Tenant calling 911 excessively out of spite

11 Replies

I have a problem tenant above me in my own house. They have become not only rude but spiteful because I am taking them to court for non payment and because they are just extortionist harassing awful people who abuse their daughter (I inherited when I moved into this rehab). It's very uncomfortable. Lately they have been calling 911 and making totally unsubstantiated claims about how "awful landlord I am". No evidence just rantings. They think this will help them in court I guess, and hurt me for the future, which I guess brings them satisfaction.

Is it true that all these police reports, although totally fact-less, will hurt my landlord reputation either with the court, the city, or in the records when selling my home?


@Matt Liu   if anything I would think THEY would get arrested for falsely calling 911.  You can get in big trouble for tying up the 911 line for junk calls.

Are they still living in your property while you are taking them to court? You may want to look at getting them out of there before any crazy action against them, I can see them doing a bit of damage if they knew you were going to take them to court.

Of course they are still there. They don't want to leave. It's a nightmare. What damage can they do? They will try everything. They will keep calling 911 until court, and even after, until they are gone.

When you say you are taking them to court, do you mean you are in the process of evicting them, correct? Stay calm and don't entice them. Best to avoid any interaction with them unless for legitimate reasons, and always take some one with you as a witness. Document everything. What they are doing will be worse for their reputation than yours, unless they are calling 911 for a legitimate reason. 

Desperate people do desperate things. They can do great harm. Keep an eye out for your personal safety and for your property. If this is going through New Jersey courts, it could be a long process. If they are "professional tenants" it could be much worse. Do you have a local landlord mentor that can help you weather this storm? You are using an attorney for the eviction, aren't you?

Yes eviction is for non payment. I hired an eviction attorney. This is in Rochester, NY. They are not calling 911 for legitimate reasons. They have no proof for anything theyre claiming. I'm just worried that the 911 calls will go on record and look bad for me or my house on the face of it. I'm worried too of what else they will try to do.

@Matt Liu  ,

Sorry to hear about that. I think @Dawn A.  is right. If they are just bugging the police and needlessly wasting their resources, you may be able to have them come testify on your behalf, or at least show that there were never any charges or tickets from police substantiating her claims.

@Marcia Maynard  is also spot on about documenting everything. And hire a lawyer or eviction specialist to deal with it. If the tenant laws are tricky, not using someone knowledgeable could set you back, especially if they are a professional tenant.  I would also add that I would consider "cash for keys". One route is an eviction on record, bad credit, headaches, etc. Another is enough money for 1st month's rent, deposit, moving.. 

Sometimes they may just have no where to go, so if you can facilitate that, it might be worth the lost rent, potential future damage, stress, etc.. 

Sorry to hear, and good luck!

@Matt Liu  What concerns me is that you wrote they abuse their daughter, and mention nothing else about it. If someone is honestly abusing a child, then you have an obligation to report them to the Police. If, because of the 911 calls the Police won't deal with it, call CPS. 

As to the other calls, you should call the Police Dept and tell them that they are calling and making false accusations to harass you, and the PD should tell them to stop misusing the emergency call system. 

@Matt Liu  911 calls are recorded and there will be records of the police response and what they put down in their police logs but this won't be used to hurt your reputation or your case since it doesn't sound like you violated any laws. If the police found wrongdoing, they would take action against you for violating a law, including writing you a citation, arresting you for a felony or a misdemeanor, or writing a report listing you as a suspect, in which case a detective most likely would be contacting you.

Like others have posted, ensure your own safety first. Any contact with them will most likely be negative and non-productive so don't engage them unless absolutely necessary. Keep your own written log of any significant events (inlcuding the fruitless 911 calls) and show this to the judge in your eviction case. I don't know what the courts are like in NJ but I had some rentals in Buffalo, NY and the judges were always giving the tenants/defendants extra time to pay backrent. If you present additional evidence of your tenants behavior (a log counts), it may help to get the judge to side with you.

Hang in there! They will eventually leave and your life will get better! Good luck!

J. M. 

I am in a similar disaster myself. I inherited a tenant. In the eviction process now. I would like to offer "cash for keys" when you have offered this, have you placed anything in written or just offered cash for the keys when she is out ? Thank you for your response or anyone else with experience with this.

Originally posted by @Shaun Lapsley :

@J. Martin 

I am in a similar disaster myself. I inherited a tenant. In the eviction process now. I would like to offer "cash for keys" when you have offered this, have you placed anything in written or just offered cash for the keys when she is out ? Thank you for your response or anyone else with experience with this.

 I would come up with a plan that you think makes sense, then try to peaceably propose it to them as a way for them to avoid the negative consequences, make it easier for them to move, and avoid the stress. When they agree, put it in writing, have them sign. I would also sign and give to them. This will also help get them psychologically fully committed to it. 

Just make sure it states what you really need:

- only paid upon property totally vacated and keys returned
- tenant giving up lease, and all rights to return
- deal w/ deposit or condition of unit

also, check local laws.. 

good luck!

6+ months later - how did this turn out?

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