Neighbors from hell!

19 Replies

I own a duplex in a nice quiet neighborhood. Both sides are rented out by fantastic long term tenants. Recently new neighbors moved into a rental across the street. From day one the tenants have been completely absent while 5-8 children, all bwtween 3 and 10 years old. They occupy my tenants front yards, walkways and even fenced in backyards. The house has constant traffic and is rumored to be a meth house by the other neighbors. They party all hours of the night and even park in front my my tenants driveways and block them in. Without being judgemental, the people that frequent the place have face, neck and prison tats. Many of them with teardrop tats under their eyes. My tenants have said they are starting to fear for their safety and dont want to confront them. I thought they were being a little paranoid until I drove by and saw for myself. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my tenants if something isn’t said but I’m not sure who to contact. Should I contact the owner/property management/landlord? I don’t think I should call the police because I have no proof their doing anything wrong other than being terrible neighbors. I don’t want to be “that guy” who calls and rats out other people, but I’m very concerned I’m going to lose great tenants because of the direction the neighborhood has turned. Am I being “that guy”?
@Ben Cochran I would do something you probably would not want to do and you already know what that is .. I would go directly over to the people’s house and try to talk with them . Try to reason with them about being on your property and the shenanigans that are going on . It may just have an impact and you can atleast say you tried to do things civil first . Look If they know they are being watched and police may be around it could stifle this unwanted behavior in its tracks . Remember this is your business you are relying on this investment and allowing this nonsense to continue is surely going to hurt your business . They are messing with your money and that’s how you must think of it . Be assertive but non judgmental . Let them know you won’t be taking this laying down . Even if you get to point with the cops or a judge they are certaInly going to want to know that you tried politely asking before going to the authorities

Thanks @Dennis M.  I’ll will prob have to do that at first just to say I at least tried before contacting anyone else. I think next step would be researching the homeowners and seeing if they’re even aware. 

I absolutely would not just walk over there and talk to them, based on the way you describe what is going on. I would contact the police if any unlawful activity is suspected. You don't need "proof" to file a complaint. You can even file an anonymous complaint. I would also post signs near my driveways that state anybody blocking the driveway is subject to being towed at owners expense. And then when it happens, I call the tow truck and have them towed. You could also suggest your tenants call child protective services if there is no supervision for young children and call the police for late night noise disturbances. And, of course, contact the owner of said property. 

You're worried about being "that guy"? "That guy" is one who makes sure his property is protected, his tenants are protected, and doesn't take the chance of your business failing. Everybody should be "that guy". 

@Anthony Wick thanks. I don’t have an issue contacting the neighbors personally but I live in another city. I just don’t want to create a retaliatory situation for my tenants when I’m not around. I think I’ll start with the HOA, then figure out who the homeowner is.
@Ben Cochran fences make good neighbors...maybe a white picket fence or a low cedar ranch type fence? And yes, A sign saying do not block private drive.

@Ben Cochran I'm not an expert at this, but my understanding is that in prison culture, the teardrop tattoo means that this person has killed someone.  I'd be VERY hesitant to contact them directly.

Instead, talk to your town councilor or local rep.  See if you can get increased police patrols.  If that doesn't work, see if you can get a detail cop to stand watch on a few weekends.

If none of that works, I'd probably sell.

If I were one of your tenants, I'd talk to those kids...

Sweetie, What is your name? is your mommy or daddy home? Are they at work? Where do they work? when will they be home? Who is your sitter? Are they in the house now? Where do you go to school? What grade are you in? Have you eaten lunch? are you hungry do you need a snack? did you have breakfast? How many brothers and sisters do you have? who else lives with you? Kids will tell you all kinds of stuff...

If your tenants don't see those kids again after a talk and/or suspect that they are being neglected or living in a drug house.. they should call CPS and make a report.

@Ben Cochran where is this property located. Every state has different laws for “quite enjoyment” there is a good chance something is being violated here? Are they making noise after hours? Are they smoking or drinking on public property? Start there. Dig and find out the laws for your area. Having prison tattoos and being scary is not a crime. If they are commiting one find it, if they aren’t, your tenants may need to move on.
@Ben Cochran I’m going to add to this after reading some of these comments. DO BOT ENGAGE WITH THESE PEOPLE. I know it is tempting to be the nice guy and approach them first, but you have a responsibility to yourself and your tenants to keep yourselves out of danger. If these people are as bad as they seem, your walking over there could put your tenants at serious risk. DO NOT APPROACH THE NEIGHBORS.

Sounds like you are getting the old section 8 curse by association.  It will take a toll and then one day an eviction before things return to normal, perhaps for the entire street as they usually have a bunch of friends too. They got to work it over first. Then one day the cops will come and thats that. Good luck and hopefully I am wrong. 

This similar situation is how I wound up buying the house next to me. The house was for sale, no one would buy it so the owner rented it out to his handyman's son and 3 friends. First couple months were fine, then garbage started piling up outside, smell of weed was coming into my house, constant traffic all day/night, beer bottles thrown in my yard, etc. I tried talking to them nicely about it and they all apologized and said they'd stop. One day while I was at work, they made a comment towards my wife and when I got home, I went over and we got into a pretty big argument. Anyway, I started calling the cops for EVERYTHING. Loud music, yeling/fighting, drug sales, litter in my yard, etc. The cops were at my house everyday...I'm not kidding. I just wanted proof for when I contacted the owner of the house. We looked up his name/number and I called him. Couple days later, he called back and said he was evicting them and offered me the house on owner financing. The cops must've contacted the building inspector about the garbage and they sent a letter to the owner which is how they realized there was an issue. Anyway, I would call or have your tenants call the cops anytime there's an issue. I would also try to contact the owner. There's a good chance he/she is an absentee landlord and doesn't realize what's going on and is just interested in collecting the rent. Who knows, maybe they'll offer you the house. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes. 

@Ben Cochran . I would look up the number for CPS in the property’s area and give it to the tenants and encourage the to call whenever they fee that the children’s well being is at risk. If CPS accepts the case, they will send CPS workers to check out the children and talk to their parents. Reports are kept confidential so the workers will not tell them whom reported it. I would also telephone the police and the homeowners association. These people could be dangerous so I would not contact them directly. Hopefully you can find out the name of the landlord from the HOA and also contact him or her.

Thanks everyone. Great advice from everyone. I'll start with the HOA and homeowners and have my tenants start giving the CPS or the cops a call when the next situation arises. BTW one of my tenants is Mexican lady and this morning she said she's definitely familiar with the specific style of clothing they wear, the cars they drive and their tats..I believe "cholo" was the term she used, or Mexican gangster when she was describing them to me. She also confirmed the teardrop tattoo under the eyes. We'll definitely forgo the direct confrontation and let the HOA/homeowners, CPS/cop handle this one.

If you find out how to get rid of horrible neighbors, let me know so I can kick out the local drug dealers in my investment house's neighborhood!

In all seriousness.. my first line of attack would be a 6-ft privacy fence. Post Signs that say "no trespassing" .... after that, I'd google the address, hopefully find the ad on the internet, and contact the PM.

Originally posted by @Ben Cochran :
I own a duplex in a nice quiet neighborhood. Both sides are rented out by fantastic long term tenants. Recently new neighbors moved into a rental across the street. From day one the tenants have been completely absent while 5-8 children, all bwtween 3 and 10 years old. They occupy my tenants front yards, walkways and even fenced in backyards. The house has constant traffic and is rumored to be a meth house by the other neighbors. They party all hours of the night and even park in front my my tenants driveways and block them in. Without being judgemental, the people that frequent the place have face, neck and prison tats. Many of them with teardrop tats under their eyes. My tenants have said they are starting to fear for their safety and dont want to confront them. I thought they were being a little paranoid until I drove by and saw for myself. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my tenants if something isn’t said but I’m not sure who to contact. Should I contact the owner/property management/landlord? I don’t think I should call the police because I have no proof their doing anything wrong other than being terrible neighbors. I don’t want to be “that guy” who calls and rats out other people, but I’m very concerned I’m going to lose great tenants because of the direction the neighborhood has turned. Am I being “that guy”?

 Tell your tenants to contact the police when the neighbors do anything to disturb them. Kids in yard, noise etc....As the landlord there is nothing that you can do about the neighbor, it's not your property. This is part of the territory when you buy houses in these types of neighborhoods. If you get luck there will be enough attention on the other house that it gets labeled a nuisance by the local PD. Once it's labeled a nuisance the local PD can and does fine the owner every time they go out to the house. This leads the owner to evict the problem tenants quicker.

Originally posted by @Ben Cochran :

Thanks everyone. Great advice from everyone. I'll start with the HOA and homeowners and have my tenants start giving the CPS or the cops a call when the next situation arises. BTW one of my tenants is Mexican lady and this morning she said she's definitely familiar with the specific style of clothing they wear, the cars they drive and their tats..I believe "cholo" was the term she used, or Mexican gangster when she was describing them to me. She also confirmed the teardrop tattoo under the eyes. We'll definitely forgo the direct confrontation and let the HOA/homeowners, CPS/cop handle this one.

 Yup, you are dealing with some potentially rough people. I grew up in LA during the height of the mid 80's to early 90's crime wave ( I was in a nice area), but this kind of thing was never far away. Don't go talk to them - if you must, I'd be carrying (I'm not joking by the way, lots of property managers and contractors who deal with warzone properties do so). Better to stay out of it. 

I agree with others advice, contact the HOA first, as they'll get on the owner to do something. Also give tenants the information for CPS, and encourage them to call the cops (they can be anonymous with both CPS and the police, no need to give their names if they don't want to). The pressure on the owner and from the cops will usually cool the situation down, these people will probably get evicted or not have the lease renewed. I feel bad for your tenants, but if this is a good area, which it sounds like it is, this will get dealt with.