Tenants are not using the stove responsibly.

4 Replies

Hello BP forum 6 months ago I bought a 3 family house and I moved into the basement and I am renting the other 2 units out, it has been amazing, I have fixed a few small problems here and there, but my biggest problem is starting to arise... last night I got woken up by the fire alarm going off in the  middle of the night for the 3rd time. Its the tenant on the third floor. there are 2 roommates living up there and one of them uses the stove and completely forgets about it. he will put a pot of pasta on the stove and then fall asleep setting the fire alarm off when all of the water boils out burning the pasta. obviously I should have a conversation with him bringing up the safety concerns but does anyone have any other advice as to what/how to address this problem   

A loud timer?

A notice if they continue to disturb fellow tenants who have also have a right to peaceful enjoyment do their rental space?

If it’s happened more than once, medical condition? Weird work hours?

It's scary as i had a fire in the kitchen of the upstairs rental in a duplex.  He cannot continue to do this.  He is in danger of losing his unit for safety concerns. It gets worse not better.

Whatever you do, make sure the smoke detectors aren’t disabled.

I’ve had tenants with burnt toast and such... they tend to learn after a few times of the detectors going off and the fire department coming. 🙄

Not using the stove responsibly?  No, this is a bigger issue than that. If this is the third time this has happened, it's 2 times too many.  If he burns the house down and you had prior knowledge of his negligence, your going to be the responsible party.  I recommend:

1.  Issuing a Notice To Quit For Reason Other Than Non-Payment of Rent.  Put BOTH tenants on notice that "game over."  They placed everyone at risk in the building and surrounding properties.  I hate to say it but it comes down to "you may not leave the stove unattended at any time." Also include the violation of other tenants' rights to "peaceful use of property" (see below). Post the Notice to their door and send a copy by certified mail/receipt requested.

2.  The safety conversation?  Oh,it's bigger than that.  Their negligence violated the contractual right of everyone living in the building - and those surrounding it.  Tenants have a contractual right to the peaceful use of the property.  So, not only did he nearly burn down the building, put everyone's life at risk, he put you as the owner in contractual default with the other tenants.  I would explain that the Notice To Quit is a precursor to Eviction and ask how this matter is going to be resolved by them to avoid Eviction. (You know, maybe this guy just can't boil water and chew gum - and they need to have the stove disengaged; use the freakin' microwave instead).

And, here's the bottom line:  

"U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 355,400 home structure fires per year. These fires caused 11,670 civilian injuries, 2,560 civilian deaths, and $6.5 billion in direct damage. On average, seven people per day die in U.S. home fires."