Community complaint about a tenant

5 Replies

I received this letter from the neighborhood community regarding my tenant in Denver CO (Littleton, Woodmar community if anyone is local) that goes like this:

" I am writing you in regard to your rental property .....(address) 

Since your renter moved in over a year ago, the property has suffered as well as the community. Your yard is in terrible shape and in need of care on a regular basis. Regular maintenance and upkeep on the house itself is not occurring.

Your renter disregards the covenant rules as well as Jefferson County laws. There has been a huge camper/fifth wheeler parked in front of the house for weeks now. Woodmar Square covenants state three days parking only. You are ultimately responsible for your property and are encouraged to let your renters know what is needed.

Please address these issues and contribute to your investment property and our community."

I've never received a warning like this and I'm wondering how seriously I need to take it? I forwarded a copy of the letter to my property manager immediately and he said the tenant has been great. The yard is suffering because of the heat. He's going to get back to me about the camper. I remember having the conversation about the camper when the tenant first moved in and we decided that he cannot park it at the house. Anyway, I asked my property manager to drive by the house and take a look. I'm willing to pay for any yard maintenance as needed because I really hate neighbor complaints. Two months ago, he suggested that I buy a lawnmower for the tenant to do his own lawn work so I don't need to hire lawn service so I did and I agreed not to increase his rent as a result of that. Anyway, thoughts/comments?

I had a rental, a SFR, since 1984, and for the first 20 years had tenants do the mowing. In those years, I had tenants doing an adequate job, to ones where they don't get to mow till it's over 6 to 8 inches long and neighbors complain and threaten to call the town.

I found tenants who take their mowing seriously are blue collar family types. Single roommates tend to get into disputes over who's turn it is. I once had a tenant, a business owner who had a recurrence of mental illness, had his retired parents from Florida pay his rent. When neighbors complained about the lawn when grass grew to almost a foot tall, I paid him a visit, and found the once clean shaven man I once knew had a beard over a foot long and had not had a haircut for a good six months. I promptly found myself a landscaper. I figure if he had no energy to shave, he certainly don't have the energy to mow.

The property is located in an "A" area, almost 100% homeowners, all with beautifully manicured lawns, so even when my tenants cut the grass, it's not even or edged, and there's no spring and winter cleanup, it still stands out looking unkempt. My property is a corner lot, and so even when cut, the lawn stands out for it's sloppiness.

So for the last 15 years, now that rents had more than doubled to over the $2,500/month range, I had landscapers do it. It cost me $100/month from April to Oct or Nov, and several hundred between Spring and Fall cleanup, so for about $1,200/year, the property has the well manicured look as the rest of the neighborhood, and now have no more neighbors mumbling that absentee landlord ruining the neighborhood. The next store neighbor who in the past years who seemed constantly angry now says hello with a smile.

Now thinking back, if I was a homeowner back then, and have pass that corner lot of mine every day, I'll be a bit upset too. So if I were you, I find someone to mow.

@Liwen Gu most homeowners associations can legally assign HUGE fines, like $100 PER DAY, when covenants are not followed. I would take it seriously. At least they gave you a warning.

After I sold my home in San Jose, California a few years ago, the buyers didn't move in because they applied for a building permit to turn the place into a McMansion. The lawn got out of control and because the property owner information hadn't been updated in the city's database yet, San Jose sent me a letter after someone complained (forwarded to me by the Post Office).

The letter said I had so many days to remedy the situation and the city would send out an inspector to check. If the lawn was still overgrown, the letter cited the daily fine I would have to pay. I called the city to explain (I also let my realtor know as a courtesy so she could let the buyers' realtor know).

In extreme eyesore situations, government gets involved and code enforcement liens on the property can add up over time.

Originally posted by @Kimberly H. :

@Liwen Gu most homeowners associations can legally assign HUGE fines, like $100 PER DAY, when covenants are not followed. I would take it seriously. At least they gave you a warning.

Thanks Kim, that is good to know. I emailed them last night to let them know that I received the letter and am going to address the issues right away to show them that I'm taking it seriously and I'm cooperating. The letter was a little strange as it did not include a name or an address or phone number or any contact info. It was just a letter type on the plain sheet of paper with no letterhead. I had to google their email address. By the way, the HOA is a voluntary HOA (I don't pay any HOA dues or anything) so I'm thinking they're less strict but I'm not taking any chances either!

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

After I sold my home in San Jose, California a few years ago, the buyers didn't move in because they applied for a building permit to turn the place into a McMansion. The lawn got out of control and because the property owner information hadn't been updated in the city's database yet, San Jose sent me a letter after someone complained (forwarded to me by the Post Office).

The letter said I had so many days to remedy the situation and the city would send out an inspector to check. If the lawn was still overgrown, the letter cited the daily fine I would have to pay. I called the city to explain (I also let my realtor know as a courtesy so she could let the buyers' realtor know).

In extreme eyesore situations, government gets involved and code enforcement liens on the property can add up over time.

Oh wow it even made the news. I hope my property doesn’t look like that. Maybe I need to get someone to drive over there and take a look. I guess I’m glad that I just got a warning instead of fines. Thanks!!