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suspect subleasing; tenant will not allow me into house

We had an electrical repair that needed to be done, which was agreed upon before move in. When I told her that I would be accompanying the electrician on a certain date (well more than 24 hours notice), she said that she didn't feel comfortable with me coming in the house, but would be ok with the electrician. This startled me and concerned me for several reasons. I had sensed that they were being evasive for some time, but I wasn't sure why.  Taken aback and not wanting to be accused of harassment or some other landlord violation, I told her that since it clearly made her uncomfortable, I would have the electrician go without me, but that I was concerned about her evasiveness.  About a month later, I had expressed my concern to one of my contractors and he said that he always sees 5 cars parked in front of the house and that he thought that there were several families living there, and that he was sure there were more than what I had thought. Our lease indicates that they are not supposed to sublet and that any guests staying beyond 14 days are considered tenants, so they would need to be added to lease on approval of landlord. It is supposed to be the husband and wife with their children. In addition to denying, she went on to talk about her culture and how my questions make her very uncomfortable.  She told me that she suffered trauma when she was younger and that is the reason that so many people are always at her house. I told her to please not feel that she needed to tell me her personal business, and I reiterated that I never once asked her personal questions, and that this question was to address my concern that she was not subletting, which was against our contract. I told her that I did not need to know her personal details, and I accepted her answer that it is just she, her husband and children. I don't believe her answer, but since she will not allow me into the house for even an agreed upon repair, I have never seen the inside of the house and have no way of knowing if she is being honest. I think that the 5 cars parked there every day and at night indicate that there are others living there and that she is lying, but I have no way of proving that.  Frankly, I have had very little interaction with her except to collect rent. Two months into the lease she told me she lost her job and needed to pay rent late, and went into all of her details. I allowed a one time courtesy to pay part of it on the 10th and the rest by the last day of the month. Things seemed to go down hill when I asked them to sign an agreement promising to pay that month and acknowledging that it was a one time courtesy. For about 3 months, they were late paying rent and I waived the late fee each month.   After being accused of spying and of "stressing her out" with my questions, I decided to protect myself by laying low.  She does not even like me coming to the house to collect the rent payment. When she pays electronically, the payment is not posted to my bank until the 16th of the month, which is too late for me. I told them that I cannot accept ACH anymore and suggested that we meet at the bank, a neutral location, for rent payment. I feel that she was trying to set me up as a harassing landlord, so I am trying to protect myself.  I decided to allow the lease to expire and then not renew. The lease is one year and they will not have been there for more than one year, so it is my understanding that I am only required to give 30 days notice. However, I am thinking that I will give them 60 days notice of non renewal so that they can find a new place and I can find a new tenant in the meantime.   I am very uncomfortable with the fact that they are so evasive and I have no idea if my property is being properly cared for, or if something illegal is going on in the house.  I appreciate any comments or advice from your experience on how you would proceed.
1 Comment

The best you can do here is just wait for the term to end and send a non renewal. Sounds like her experiences are causing her to use that against you as the landlord. remain careful!
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