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  • Problem Tenants

    Disruptive, lying tenant, breaks House Rules

    I have an incredibly annoying tenant that I am seeking advice about.

    To start with, this man seems to "have a few screws loose" or some minor mental health issues. His wife pays rent on time. The issue is that they violate our House Rules in our six unit apartment complex. He does this by leaving several large ride on toys in the parking lot and common area. He also washes and repairs his car regularly, will set up a shaded gazebo to do so, and leaves boards and bricks and metal pieces strewn about from his repairs. We even had the parking lot repaved and he damaged a vacant parking spot next to his by jacking up his truck.

    We have decided to become stricter in enforcing House Rules and asked him a few times to put the toys away and cease the car washing and repair. He says he is compliant on the toy issue (he isn't) and he has lied and said that he doesn't repairs cars (even though I have a lot of photo evidence and have caught him red-handed doing it a few times).

    We sent him 4 certified letters asking him to comply on the House Rules he signed. (Trying to leave a paper trail to cover ourselves should we terminate his lease and he is difficult about leaving [his lease is now month to month so theoretically we could end the lease whenever as long as we give him a 30 day written notice]). We let him know that if he couldn't follow the rules, maybe he would be happier renting somewhere else where he doesn't have to worry about putting away toys and can wash and repair his car freely.

    Since we have been confronting him about following the House Rules, he has been sending me Facebook messages with photos of the property where he tries to demonstrate that other tenants and our lawncare guy are breaking House Rules. They are really just pictures and he is letting his imagination run wild. He complains about neighbors, has accused another tenant of being a drug dealer, and says that the lawncare guy damaged his car. He also staged a photo to make it look like a very small tree from the parking lot dented his car (Impossible, the photo of the branch was taken in a different section of the parking lot) and claims that he had to go to the doctors because of poison ivy from those trees (they don't have poison ivy).

    My question is: how would you deal with this tenant? I have sought advice from a few people I know and am curious to see if anyone on Property Tribes can help out. My husband thinks I should talk to his wife, but I am leaning towards just telling him that if he is unhappy with the property maintenance of our complex, then he is free to terminate his lease. I truly think this man is "not quite right" and he has a wife and a child, so I don't want to force anyone out of the home they rent. But, on the other hand, I am tired of him disregarding the House Rules, being direspectful, and outright lying.

    Thank you in advance for your time and looking forward to hearing what other landlords would do in this situation (I should also add that we manage our property long distance, the property is in the US and we live in South America). Thank you!

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    Hi Audra,

    This tenancy/lease will be subject to U.S. law, so you would be far better off asking on a U.S. property forum.

    Generally though, if a tenant was being disruptive and impacting negatively on others, then I would either serve notice on them (UK law) or offer them a financial incentive to leave quickly without any fuss.

    ​Hope that helps?

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