How do I get the drug dealer next door out of his condo

8 Replies

I have lived in my condo for 17 years. The man that owned the condo next door had two adult sons that lived with him. One of them is a known drug dealer and has been arrested many times over the years. He has caused all kinds of problems in our complex at a great cost to us. The HOA management has only told us that they have discussed this with the attorneys but that they cannot discuss it with any of us owners. They said that they would be able to do something if they were renters but that they have rights as owners. A month ago the oldest son stabbed his father to death and is now in prison, it is also strongly believed that the younger son was involved but he was not arrested. The son has moved in all of his friends, people we obviously don't want living near us, and now they do their drug deals inside. Now that the father is gone, there is no one to keep him in check. There is no mortgage on the condo so there is no bank to evict him. Even if they are unable to keep up with the HOA fees and taxes, it will take years before any action is taken to evict them. In the meantime, our property values have dropped so I can't afford to sell and move out. What are our legal rights and what actions can we take? If I move and keep it as a rental, what is my liability as a landlord to tell them what has gone on next door?

If you see illegal activity, document it, get pictures and call the police.

If you believe that there are more people living in the condo than the legal limit, call the city code enforcement and report it.

If they are breaking the HOA covenants, take pictures, document it and send to the HOA. The HOA can (and should) issue violation notices and beginning fining them continually for each infraction. If those fines add up, the HOA can foreclose for nonpayment.

Keep a diary of dates, times, places and events so that later on, when it is time to file complaints or turn over evidence, you are not relying on a faulty memory or vague statements like "all the time" or "constantly".  Police and city officials work best with dates, times, places.  Think like a reporter - who, what, where, when how.  (Leave the why to the police and city)

@Carrie Hale the advice @Linda Weygant gave you was spot on. I would add to the list: photos of license plates & vehicles. In our city there is also a crime called "keeping a disorderly house" - it is a catch-all for party houses and such. So keep calling the cops. I hope there are no children involved - but if there are, then let Social Services know your concerns too. 

You also state that if they fall behind on HOA fees it will take "years" to evict them. The HOA should act as quickly as they are legally allowed and make it a priority. It should not take years. Sounds like they are willing to act - but other owners should make sure they understand the problem and keep the pressure on them to do anything they can to make their occupancy uncomfortable.

I should also add that parking is in a separate area so I would not know the cars.  Also, we are side by side facing the same direction with an adjoining wall so I would have to be directly in front of the building in plain view to take photos and log activity.

@Carrie Hale I had a similar situation a few years ago. A house a couple streets over had an absentee owner and the renters there were dealing drugs. The solution was to document EVERYTHING that looked suspicious. If you call the police and tell them that there were a couple suspicious incidents, they will probably come and take a look once or twice. There’s a very good chance they won’t see anything that gives them cause to investigate further. If, however, a few neighbors go to the police with a decent amount of documentation that shows that something criminal is going on, then it will be much more likely to be investigated. In my case, a few neighbors did this and there was a solid investigation that resulted in arrests. In summary, document EVERYTHING but don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk and always call the police at the first sign of danger. Give them the information they need to justify an investigation.

Thank you.  We've been doing it for years and are on a first name basis with the police.  Now that they can do everything inside it's even harder to monitor and the way we are situated, I can't see anything unless I'm standing right out front.  I'm 99% sure they are building a meth lab in the room attached to my wall.  They started building something in there the day after the murder and have been seen going in with PVC pipe. It's upstairs but when I drive by at night I can see through the open sliding glass door that the room is probably empty of furniture and the bed is standing up in the closet.  We just can't get anything solid that the police can act on.

Cc the HOA on stuff you pass on to the cops. are there any nuisance / habitation codes in your city they are breaching, number of unrelated people staying etc?

at some point, maybe getting an attorney to knock on the HOA's door may bring enough attention to them to act, and your home value is at risk of decreasing with the meth contamination next door.

also, consider buying them out!  they are starved of cash.  tell them how they could rent a nice house and have 100K in cash in 10 days :)  assuming the murder goes through probate :( 

Sorry to hear about this, I know how stressful that is.

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