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How to handle violations of lease agreement
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over 6 years ago
Hi, Please excuse the lengthy post. I manage a condo for my 90 year old mom. I recently leased to a young couple and started having problems almost immediately. Not major, but irritable. Though it was rented to a couple I had the young woman sign the lease as the responsible party instead of making them co-signers and put in writing that her boyfriend was authorized to live there with her. Guests are limited to a two week stay and no pets. The only utility is the electric bill and it is her responsibility to pay it. The HOA fee pays the water and upkeep of the exterior. The first problem was her failure to pass the electric bill to their name. She finally did it after I gave her a two day notice that I was cutting it off. She used a month and a half of electricity amounting to $143. Question: Can this expense be considered part of the rent and can I simply add it to the next month's rental amount due or is this a separate money issue that I must collect on using standard methods (small claims, etc.) Can I consider this a breach of the agreement and is it grounds to evict if she doesn't pay it? Next I found that she had been away for several weeks and had someone staying there "watching her place". I received a notice from the HOA that other residents of the complex complained that she had junk outside the door, a violation of HOA rules. In the letter they mentioned she had two dogs and a cat, a violation of the lease in which pets MAY be allowed by written agreement from the landlord and more people living there. Next question: I am getting bad vibes about this tenant and want to know if I can initiate eviction proceedings for violation of the agreement on several counts? Does the law allow her to correct the violations or is it at my discretion to proceed with eviction? I sent her an email a few days ago about this including scans of the violation notice and pictures of the junk and informed her that the extra people must be out immediately as the pets too. I also sent a certified letter to her which is a copy of the email and finally I left a voice mail on her cell phone and texted her summary of the letter and email. I sent a copy to the HOA as required by them to let them know what I was doing about it. I suspect that as long as I am not around ( I don't live nearby) she will continue to violate the lease simply correcting things during the two day advance notice I agreed to when I would be going to the property when I signed the lease. For example I notified her in the letter, voice mail, text and email that I would be going by Wednesday (tomorrow) to install a new dish washer as the old one went bad. In addition I notified the person "watching the house" that I would be coming by as well. I have been renting this condo for the past several years for my mom and this is the first problem tenant. I am not sure how to proceed and not be in violation of any state law. Anyone have any ideas or suggestion for me? It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Tony
over 6 years ago
Thanks for the reply. I did a little research and it appears that I have to give the tenant a 10 day notice to fix the problems or vacate. It is only then that I can start formal eviction proceedings. Does this sound right? Nolo press has a web site that discusses evictions and grounds for evictions. It appears that I will be forced to continue to rent if the tenant fixes the pet and unauthorized people living in the unit within 10 days and 5 days if it is a failure to pay rent issue. How about the failure to pay the electric bill? Can this be added to next month's rent or can I claim that by not paying it, the rent hasn't been paid in full as there is a utility bill outstanding? OR is this a separate issue that requires taking collection proceedings? What a hassle. I don't envy landlords by any means. Thanks, Tony
over 6 years ago
First send them notice for them to vacate since they have violated the lease then if they do not comply, I would start eviction proceedings
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