How to handle tenant/neighbor/property manager issues?

12 Replies

A little backstory, I bought the house in June and in November my property manager finally found a tenant through a charity that helps homeless people find homes. I was already not sure about this PM and have a thread on here where the consensus is that I should probably find a new one and do a better job of vetting... but until I get a chance to do that he's still the PM. 

Apparently the tenant has a girlfriend (or wife, not sure) that is pregnant.

Now on to the problems: Within a week of the tenant moving in I started getting calls from neighbors. Police asking neighbors about who lives in my property, police showing up at my property several times... and then one neighbor calling me complaining the guy was in  the street screaming at 4am. Just got another call now that my tenant was outside shoveling snow and started swearing and shouting at the neighbor.

Apparently neighbors have called the PM and he's very rude to them. After the first incident he told me he spoke to the tenant and the cops were called because she fainted in a store due to her medication and pregnancy... 

I went to the police station and filled out a FOIA for all police calls ti my property, and basically the cops had been there three times in less than a month. All three were basically domestic disturbance calls. One was made by the wife, but when the cops showed up she said it was a reaction to her medicine and she didn't need their help anymore. Another was for a medical transport van reporting she wouldn't get out of the van, but again that had resolved by the time she showed up. In all cases they report hormonal issues because of pregnancy and medication interaction.

So not sure what I can, or even should do. I can't evict legally in my state, and I'm not sure I would evict a pregnant woman anyway! But I don't want my tenants to bring the neighborhood down and cause lots of problems with the neighbors. 

I still need to meet with my PM to see what, if anything, he's doing about this but I don't even know if neighbors are calling him anymore due to the initial rudeness. Maybe I can talk to the charity and they can work with him somehow? Any other thoughts?

It does not sound to me that you will be able to save this tenancy. I would also not be surprised if your PM bailed out, if the hassle of managing this property/ tenant becomes too great for his 10% fee.  I believe you should prepare yourself for an eviction and be in a place to step in and deal with this situation.

Get copies of the paperwork -- lease, application, background checks, and emergency contacts.   Look in the lease for violations.  Contact the charity, your tenant's case manager, and emergency contact.  Perhaps they can approach the tenant and encourage better behavior.  It sounds to me that your tenant and his GF are either abusing substances, mentally ill, or both.

Hire an attorney.  I don't know why you said you could not legally evict in this situation.  I would hire process servers to serve notices, as these tenants sound unstable and possibly dangerous  

If the pregnant GF is not on the lease, she is an unauthorized tenant and needs to leave.  If you would not evict a pregnant woman, would you prefer to evict a mom and newborn?  

I would also take a long, hard look at this property.  Why did it take 4 months to fill this property during prime rental season, and then only with a poor quality tenant?  This might be a property you need to either rehab or sell.

Originally posted by @Mike Redick :

A little backstory, I bought the house in June and in November my property manager finally found a tenant through a charity that helps homeless people find homes. I was already not sure about this PM and have a thread on here where the consensus is that I should probably find a new one and do a better job of vetting... but until I get a chance to do that he's still the PM. 

Apparently the tenant has a girlfriend (or wife, not sure) that is pregnant.

Now on to the problems: Within a week of the tenant moving in I started getting calls from neighbors. Police asking neighbors about who lives in my property, police showing up at my property several times... and then one neighbor calling me complaining the guy was in  the street screaming at 4am. Just got another call now that my tenant was outside shoveling snow and started swearing and shouting at the neighbor.

Apparently neighbors have called the PM and he's very rude to them. After the first incident he told me he spoke to the tenant and the cops were called because she fainted in a store due to her medication and pregnancy... 

I went to the police station and filled out a FOIA for all police calls ti my property, and basically the cops had been there three times in less than a month. All three were basically domestic disturbance calls. One was made by the wife, but when the cops showed up she said it was a reaction to her medicine and she didn't need their help anymore. Another was for a medical transport van reporting she wouldn't get out of the van, but again that had resolved by the time she showed up. In all cases they report hormonal issues because of pregnancy and medication interaction.

So not sure what I can, or even should do. I can't evict legally in my state, and I'm not sure I would evict a pregnant woman anyway! But I don't want my tenants to bring the neighborhood down and cause lots of problems with the neighbors. 

I still need to meet with my PM to see what, if anything, he's doing about this but I don't even know if neighbors are calling him anymore due to the initial rudeness. Maybe I can talk to the charity and they can work with him somehow? Any other thoughts?

FYI I would & have evicted pregnant women in the past. I've also evicted people with cancer, aids, drug problems, bad luck, a sick grandma & many other ailments &/or excuses... If your going to make it in this business you can't think about stuff like that. Don't be fulled, property management is a FULL CONTACT sport.

What's going to happen is the police are going to classify your house as a nuisance to the neighborhood. Once that happens every time they come out to the house your going to get a big ole bill. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633
Originally posted by @Bettina F. :

I don't know why you said you could not legally evict in this situation.  

My understanding of NYS law is that I can only evict for lease violations or non-payment of rent...

If you would not evict a pregnant woman, would you prefer to evict a mom and newborn?  

Yes, actually... 

I would also take a long, hard look at this property.  Why did it take 4 months to fill this property during prime rental season, and then only with a poor quality tenant?  This might be a property you need to either rehab or sell.

I think this all comes down to the PM. I had him manage the rehab and it took two months, during which he didn't list the units. 

Originally posted by @James Wise :

Don't be fulled, property management is a FULL CONTACT sport.

This is why I hired a property manager! (Albeit one I should have vetted better...)

Originally posted by @Mike Redick :
Originally posted by @Bettina F.:

I don't know why you said you could not legally evict in this situation.  

My understanding of NYS law is that I can only evict for lease violations or non-payment of rent...

If you would not evict a pregnant woman, would you prefer to evict a mom and newborn?  

Yes, actually... 

I would also take a long, hard look at this property.  Why did it take 4 months to fill this property during prime rental season, and then only with a poor quality tenant?  This might be a property you need to either rehab or sell.

I think this all comes down to the PM. I had him manage the rehab and it took two months, during which he didn't list the units. 

Originally posted by @James Wise:

Don't be fulled, property management is a FULL CONTACT sport.

This is why I hired a property manager! (Albeit one I should have vetted better...)

 Doesn't sound like a true property manager situation. You are way to involved here. Am I correct in assuming that it's just a guy, not a full blown company?

It's like a car, there is one steering wheel so there isn't room for two drivers. You need to either step in & manage the property or completely remove yourself from the equation & have the manager handle it. If this guy can't do that hire another company & be totally hands off. No fielding phone calls from neighbors, asking advice on BP about how to handle tenants or going down to the police stations.

James Wise, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2015001161)
216-661-6633

@Mike Redick   You filled out a FOIA request at a police station?! Dude, who is managing this property, you or the PM you hired? You are WAAAAAAY too involved.

1. Is the rent paid?

2. Is the property being maintained and not abused?

This is a business, quit worrying about tenant BS and drama because there will always be lots of that and focus on your investment. You hired a PM to deal with the drama so pickup the phone and tell them to get it under control and then go back to your life and find more property to buy. 

Side note: if you aren't willing to evict a pregnant lady then you seriously need to rethink rental real estate as an investment vehicle. We just set out a single mom and 6 kids into 10 inches of snow 2 weeks ago and it's heartbreaking for sure but you have to decide if you are running a business or a charity. 

Pregnant , sick , job loss , death , children . None of these have a bearing on whether to evict for breach of lease . 

@Mike Redick I am not sure how New York works, but I have a clause in my lease that says that any crime, or any drug related activity, shall be cause for immediate termination of the lease and that proof of violation does not require conviction, but is by preponderance of the evidence and in the Landlord's discretion (summarized to get to the point). Basically, the second they say their meds had issues, or as soon as I had the police file, they would have been gone. There is no place in any of my units for people like that, and no point feeling bad about someone who was given a hand up and then squandered it.

Originally posted by @Mike Redick :
Originally posted by @Bettina F.:

I don't know why you said you could not legally evict in this situation.  

My understanding of NYS law is that I can only evict for lease violations or non-payment of rent...

That is why I suggested that you read your lease and look for violations.  You don't have something in there about quiet hours, or allowing others the quiet enjoyment of their residences?

Ok, thanks everyone. Asked the PM to talk to the tenants and the charity, and requested a copy of the lease for now. 

Your wasting time. They are in violation of their lease. As soon as a tenant causes the police to repeatedly show up at the property and neighbours are filing complaints you have a tenant in violation of their lease.

You need to hire a lawyer and evict if you do not have the knowledge to do so yourself.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Your wasting time. They are in violation of their lease. As soon as a tenant causes the police to repeatedly show up at the property and neighbours are filing complaints you have a tenant in violation of their lease.

You need to hire a lawyer and evict if you do not have the knowledge to do so yourself.

 I would think that depends on what's actually in the lease right? 

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