Saturday, January 3, 2009

Suspended Animation

Do you ever feel like your goals and dreams are on hold? Because of my inexperience at landlording and my trust in people to do the right thing, I am now in a jam with my rental house. Tomorrow my tenants are supposed to move out but so far all I have heard are excuses. The last day they can legally be in the house is Wednesday, after that I will start the eviction process. This puts me in a bind with my next tenants. They expect to have a place to stay. I looked at hotel prices for them. 2 hotel rooms will cost me $9,000 for 30 days! I would need to take out a loan to pay that!

In the mean time, I am having a nice quiet Saturday while I slowly develop an ulcer waiting for time to run out. It was too windy to paint my shed but I did trim the tree next to it to make the chore easier when I finally do paint. I also moved water in to my extra storage tanks so that if I do get rain tomorrow, I will have some room in the collection tanks. That's all for now. I will now go back to worrying...


Sallie's Niece said...

If they're not out tomorrow I'd call the sheriff to see how the eviction process works in your area. Maybe he can even go by to warn the tenants. Be strong and get them out of there1

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

Hi Daizy
It doesnt sound too good. I guess you will be glad to get rid of them anyway as they are pretty good with their excuses. Can you get them out in time?
Best of luck

MW said...

Holy smokes, what a difficult situation! I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with such stress.

What excuses are your tenants using? What rights do you have as a landlord? If you have to find your new tenants a place to stay, are there any short term (ie. 1 month) suite/house rentals in your area?

I'm keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Anonymous said...

I am keeping all my fingers & toes crossed cuz I've heard of instances where the evictee was able to stay in the abode for up to 6 months through 'eviction' process.

I am really sorry to hear of your tangle. :/ Please don't develop an ulcer.

Daizy said...

My biggest mistake was not leaving myself 6 weeks before my next tenants arrive. I thought giving the current tenants 2 months warning to vacate would be plenty. Now they say the place they had lined up fell through. They did find an apartment yesterday and hopefully are moving there today.

Sallie's Niece, I have learned a lot about eviction in the last 2 days. In AZ it starts with a 5 day notice which I gave them (ends Wed.) then file the paperwork (all filled out and ready) and have them served with the court date. And yes, it can last for weeks (hopefully not 6 months Christine! That would be awful!)

Lizzie, the tenants said they would move out Sun., Mon at the latest. I hope it's the truth this time.

Middle Way, the problem with short term rentals this time of year is that they are all super expensive and full. It is the height of the tourist season. My next tenants are short term people. My current tenants are lacking in cash and credit making it difficult for them to find a new place.

There are so many things that I did wrong with this rental. I should write a cautionary tale when it is all finished. Good thing is I have learned a lot! There's nothing like hands-on experience!

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I'm sorry to hear about all of these troubles for you. It sounds like you are doing all you can right now. That is the most important thing, to act.

However you handle it, you will have learned a lot for the next time. Best of luck!

Sharon S said...

Hi there-I really hope this situation sorts out amicably, you certainly don't need this stress, good luck!

Chris Leclair said...

Sometimes you have to break (bend) some of the rules to push people along. Removing doors, etc. for "repairs" and being a royal pain in the ass is a nice way to "speed" up the process. A court wont look that badly on you for this sort of thing. Get your papers ready (written notice to enter the building) and start the painting and clean-up process. Move their stuff around while you paint and become a royal pain in the ass. This is all legal (but check your local laws) and the message you are sending them is that they are better off leaving. People are lazy and when comfortable won't move. Spoil their privacy and they'll want to go.

I've never had to do any of these things, but my brother has with success. I tend to choose tenants with integrity so as to avoid this, but have had to be a phone call and constant communication nuisance to one tenant to have them leave early as they smoked like chimneys.

Be a pain, and get them in the mode of wanting to move. ***Talk to them daily, hourly, get under their skin.*** This is legal, as they are supposed to leave. You might get some damage to the house for spite, but this miniscule if you start losing rent on tow counts.

In 8 years I've never had to go to court on 5 units of rentals and only one person skipped out on $350 in utility charges and they paid for it in other ways (collection agency). That's not a bad track record.

Be firm, consistent and a pain in the ass. You don't have anything to lose. Plus don't fear the courts, they'll side with you with almost anything you do as long as you keep it clean and toe the line.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to learn all these things before hand, as we are looking to buy a rental property in about a year.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is similar or not - but when I bought my house I rented it for a few days prior to closing. The couple was splitting, the husband was living in the home and hadn't made any progress on leaving when my moving van showed up. I paid my movers to move his furniture into his truck. He kind of had no choice, but to leave.

He did booby trap the house - almost non-existent water pressure (had hooked up the water softener that did not work), and the phone lines played a radio station - but when they don't want to go, they don't want to go. Minor fixes.

Daizy said...

Over the Cubicle, yes, I think all I can do is wait at this point. I sure do wish I had given myself more time. Oh well.

Thanks Sharon Rose. I do hope they leave on their own before Wed. Now they say the carpets in their new apartment need to be cleaned so they won't be out of the house today.

Chris Leclair, those are interesting tactics. I told them that I want to see the house and they freaked out. They said they wouldn't let me. According to the law I have to take them to court to get access if they refuse. At this point I will just start eviction if they aren't out on Wed. And they aren't even staying at the house, they are using it as free storage!

Money Funk, my biggest advice to you would be to put everything in writing(no verbal agreements!) and to know the eviction process ahead of time so that you know how much time it will take. Good luck.

Anonymous, tht is awful that he booby trapped the house! I hope my tenants aren't that sneaky.

Anonymous said...

You must be able to enter the premises for repairs, no?

Get in there ASAP and start pushing around. After all, it is your job and bread and butter.

We can enter here in Ontario Canada for any reason so long as we provide 24 hours notice. Cleaning and painting is necessary to get it ready for new tenants. Keep digging, you have to be able to get in for that?

Other then that, knock on their door constantly, at least twice a day (one morning, one evening), get the address of the place they are moving to and call them. If that doesn't check in ramp up the pressure. Don't piss them off, but play hard ball. Always use integrity in all situations, but don't get bullied. Make your situation known to them...don't assume they know the pain you will feel if they don't leave on time.

I highly doubt they will live on time based on what you have said so start getting ready now.

Great suggestion about hiring a moving truck.

I had to help move stuff in the unrented basement of a duplex because a tenant had to go, but had no place to store their stuff. She paid $150 storage to my brother each month or he'd trash it. She paid for 2.5 months and finally came to get her stuff. Most of it was worthless anyway.

Fun times, but your freedom is worth it.

Daizy said...

Hi Chris L. The tenants can deny entry for any reason in Arizona. Then I have to take it to court for a judge to decide if their denial is unreasonable. Of course it would be unreasonable but it would delay things up to 2 weeks which is what the tenants wanted. They made that threat on Friday before they secured the new apartment. Now that they have an apartment to go to they are playing nice again.

Also, the tenants told me that verbal agreements make written agreements void. I don't know how true that is but I just got them to sign the papers that say they have to be out Wednesday. Now I know not to give them anymore verbal agreements. They also know that I have new tenants coming and I don't want to go through the eviction process because I didn't leave enough time for that(my biggest mistake!). Now that they have secured a new apartment, they haven't made that threat again. I've learned so much from their threats! If they aren't out on Wed. I'm hiring a lawyer on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Your laws are worse than ours! I feel for you. Get all agreements in writing or they aren't worth anything. Verbal agreements, re your other post are only good if you can prove them that's why paper is so important. Good luck, but don't fear the law...if they break it then it's useless isn't it. I'm not saying do anything illegal, but be firm and let them know they are messing up a decent person and appeal to that. Don't ever fall into the games tenants play...victim, etc. You'll never win by playing a game.

Hiring a lawyer sounds like you'll lose before you start so avoid that as much as possible.

If you really want to win the game, take them out to dinner, help them move, help them, etc. and so on and so forth. Everything you do will make it hard for them to play victim and give them excuses to do you wrong.

While you might not want to play bad guy (like me) you might have fun playing nice guy. Trust me either one of these strategies work when played on the right person. Just remember to do it in the extreme and when you play nice, play real nice and if you don't feel pain (while you help someone who doesn't deserve it) then you aren't playing nice correctly!

Daizy said...

Hi Chris L, while I don't fear the law, I do fear the length of time it would take. My next tenants arrive very soon. My current tenants and I seem to be back on ok terms. I am trying to be very helpful without bothering them. Tomorrow will be the real test.