WWYD? paying late/yard not maintained/possible more tenants

6 Replies

Hope all is well.

Tenant is going on their 2nd year (lease due in April 2020). They paid rent late last month Sept 2019, 1st time. I scheduled a routine inspection with them and noticed the yard was not maintained,there was furniture trash in the back yard and the appliances they said they would remove from the front yard haven't been removed.

I knocked and asked if I could come in and I was told they didn't feel comfortable having me come in to look around, so I stayed in the living room and caught a guy moving a mattress out the kitchen back door. This person is not on the lease as a tenant.

I asked them if everything was okay with the rent, and that they needed to get the yard maintained, and trash removed or I would have to send someone to do it.  They were very defensive about the conversation even though I explained that I was there to help and it was my job.

Today is Oct 2nd, no rent payment yet and no contact from them about rent payment.  Tomorrow I will put the notice to pay and vacate.

FYI- Over the years I've noticed that when tenants starts paying late and not maintaining the yard, they usually end up leaving without notice.

Looking for feedback, advice, hints, and anything else I should think over and consider.
Thank you

What are your landlord laws regarding inspection notice? I think if they're treating it like that, there are more problems inside. Maybe you could do a pop inspection if you have maybe a handyman or someone to bring with you (strength / confidence in numbers) and say you need to inspect X (plumbing, a past repair, whatever, and "other issues") as a reason to go through the house. I had a tenant who absolutely destroyed a unit and since then, always trust that if the outside looks bad, the inside is worse.

@Luke H. We inspect every year; my wife gives the tenants 2 weeks notice and inspects every room. Looks for leaky toilets and under sinks etc. Tenants understand and are fine with it. I used a PM at one point-she did not inspect, we got very badly done in with an inherited tenant who went feral!

@Matthew Reichert , the lease says I give them 24hr notice. In this case it was 3-4 days notice. In my opinion they probably have extra tenants and don't want me to find out. 

I'm guessing if they don't clean up their act in the next few months, I'm not renewing the lease.

@Luke H.

My advice is that you serve them a written notice warning them of the failure to maintain the landscaping and your other concerns. for example, if you are concerned they are allowing an unauthorized tenant to reside in the rental, you should state that concern in your written notice along with a warning that unauthorized tenants are not allowed. Be sure to cite the specific paragraph or clause so the tenant can read it for themselves.

The notice should include a mandatory walkthrough inspection within 24 hours to ensure they are in compliance. Take a basic form with you to document any violations. Give them a 72-hour deadline to correct the violations and then follow through with another inspection.

You should be doing walk through inspections at least once a year and preferably twice a year. one of those inspections should take place approximately 30-60 days prior to the lease ending. This will allow you to decide whether you want to keep the tenant or not. if they maintain the home well and their payment history is good, you can renew their lease. If there are concerns, you can give them one week to correct the concerns or refuse to renew their lease. Or if things are really bad and you don't want to keep them, you simply give them notice of termination in 30 days and you make a list of things to clean up after they are gone.

@Luke H. There a multitude of reasons why things go south with tenants and often it can come from no where with a tenant who has been good up until that point. All you can control though is going through the process to evict them like it sounds like you are doing. 

Very few tenants can ever catch up after they get a full month behind in rent and if they just leave and abandon the property they are saving you the time and money associated with an eviction that goes full term.