Sunday, July 01, 2007

when is it enough?

I live in a beautiful new home with M. I used to live in an adorable little townhouse, which I now rent to M's former roommate, R.

It was hard for me to move because I was very close to my neighbors. D and I shared a common wall between our units, we used to hang out in V&G's garage. We were all friends.

Now, R is in the townhouse. He has met D once. She had been to his house once to complain about the volume of the music. She has emailed me twice about the volume of the music. The first time M went over and talked to him, this time I sent an email to him asking him to keep it down. To his defense I also asked D for more information regarding level of the sound and the times that it is too loud. But it shoulds like it is pretty much all thetime.

Here is my dilema...when do I tell him he may have to move because of this issue. He has lived there for 2 months and I have gotten 2 complaints and the neighbor has gone over once.

M and I actually argue more about this than anything. He defends R in the not turning down the music until he is asked and I side with D on she shouldn't have to go over everytime it's too loud, he should remember at what level it was when the complaint came. Mark it on the dial for goodness sake!

I don't know what to do. When do I start looking for a new renter? How do I get it through to M that D is in the right by contacting me and she shouldn't have to go to R's house everytime it was loud. I used to play my music pretty loud and she never complained about me or to me.

Ah! The perils of being a landlord.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well, THAT is a mess, isn't it? Very difficult if your fella defends his friend! Maybe you need to appeal to your him and try to get him to understand what a difficult position this puts you in, etc...Then maybe HE could get through to his friend....

Thanks for your visit and your Birthday Wishes, too!

Julia said...

uh oh! that totally sucks! I am at a loss!

P.S. please write about the adorable townhouse. Pictures! Pictures!

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain here! I am a landlord too -- but I actually live on the premises, next door to the rental unit, so I see and hear everything.

I TOTALLY agree with you that your neighbor shouldn't have to go over and ask every time that the music is too loud. That would be super annoying and it kind of defies logic.

Do you have a signed lease with this guy? If so perhaps you could provide him with a written notification of some sort, and attach a copy of the verbiage where it says "if tenant disturbs the peace the lease will become null and void" or something like that. It doesn't have to be done in a nasty or confrontational way -- just the facts, ma'am. There is something about the written word that gets through to some people.

If you don't have a lease with him, maybe just write up something to that effect.

Landlording is a great source of income but what I've learned is that you have to treat it like a job. I just had a very very nasty situation a few months ago, when I evicted a former co-worker and friend of mine. I rented the unit to her at below market rate, skipped the usual screening procedures, didn't ask for a deposit, etc. -- and she ended up being a complete jerk.

Having her here was a nightmare. She harassed the neighbors. She trashed the place by letting her cat whiz all over the carpet; and the neighbors finally told me that while I was gone to work all day, my tenant was in the habit of parading around in her underwear on the front porch.


Long story short -- I will never, ever, rent to a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend again... unless I do the usual precautionary things that I would do for a Joe Schmoe off the street: that means background checks, credit checks through Equifax, calling references including the previous two landlords, and yes, a full security deposit. I would have saved myself a lot of grief. I thought that because I knew her from work, and we got along pretty well, that it would be an ideal situation. It wasn't!!

I ended up losing a friend. But considering how she behaved while she was living here, she really mustn't have been much of a friend to begin with.

Good luck with this one. The problem is, that if he doesn't clean up his act, it may leave you with no choice but to ask him to leave (and subsequently lose rental income). And then there would be hard feelings too.

I lost several thousand dollars in rental income by getting rid of my jerk -- but it was worth every penny, baby.

Anonymous said...

One other thing -- I don't know about California law, but here in Florida the statutes say that if the tenant violates the terms of the lease, the landlord has the right to give as little as 15 days' notice for eviction.

I know you have a touchy situation here because it's your fiance's former room-mate. And maybe you don't want to make threats necessarily. But if you kind of jokingly, kiddingly, let him know that this is not working out and he might have to find another place to live soon -- maybe that would get his attention.

It sounds like he's not taking the situation seriously... but if he knew how few rights he really has here legally, it might shake him up a little. He would probably think you're a b*tch, but maybe he'd knock it off already.

Sorry for the epic posts, but this subject is right up my alley as you can see!