Am I doing this the legal way?

13 Replies

We have had a renter move in a week ago, did a walkthrough of the place, Signed the contract, and gave me the money(security deposit and first month rent) Our contract is a month to month.  Since then this lady has complained about the simplest things and has already did damage to the home(Spray painted the baseboards half way with brown paint which got on the flooring) and we don't know what else since shes mad.  We told her NO painting different colors unless it's only white on the walls. Other things shes complained about is the toilet having a black ring in it which could easily be cleaned off, that's only from water sitting in it for a month, Water heater being tripped and power being tripped because she tugged a adaptor out of the wall and broke it off into the outlet. MIND YOU this all has happened in just a week. She has even bothered us after our business hours (7pm) wanting stuff done now and seemingly demanding it even though weve told her over and over the same thing that at 7 PM we are getting ready to eat, and then sleep because we get up at 3 in the morning to get ready for work. She is very demanding about wanting things done and during the walkthrough the lady seemed happy with everything, now it's like nothing is satisfying. Well. Today we finally got fed up with it after she called early in the morning complaining about the hot water heater being tripped(Sunday is when that happened and she wasn't home, she didn't even have her stuff moved in if I'm correct and told us it was ok to wait till she got in) so we were gonna do that for her and she started complaining about the bathtub being an off-white. These are old bathtubs but clean !! No soap scum, cracks, nothing of that sorts, then she was repeating about the toilet and about the paint on the outside of the mobile home being half done which my 65 year old husband has not had the time to finish just yet. So we finally told her that she will be given a 30 day eviction.  She wasn't satisfied at all and called back later in the day with her boyfriend demanding that we give back the month rent and the security deposit (both are 750 and we are located in South Carolina if anyone needs this info) Then started saying she will take us to court with a lawyer shes hired. From there she has kept calling back to back seeming like she is threatening us with a lawyer, claiming she talked with the magistrate, told us shes recording us on the phone(which I did the same since she kept switching her stories up alot) then at 8:36pm we got a call from a policemen saying we were refusing to turn her water heater back on which we were not refusing! So we sent our friend to turn it back on because we knew if I or my husband went, she would be cornering us about the rent which she already has once we called back like the policemen told us to do to settle things with her. From there on till 9 or 10 PM she called 18 to 20 times. Then has gotten out in the yard screaming .   Are we doing the right thing for holding her rent and can we end up in trouble for doing so?  We promised her the security deposit back but she kept refusing and wanting it all.  There is damage and we know once she leaves there will probably be more.  

Updated about 2 years ago

The lady still keeps calling (about 60 times today) so weve turned our phones off. She has said a lawyer is wanting to walk through our property and look at it ? I told a landlord friend of mine that and even theyve never heard of that. We tried asking for the name of her lawyer to speak with them but she has refused to give us the name.

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Do what @John Underwood said regarding your phone.  Make every call from them go immediately to voicemail.

Read your lease carefully.  Make sure you follow the agreement as to how to terminate the tenancy.  Get advice from a lawyer if necessary.  If you bawk at the $200 they charge you for a consultation, that will seem like chicken feed compared to lost rent, time and aggravation if you do not follow the lease in the process of removing them and have to start over.

This is water under the bridge but may help you moving forward - did you every call this woman's previous landlord?  (Not her current one - the one before that one.)  I find it hard to believe this is "new behavior" for her.  SCREEN SCREEN SCREEN.  Most of these kinds of problems can be avoided if you put in the work during the application process to see what kind of person you have.  Do not get hypnotized by someone waving money under your nose.  Do your due diligence.  As you are finding out, a vacant apartment is much more desirable than a bad tenant.

Go call that attorney.  Good luck to you.

The joys of landlording!

Documentation will be your best friend in this case. Document everything. There's nothing wrong with requiring requests from the tenant in writing. 

You can definitely call an attorney just to make sure you're doing everything on your end that you need to. Tenants threaten lawyers all the time to try to pressure landlords into doing what the tenant wants. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are calling a lawyer, but it doesn't mean that you should brush it off either. 

It may be too late, but I’d try and flip the narrative. “This apartment doesn’t seem to be working out for you and meeting your expectations. I’ll let you move out mid-month, and pro-rate the rent (return the unused days worth of rent). You’ll get your full security deposit back as long as everything is left as it was when you moved in”

You’re doing HER a favor and not making her stay in that dump of a house (I’m obviously joking - but making a point that she gets off easy). Of course, you still get rid of a bad tenant. One other thing - you’re not evicting. You’re just not renewing the MtM lease.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Since you're in the same state as me, Can she even sue us for holding her month rent and deposit even though she signed a month to month agreement, lady did the walkthrough too etc..  we tried contacting the magistrate and they said they cannot give legal advice.  

This lady keeps on and on about sueing us and even said her lawyer was wanting to walk through our property.  We asked for the lawyers name and she refuses to give it to us.  Gladly weve turned out phones off since shes called around 60 times already. My mother is upset about this all and I'm just trying to keep her calm through this all. 

 

Originally posted by @Alex Smith :

The joys of landlording!

Documentation will be your best friend in this case. Document everything. There's nothing wrong with requiring requests from the tenant in writing. 

You can definitely call an attorney just to make sure you're doing everything on your end that you need to. Tenants threaten lawyers all the time to try to pressure landlords into doing what the tenant wants. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are calling a lawyer, but it doesn't mean that you should brush it off either. 

 Trust me I've documented a bunch Haha even when she spray painted the baseboards without my knowledge!! Even got it on the flooring. 

Originally posted by @Katie Jackson :
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Since you're in the same state as me, Can she even sue us for holding her month rent and deposit even though she signed a month to month agreement, lady did the walkthrough too etc..  we tried contacting the magistrate and they said they cannot give legal advice.  

This lady keeps on and on about sueing us and even said her lawyer was wanting to walk through our property.  We asked for the lawyers name and she refuses to give it to us.  Gladly weve turned out phones off since shes called around 60 times already. My mother is upset about this all and I'm just trying to keep her calm through this all. 

 

Make sure you send her a letter showing what her deposit and any other money was applied to within 30 days of her moving out.

 

Originally posted by @Mike Franco :

has she ever heard of a paint brush?

 Seems like she hasn't.. but I've never heard of anyone who complains about a water ring in a toilet that can be scrubbed away. OR even has the ordasity to tell me to clean their bathtubs when they were cleaned prior to the person moving in.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :
Originally posted by @Katie Jackson:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Since you're in the same state as me, Can she even sue us for holding her month rent and deposit even though she signed a month to month agreement, lady did the walkthrough too etc..  we tried contacting the magistrate and they said they cannot give legal advice.  

This lady keeps on and on about sueing us and even said her lawyer was wanting to walk through our property.  We asked for the lawyers name and she refuses to give it to us.  Gladly weve turned out phones off since shes called around 60 times already. My mother is upset about this all and I'm just trying to keep her calm through this all. 

 

Make sure you send her a letter showing what her deposit and any other money was applied to within 30 days of her moving out.

 

Yep, got that!  This is going to be a long battle with this one.. usually anyone weve ever had that rented the one trailer we owned would stay for years.. so this is a first 

 

Originally posted by @John Underwood :
Originally posted by @Katie Jackson:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Since you're in the same state as me, Can she even sue us for holding her month rent and deposit even though she signed a month to month agreement, lady did the walkthrough too etc..  we tried contacting the magistrate and they said they cannot give legal advice.  

This lady keeps on and on about sueing us and even said her lawyer was wanting to walk through our property.  We asked for the lawyers name and she refuses to give it to us.  Gladly weve turned out phones off since shes called around 60 times already. My mother is upset about this all and I'm just trying to keep her calm through this all. 

 

Make sure you send her a letter showing what her deposit and any other money was applied to within 30 days of her moving out.

 

Also just figuring out she lied about her job. When my mother did her Contract she asked for the old address, Driver lisense, and place of work. Which the women said she would give to her the next day and never did.  

Originally posted by @Katie Jackson :
Originally posted by @John Underwood:
Originally posted by @Katie Jackson:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Dont promise her the deposit back. Document the damage with pictures. I put my phone on DND after 9PM, my phone allows me to make exceptions for any numbers that I want to ring through at any time. 

Dont let her get to you.

I would have sent her a 30 day termination notice first before filing an eviction. You lease may say you need to do this. 

I would call your magistrate and get guidance on how to handle this. That way if you show up in his/her court you will know you have followed the rules and they will know you where trying your best to handle the situation correctly.

Good luck!

Since you're in the same state as me, Can she even sue us for holding her month rent and deposit even though she signed a month to month agreement, lady did the walkthrough too etc..  we tried contacting the magistrate and they said they cannot give legal advice.  

This lady keeps on and on about sueing us and even said her lawyer was wanting to walk through our property.  We asked for the lawyers name and she refuses to give it to us.  Gladly weve turned out phones off since shes called around 60 times already. My mother is upset about this all and I'm just trying to keep her calm through this all. 

 

Make sure you send her a letter showing what her deposit and any other money was applied to within 30 days of her moving out.

 

Also just figuring out she lied about her job. When my mother did her Contract she asked for the old address, Driver lisense, and place of work. Which the women said she would give to her the next day and never did.  

 How is that lying about her job? That she didn't provide the information?

No if she lied about information that she put on her application that is a big deal.

@Katie Jackson No, you are doing this wrong. She had paid the rent and has Not broken her lease agreement. 

You need to give whatever is the proper notice to end the month up month rental....typically 30 days notice Prior to the beginning of any month....notice before August 1st to end rental on August 31st, check your state laws. 

Definitely offer to let her leave any time with prorated rent. 

Fix the hater water issue, if her fault deduct any cost from her deposit. She has no attorney, but make sure you do things properly.