

My inclination is to call the parents, out of our respect for them. Formal animal control charges could just cause trouble for this girl, and out of her own stupid choices, she has more than enough already.

Advice? This cannot go on past today. I can't see my sweet husband this unhappy anymore.
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8 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: People!

You seldom hear any good reports about rental properties. I have watched a couple of the tv shows where people are spending thousands of dollars to have rental income. I wonder how that will turn out for them.

 

As expected, our renters would not come to the door at the set time for our walk through. Current contact ends May 3.  I think the only thing that will get through to her is a hefty increase in the May rent. Is that legal?  She won't talk and we have no current phone numbers etc. But we need her out of there and soon.

 

I thought you would not have problems since you were going through a realtor?

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Senior Advisor

Re: People!

You guys both need to pay a lawyer to deal with this and don't let yourself get emotionally involved.

The people I know who do a lot of renting say you have to take the attitude that money will fix anything.  Don't get emotional.  

I rented out my mother's houses for 10 hyears and swear I'll never be a landlord again. 

You may be very unhappy when you learn what the tenants rights are in some states. You may not be allowed to evict them and they make trash teh house and leave you with no money.
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Honored Advisor

Re: People!

Jim, you are right. We rented too cheaply for almost 20 years, and none of it was appreciated. That crowd all went, starting with two evictions we initiated, a year ago yesterday. Fortunately, they were all month to month tenants, which we gphad a rightbto lock put, and make them sue us to even get their stuff out...God bless Virginia!



Our agent is our best ally...she has security, and has told them they owe rent for two months, after they leave, unless she can rent it quicker than that. I did call the girl's dad after I posted, because I respect them, and their daughter has enough problems. I gave him the choice of assuring me the pup wouldn't' be neglected, or we had to call animal control. He first said to call, then changed his mind, which was what I expected he would do, after thinking a few minutes.

Mike feels better now, which was my goal in calling. They are due out in under ten days, which I learned in talking with him, too. We learned a lot, and will tighten up the lease this time. If that doesn't allow us peace and quiet, that one - or all of hem -can set empty. Better, given our distance, to have people there, if we can.
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Honored Advisor

Re: People!

Honestly, you do need to call a lawyer. Ask about access, locking her out when the contract expires, raising the rent/ giving notice of that decision, and how and when you can let yourselves onto your own property.

I know this crowd has clothes laid all over, since Mike went in, at their invitation, last week to check out a plumbing issue. The guy was making a nuisance of himself, in a number of ways...we think most lately, to get us to break the lease.

As it stands, the realtor has to hold $750 security deposit, and is owed another $1500' for early termination...and she will take the guy, who is the legal tenant, to court in a New York minute. This is wnhy we hired her...she is tough as nails, and will get our joint money.

Meanwhile, I told the dad today, when he asked if they had to pay the two months' rent to break the lease, the contract is with the realtor. The sooner they leave the place, with it and the yard in pristine condition, do it can be re-rented, the better off everyone will be....

I wasn't going to be a landlord either, but somehow, we ended up with what amounts to eight houses...what else do you do, if they are in the middle of a family farm?

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Advisor

Re: People!

When you were sharing all the plans and progress for these rental properties I remember thinking to myself that no amount of money or attachment to a property or any other reasonable justification would ever convince me to be a landlord again.  Better to bulldoze and reclaim any materials than deal with renters.

 

That may sound hard line but I have seen way too much aggravation, damage and crinimal behavior associated with rental property to bring that nuisance into my life at this stage.  Unless it is a family member who is a vested part of the farm business I dont want them on my land.

 

Good luck.  For every one responsible renter there are a hundred deadbeats.  And the last thing I would want is sharing a yard with one.  I would see them as more of a threat to my property than a protector of it, even if, maybe ESPECIALLY if, the property is somewhat isolated.

 

Sorry that your peaceful haven has become a stressor.  

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Honored Advisor

Re: People!

The girls down the lane have been absolutely great. We don't even know they are there, except when the rent check arrives. Our former home is similarly isolated from Jenna's house, so should be out of sight, out of mind as well. Both are a half-mile away, on branches off the main path into the place.

We spent less on those two together than fixing the damage in the one right under our noses. We are going to try renting it one more
time...if it turns out to be too much bother, it will be shut down, for our peace and calm. If I has been able to deal with working on our former home first, that would have been a better option. We didn't anticipate how much we would be going to stay at Jenna's, either. This house could serve as a guest house for her home, if renting irks us too much long-term, which I hope it does not.

All together, the three other houses will afford all of what we spend on Jenna's and to get there, they pay the exorbitant taxes and insurance on all of our real property in that county, and will in addition fund our full retirement contributions, as well as our HSA. Hard to pass up that much money gained as passive income, well more than a teaching salary here in NC. We can make do without it, but figure it is time for our property to work harder for us, after so many years of us working for it.

I am disappointed in this young couple, but learned from dealing with them. We were too trusting and too lenient. Like I said, new terms will apply to future leases. Pets tend to be the single biggest problem we encounter, so no more of them, period.

If we could pick our whole family up and move them back there, like I dreamed it would be someday, it would be different. That will never happen. This is our second best opportunity to make holding onto that farm worthwhile. We feel we owe it to ourselves to give it a try. I am smart enough to know when the money we make off it isn't worth the aggravation....
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Senior Contributor

Re: People!

There is a rental house down the road from us.  We keep our bull at that farm.  The rental is not ours.  My DH does keep an eye on the place though.  Late last fall, my DH had noticed that the gal had not been there for quite awhile and was of course watching for tracks in and out.  He must have been over by the machine sheds and heard a whimper.  He didn't know there was any dog there.  Out behind the other machine shed was a dog kennel hidden.  In it was a very skinny dog with no food and no water and off course dog mess everywhere.  He called the landlord and she said to call the sheriff.  So my DH met the sheriff there and he took the dog to the local shelter and immediately came back and my Dh and helped him to take an air conditioner out of a window so they could get in.  THe sheriff looked for other animals dead or alive in the house.  There was a large aquarium with light on in the house.  No fish could be seen through the algae growth.  They did find a dead cat on the porch.  The gal was given a one year probation I beleive, $318 fine.  and Not supposed to own any animals during her probation period.  I noticed the dog kennel gone just this weekend.  I think the landlady is going to have habitat for humanity or someone like that come in and gut the house of the beautiful woodwork and then bury the house.  Of course the young lady that lived there didn't take all her stuff.  Funny thing....the gal went to school for pet grooming...you'd think she would have learned not to let a dog starve.  Guess her career is done!

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Honored Advisor

Re: People!

You cannot judge by profession...this girl is a nurse. There is a whole more to this saga, but from a few days forward, it will all be in sight of her patents' house, instead of mine.

The worst nuts/ property destruction in our last round of tenants were all into animal welfare.

There is nothing of distinction in this house to salvage out...it makes a decent home, but, that is about it. The location is extremely quiet and secluded. Like I said elsewhere on the thread, it would give us a good guest house, if renting it isn't worthwhile in the long run. That option is already on the radar screen, along with other ideas.

We are riding in that direction right now. I cannot tell you how different -calmer -we feel, knowing they have been written off, and the pup under appropriate care at last.
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