"By law, you have to..." insert tenant request here

15 Replies

Just thought I would start a thread about the weirdest, funniest, and most common requests from tenants you've had where they state, 'it's the law', when you know it is not.

My most recent one was an inherited tenant telling me their unit wasn't painted when they moved in and that 'the law' says it must be painted when a new tenant moves in. 

Made me chuckle. I paint between tenants but not because it is the law, but again, this is an inherited tenant who I think just wants their unit repainted. 

Let's hear 'em!

After a long hard winter (typical in Rochester, NY)....ice fell from the roof of an apartment and damaged my tenant's car.  This was a very difficult situation for the tenant and I felt really bad, and tried to initially help her by saying I'd pay the deductible (which I was under no obligation to do).  Then after finding her auto insurance did not cover everything, and she let her renters insurance lapse (something that would be good to check on after having a tenant for a while) - she said she was taking me to court.  So it wasn't exactly "it's the law", but more like - you are responsible.

However, after a few google searches it was evident that I was only responsible for reasonable and necessary maintenance, such as clearing snow from a drive or walk way.  Shoveling a roof is not reasonable maintenance, additionally the "law" places part of the "onus" on the tenant asking - why would you park under a roof covered in ice. 

All in all it worked out, she moved out, and we still stay in touch. 

Originally posted by @Joel Barrett :

After a long hard winter (typical in Rochester, NY)....ice fell from the roof of an apartment and damaged my tenant's car.  This was a very difficult situation for the tenant and I felt really bad, and tried to initially help her by saying I'd pay the deductible (which I was under no obligation to do).  Then after finding her auto insurance did not cover everything, and she let her renters insurance lapse (something that would be good to check on after having a tenant for a while) - she said she was taking me to court.  So it wasn't exactly "it's the law", but more like - you are responsible.

However, after a few google searches it was evident that I was only responsible for reasonable and necessary maintenance, such as clearing snow from a drive or walk way.  Shoveling a roof is not reasonable maintenance, additionally the "law" places part of the "onus" on the tenant asking - why would you park under a roof covered in ice. 

All in all it worked out, she moved out, and we still stay in touch. 

 What the "few google searches" did not turn out is premises liability for Landlords, which may include natural, latent conditions that are present on the property if known by the Landlord and could have reasonably be fixed by the landlord. Different jurisdictions have different rules for premises liability. The analysis doesn't stop based on maintenance alone.

That said, there are plenty of times that tenants are dead wrong. I've had one that tried to claim Landlord was liable because someone climbed up on their open air balcony and stole a piece of furniture they had left. It was a common space ran by the Condo Association, and furniture that was not allowed on the balcony. 

"By law you have to work around my schedule when entering the apartment"

....no I don't. I only have to give 24 hour notice and as a courtesy I gave 48 so I'll see ya Tuesday! 

"I told you I was going to be moving out so I don't have to pay rent anymore."

She thought that was fact.

"The pine needles  fall on my classic car and scratch the paint, so you need to trim the sides of the trees all the way to the top to get rid of the overhang."

The trees are very old and are many stories high!

Here's one from years ago.
A husband and wife moved into my house in Phoenix.
The husband was in a wheelchair. The wife told me by law, if I accepted a disabled tenant, I had to pay for all necessary modifications to the rental property.
She even went so far as to make up a fraudulent document from the Arizona Disability Act which she sent to me.

I checked what the actual law was and found out that a landlord cannot forbid a disabled tenant from modifying the property as long as they return it to its former state when they vacate.

A tenant I have now is driving me crazy with her expectations.

She bought new blinds for the house, although there were already blinds there and said I have to give her the money for them.

She said if I expect them to cut the grass (which is now a foot high), I need to buy a lawn mower for them.

She said I had to replace all power outlets in the house because they are old.

The demands simply never end.

I know I have stories, but for some reason, I draw a blank today...except for a neighbor of one of my rentals and her demands! Last summer a storm came through and a good-size branch fell from a tree in my backyard and I got multiple messages from her about it and the fence damage it caused. She said that some guy a few doors down helped my tenant move the branch off of the fence and that I owe him money for that lol. Turns out the only damage it did was to my own fence! I was wondering why she was flipping out over this.

I went ahead and hired some guys to just cut the whole tree down as I should had done earlier since it was almost dead. The neighbor calls again saying that the tree guys were chipping up the wood and the chips were flying all over her car that she "just detailed" and she didn't know who was going to pay to detail the car again, but it wasn't going to be her! I've learned to simply not respond to this woman's calls/text unless necessary. One of my past problem tenants gave her my number a few years ago....grrr! :-P

Originally posted by @Dawn A. :

"I told you I was going to be moving out so I don't have to pay rent anymore."

She thought that was fact.

We get something similar to this a lot.

Tenant will call in and say something like I will be paying my rent on the 20th.

They get their 3-day eviction notice before hand and call in saying "I told you it was going to be late you can't evict me"

I have just gotten this from a potential tenant whom I offered to rent to "By the law, the lease is one year, so you are only allow to inspect the house once a year". They are no longer potential tenant (lied on the application, and I found out they move once a year. I suspect they plan to run a business out of the rental place)

I had an applicant for a property who asked if I allowed dogs.
I said there was a strict no pet policy.
She said that the dog was a service dog and under the law I had to allow her to keep the dog. She also said that under the law she was not required to provide any documentation to verify it was a service dog.
She sent me a text message which said "Do you want to have another little think about whether you're going to allow me and my dog".
With such rude manners I certainly did not have to think twice.

@Nicole W. You should just block that woman's number on your phone. You will never get another call or voice mail from her again. I've had to do that to people. It's a great thing to have.  :)

I have a strict no smoking inside policy, it has disgusted me my entire life. 

"You can't legally tell me to stop smoking medical marijuana in my apartment . That's discrimination and I'll sue you!" Uhh, medical marijuana is actually not legal in this state, pack your bags and GTFO! Good luck suing ME for YOUR illegal drug use. 

Here is one.

"I realize unit 1 is paying $975, and unit B is paying $1025, you are charging me $1050, according to the law you cannot charge different rents for different people."

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