Tenant lost job and stuck 'Sastreria' and Babysitting sign in window

17 Replies

so apparently one of my PM tenants lost her job and instead of finding a new one, according to the neighbors. has people knocking on the shared front porch door often for tailoring services and she also sells clothes from her apt and babysits too.

the lease doesn't say she cant do business from home nor say she can't put a sign in her window, but what about the quiet enjoyment for other tenants?

this is residential zoning not commercial, in case that matters. 

Originally posted by Account Closed:

the lease doesn't say she cant do business from home nor say she can't put a sign in her window, but what about the quiet enjoyment for other tenants?

this is residential zoning not commercial, in case that matters. 

When a child bangs it's head on her armchair, how much money are you liable for? Answer: more than you think!

It's a home, not a business location, you aren't insured for this.

Zoning says she can't run a business from the house. (As for a childcare business - can you imagine the state getting involved in that?)

the owner saw the sign now and said start the eviction, he wants her gone. 

i hadnt seen the sign, guess maybe she takes it down on the 1st

Most standard residential leases have a clause prohibiting use of the property as a business. If yours doesn't, then you really need to add that. 

I had a tenant who started a daycare or program of some sort for special needs children in one of my houses. The toilets backed up because of the overuse and kids stuffing TP down them, and my insurance agent was real clear that I was not insured for anything involving the kids on the property if she was using it for a business. We told her she could shut it down immediately or we'd evict, and cordially explained the reasons. She stopped within a week. I'm glad our standard lease has no-business language in it to support me in that situation.

Is she bothering the other tenants?  Have any of them complained?

If not, I might just turn a blind eye, honestly.  If she's otherwise a great tenant.

What's with the micromanagement of tenants?  She sounds very resourceful.  You could always just talk to her about not doing the babysitting, or only allowing so many kids, but you're going to have a short life if you keep worrying about the day to day lives of your tenants.  If they aren't causing problems, nobody's complaining, and are paying the rent, leave them alone.  In my opinion.

Yeesh, you don't have to jump straight to eviction when you just need to have a sit-down with somebody over a sign in a window, etc.  Evictions are expensive.

well owner was pissed to see the sign in the window advertising sastreria and babysitter services and we issued a breach notice cuz tenants complained of kids running ppl at door & knocking as if its a store etc.. lets see if the sign comes down and she stops babysitting if not, seems she must walk; the place isnt suitable as a childcare facility for the kids i feel sorry for them in there!

Rules and Guidelines are in place to promote good things not because one is a nosy landlord. A good landlord makes a strong neighborhood and if tenants don't want a landlord to be involved they just might have something they don't want them to know about. The tenant having a business or two, is not just breaking an arbitrary rule in a lease by an overbearing landlord. They are causing additional wear and tear on the property which the landlord did not account for. They are infringing on the rights of other tenants and neighbors, and they are dramatically increasing the liability of the owner. 

In this business, I can't trust anyone who doesn't have the ability to recognize liabilities as it is vitally important to all stakeholders...

Maybe they should double check CA regs. From what I have read, running a small time babysitter/daycare service is not grounds for eviction regardless of what it says on lease. Nor does the tenant need landlord permission to run this type of service. An eviction based on it would be automatically considered discrimination in Cali.

Originally posted by @Matt R. :

Maybe they should double check CA regs. From what I have read, running a small time babysitter/daycare service is not grounds for eviction regardless of what it says on lease. Nor does the tenant need landlord permission to run this type of service. An eviction based on it would be automatically considered discrimination in Cali.

 I agree, you need to first look at the lease. But what class of people are you discriminating against?  If they are making it uncomfotable for others, that should be reason to get rid of the tenant. It is a house, not a business

@Josh Bakhshi As far as I know the discrimination part is on kids/caregivers. The law is set already and it will not matter if the lease states otherwise as that part of the lease would be against the law if it does.

Echoing @James DeRoest , the potential liability just doesn't worth it (especially day care programs).

However, it is perfectly legal to encourage or even help the tenant to find a daycare job!

Very interesting topic.

 If the property is located in a rent control area, good luck on a successful eviction; I would much rather opt for plausible deniability, especially if she is not late on the rent. 

On another note, I would balance my decision on what the neighborhood supports. If we have a lower-end property then the landlord wouldn't have much to worry about. But, on the other hand, if we have higher-end neighborhood, I could just about guarantee that the neighbors will call social services/child protective services, now you have a problem.

Make sure the insurance premiums are up to date and collect the rent.

Well, the owner sounds like an idiot. In my option.  But, hey, I hope his/her idiocy means you make more money.

This sounds like a Mexican neighborhood,  And in my opinion, in growing up with a best friend who was Mexican, as well as many in my life since then in California, the neighborhood probably has no problem, whatsoever, with this person doing business as a babysitter or a seamstress.

If your owner is stupid enough to pay for the costs involved in evicting a Mexican person in an Mexican neighborhood, because she was trying to make a living - then he deserves everything he/she gets.

And don't think for a second, that his "reputation" won't hurt him in finding another good tenant.

Welcome to Mexi-Cal.  You treat them right, you're in like Flynn.  You don't?  You get what you (or your owner) deserve.

Originally posted by @Sue K. :

Is she bothering the other tenants?  Have any of them complained?

If not, I might just turn a blind eye, honestly.  If she's otherwise a great tenant.

What's with the micromanagement of tenants?  She sounds very resourceful.  You could always just talk to her about not doing the babysitting, or only allowing so many kids, but you're going to have a short life if you keep worrying about the day to day lives of your tenants.  If they aren't causing problems, nobody's complaining, and are paying the rent, leave them alone.  In my opinion.

Yeesh, you don't have to jump straight to eviction when you just need to have a sit-down with somebody over a sign in a window, etc.  Evictions are expensive.

Sue, this isn't about what is nice and fair, this is actually quite a serious issue.

The property is being used to run a business, and customers are coming in and out of that business.

This isn't a case of "hey, lets be nice about this and forget anything is happening", this is a very real and large liability case. And not only that, but if she is doing childcare (there will be a child limit per adult as a guessr54), there are all sorts of state laws and sanctions.

And that's great that it's a Mexican (if it is), they'll do a runner if something did happen - and guess who is next in the firing line - the property owner! And "hey, I turned a blind eye because I was being nice" doesn't cut it.

Gees.

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :
Originally posted by @Sue Kelly:

Is she bothering the other tenants?  Have any of them complained?

If not, I might just turn a blind eye, honestly.  If she's otherwise a great tenant.

What's with the micromanagement of tenants?  She sounds very resourceful.  You could always just talk to her about not doing the babysitting, or only allowing so many kids, but you're going to have a short life if you keep worrying about the day to day lives of your tenants.  If they aren't causing problems, nobody's complaining, and are paying the rent, leave them alone.  In my opinion.

Yeesh, you don't have to jump straight to eviction when you just need to have a sit-down with somebody over a sign in a window, etc.  Evictions are expensive.

Sue, this isn't about what is nice and fair, this is actually quite a serious issue.

The property is being used to run a business, and customers are coming in and out of that business.

This isn't a case of "hey, lets be nice about this and forget anything is happening", this is a very real and large liability case. And not only that, but if she is doing childcare (there will be a child limit per adult as a guessr54), there are all sorts of state laws and sanctions.

And that's great that it's a Mexican (if it is), they'll do a runner if something did happen - and guess who is next in the firing line - the property owner! And "hey, I turned a blind eye because I was being nice" doesn't cut it.

Gees.

 Hey, I'm sure you're right.  This will be the end of the world as we know it.  How dare a tenant sew garments for people who will come onto the property to try them on.  I'm sure the place will be swamped with droves of people coming from miles around to loiter on the porch waiting for their seamstress....

And the clientele!!!  People who need someone to sew things for them!  Imagine the horrors that could happen!!

And she'll probably have hundreds of children hanging from the rafters!!!

Oh yeah, and she might be able to keep paying the rent and not break her lease....evict evict evict!   It's the only option!

Imagine the litigious parents and people whose pants are too long calling that lawyer they have on retainer...

Huge risk here.  

There is a huge risk, how about this one:

http://www.daycare.com/california/state35.html

$200 fine per day for the operation of an unlicensed daycare in the State of California.

Do you think the tenant who will have done a runner is going to pay this - or the landlord (soft target) who knew about it and did nothing?

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :

There is a huge risk, how about this one:

http://www.daycare.com/california/state35.html

$200 fine per day for the operation of an unlicensed daycare in the State of California.

Do you think the tenant who will have done a runner is going to pay this - or the landlord (soft target) who knew about it and did nothing?

 And now you are saying that Mexican tenants will "do a runner?"

But, hey, I'm sure you're right and have a complete understanding of how things work in a Mexican neighborhood.  Those gangs of Mexican daycare police will surely find this woman babysitting for neighbors, and will rat her out to the authorities, inviting the city inspectors into their "hood."

Happens all the time.

Bottom line is you see this as a huge risk.  I do not.  I don't see us agreeing.

In CA the law is that a tenant can do anything in a residential dwelling unit that an owner can with regards to running a business, including a child care operation. The tenant will need to follow all of the laws about running that business and there can not be an unnecessary burden on the landlord. 

Practically what this means is that the tenant would need to pay for any additional expenses, including insurance, to the landlord for the child care operation. For both the childcare and seamstress operation the tenant would need to get appropriate permits and licenses. General speaking you need to describe the additional traffic (foot or otherwise) generated by the business before a business license is granted. If the other tenants and/or landlord feels that the additional traffic to or signs posted on/in the unit is out of character with the neighborhood than that would be addressed with the city granting the license.

Resourceful tenant following the letter and spirit of the law = generally a great tenant to have especially when the next downturn hits.

Ask for proof of the license, insurance, permits. If they don't exist then pay a lawyer for a few hours of time to draft a letter to them that explains what they need to do to be compliant with a suitable time frame. Be helpful in getting them compliant! If they are not compliant in that time frame then proceed with eviction, especially with an uninsured-unlicensed child care operation.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.