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Ask the Eviction Attorney | Landlord Tenant Law Q&A

Q&A with John Reno, Eviction Attorney

The Landlord Protection AgencyThe Landlord Protection Agency® is proud to introduce John Reno, Esq., a highly experienced Landlord - Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Mr. Reno has engaged in Landlord / Tenant practice in the District Courts of Nassau and Suffolk for the last 30 years. He prides himself on prompt legal action and direct client service.

"Over ninety percent of our practice in the Landlord Tenant courts consists of evictions of tenants, primarily for non-payment of rent. We also assist landlords in preparation and/or review of leases and consultation on other matters affecting the Landlord - Tenant relationship.

We find that Landlords who contact us have often waited too long to commence an eviction, usually in an understandable effort to resolve problems amicably. Landlords need attorneys who will not compound the problem with unnecessary delays or expenses. For this reason, our main priority is immediate action. In most cases, we commence an eviction within 3 days of being hired and have our client's cases in Court within 7 to 10 days of being hired."

If you are a landlord with a tenant problem you'd like to ask a question about, please feel free to e-mail me your question.
Please Note: Mr. Reno is an active practicing attorney with limited time and will do his best to respond to relevant questions. If using an I-phone or mobile device, please use full sentences and punctuation so we can understand you. The high volume of e-mails may require the LPA to enter your question into the LPA's Landlord Q&A Forum.

If you are a landlord with a tenant problem you'd like to ask a question about, please feel free to e-mail me your question.

Submit a landlord / tenant question for Mr. Reno
Please try to keep your questions as short and to the point as possible.

John Reno also does Mortgage Loan Modifications (Nationwide).
(Mention The LPA for a 10% discount!)

If you are a Landlord on Long Island, NY, and wish for Mr. Reno to handle your landlord - tenant case,
please provide your contact information: e-mail Mr. Reno (


Published 2014-12-20

Dear Mr. Reno:
I had a tenant she moved out Nov.30th. The 1st of is due, so she payed 300.00 and said she would have the rest later and that she was giving her 30 day notice to move out. The lease was up she was just going month by month. Now she left the place without doing any cleaning or replacing anything that she wrecked and she knows that her deposit is gone.

Now as for the balance of the rent and late fees, what do i do? She did sign a LPA lease originally. Thank you for your time.


A: Is Hubby still willing to take it over? You and he need to talk. If he's not up for the whole rent, you may need to serve him notice he's out too.


Published 2014-12-12

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a tenant with no lease agreement,The oral agreement was he fixes the house to be livable for free rent well its been 3 years and he probably done about a months worth of work so how can i get him out?


A: These arrangements never work out.
He gets a 30 day notice. Then eviction court.


Published 2014-12-11

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a tenant that lives on the 2nd floor apartment of my house - I live on the first floor and own the house. The tenant has lived here 3 months and we just renewed the lease for another 3 months. He always pays the rent on time, however only 5 days after the lease was renewed his drinking has started to get out of hand. Twice he left the front door (main door to the house on the first floor) not only unlocked, but wide open in the middle of the night! I live on a busy street where robberies are frequent and my bikes were in the hallway for anyone passing by to see. He also came home the other night pounding on the floor (my ceiling) waking me up at 5am, sounding like he was in a drunken rage. He also has a girlfriend over all the time where they smoke pot and I can smell it downstairs. Now I’m afraid to leave for Christmas (visiting my family out of state) for 10 days b/c I’m worried the house could be left unlocked and robbed. Or worse, I could be sleeping and someone could break in and hurt or even kill me (New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates in the country). He’s paid the rent for this month but can I give him written notice to leave by the end of the month for illegal drugs and endangering my well being for leaving the front door wide open in the middle of the night on two separate occasions? Should I call the police if he comes home again drunk late at night sounding like he’s tearing the place apart? Will a record of calling police help my case?

Jackie - New Orleans, LA

A: I give you credit for one thing- you only only gave him 3 months. Give him notice you wont be renewing after the 3rd month. You can't break the lease- not based on this. Sorry. But this will give him incentive to clean up his act. You never know. Maybe he'll convince you to keep him.


Published 2014-12-09

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a friend who purchased a house for her sister and her husband. It was never put into their names and the sister died but the owner/sister said he could live there. His daughter moved in and he/the husband decided to move with his other daughter in New York. The daughter who moved in the house in question will not leave and furthermore she got some other family members to come and clean out the house of all furniture and appliances.

The owner gave this girl a certified letter stating a 30 day eviction and now the daughter has changed the locks. What legal recourse does the owner have? Is this girl considered a squatter as there was never a contract/lease with her? How should she/owner proceed as far as the theft of her sisters property?
Thank you in advance for your help! Emma Earle, Philadelphia, PA

Emma, Philadelphia, PA

A: First of all, she's not a squatter because she entered with permission of someone who had permission so she's considered his guest. Certified 30 day notice may or may not be sufficient. Try it (the eviction). At worst, you may need a new notice personally served.


Published 2014-12-08

Dear Mr. Reno:
The tenant had a problem with the furnace. I jumped right on it the same day. I had my handyman, who says he knows how to repair furnaces, there that same day. I called Goodman Mfg. and got the 32 pg manual including drawings for him. I was sure I knew the problem because the furnace is only about 5 yrs old. It is a small basement with very little air circulation and the sensors get dirty. I communicated this to Butch, but he didn't clean all 11 of the sensors. My tenants had 2 space heaters going and a natural burning fireplace, burning the wood from the trees just outside their door. They told me it was 65° in the house and they could last until Butch got it fixed. Well Butch had a car accident, a deer ran into his car on the way home. Finally, after 6 days I called St. Martins and paid them and it was repaired by 11:00am. My tenants are now stating they didn't have heat for 7 days and that they have the right to deduct those days from their rent. Can they do this? I jumped on this the very first day and Butch was there working on it the very first day. Please help me. Thank you.


A: They're entitled to a rent "abatement" which is a reduction, but not the whole thing. I would say somewhere between 20% to 50%. You can take them to small claims court. Is it worth it? Your call.


Published 2014-12-06

Dear Mr. Reno:
My former tenant is threatening to sue me unless I return a portion of his security deposit that I withheld.
I conducted a post move out walk through inspection with the tenant.
I wrote on a piece of paper a list of issues, then had him initial each one and we both signed it. After the walk through I discovered several more problems.
I returned roughly half of his deposit with an itemized list showing the costs associated with the repairs and cleaning.

He is demanding that I return the portion of the deposit for items that weren't listed on the post walk through inspection.

I've got plenty of before and after pictures showing the condition of the property as well as notes from the trades who cleaned and fixed the damaged items. Is he right that he should only owe for those items that are on the inspection list that I noticed when we were both present?
The property is in PA.
Thanks much,


A: You're on very shaky ground there Dave. When he shows that list to a Judge, you'll have some "splaining" to do. Is it worth it? (Also, if you're not bound by the list, why did ya'll sign it? Doesn't that make it like a contract?)

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a tenant that hasn't paid rent for 3 months now, my manager that lives there taped a 5 day notice on her door but now going thru my mangers documents and copies, he written the wrong date on one of her 5 day notice, the problem is the eviction court date is next week and I received that this tenant got the eviction summons to appear in court, tenant is still living in the apartment and told my manager that he will be out of the unit by next week, do you think that will effect my case concerning the wrong date that was written on the 5 day notice?
Or do you think he will not show up in court.
His excuse was that he was working 40 hours a week and now his job is going under really slowly, his hours has been cut to 24 hours a week, also found out he is on SSI which that alone doesn't cover the rent. He wanted to do a payment plan which it will be paid off when he was late on his 2nd part of his late rent, I refused and wanted it to be paid in full in 2 days, no he's not paying rent until this day. It started when he paid rent with his check and it bounced, that's where his money and his job was declining. Tell me what is my next step.
Thank you

Michael, Chicago, IL

A: The wrong date- That could be a problem. But it's too late to fix now. You're off to court. Good luck.


Published 2014-12-04

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a month to month tenant with a child around 12 years of age. The child is left alone quite often. The tenants in the second house on the same property, complained to me about the child shooting an air gun at his car. He showed me the dings in the car, the bee-bee’s from the gun, and then pointed out where the child also shot my new sided house, causing dings/dents in the siding. The mother’s response; Not my child, he doesn’t have a gun, and if he did, he would know better. These houses are in rural/farm areas, and hunting is done during hunting seasons, in designated state area, not at all close to the houses.

Two questions; I need a clause to put in my lease to stop guns on the property, and guns being operated by this child.

Second question; I would like to put cameras on the property, that would stream to my iphone and retain for 7 days. I would like a lease clause for that, and any postings I must put on the property to notify legally, that I am recording or that cameras are on the premises.
Thank you,

Claire, Rhode Island

A: The Tenant agrees that at no time will the tenant or tenant guest(s) cause or allow any firearm or gun, to be brought on the property, including bee-bee gun, air gun, etc.

Landlord has the right to install and maintain surveillance cameras of any kind on or about the exterior of the property and yards and common areas outside the house.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I’m in Chicago and have a tenant (I’m the property manager) who moved out (but lied and said she was moving props for a shoot) her lease isn’t up until Feb. 2015. She was late on Octobers rent, never paid Novembers rent now we’re in December, on top of that she moved someone in the premises without notifying me and although she’s gone he’s still there. Chicago is a city all for tenant rights and not landlords, do I need to go through the eviction process with them both? I explained to the gentleman that he’s not on the lease and asked him to move he agreed up until today saying he needed more time and threatened to get his lawyer involved. What do I need to do? Also who’s responsible to pay for the rest of the lease + missed months would it only be her since she’s the only one on the lease or would it be both of them? Thanks

DPT, Chicago, IL

A: He's her guest, you evict her & John Doe in one proceeding. No matter what she says, if her bo's there, she's still in possession legally.

Dear Mr. Reno:
What can I do with a tenant that's always paying me late, refuse to pay late fee, pays me when ever he feels like, uses the the hallway as a storage place and doesn't let me inspect the apt. I really need to get rid of this tenant. Every time I ask a lawyer about it around the neighborhood they tell me because he has been living here for almost 20yrs it will be hard for me to get him out. Is that true. Can you recommend a lawyer in Brooklyn who would evict this guy for me. Any help would be highly appreciated.
Thank you

John, Brooklyn, NY

A: There's no problem getting him out; just wait for his lease to expire and commence a holdover. Unfortunately, you're in NYC, so expect 4-6 months with no rent.

You should call Bernadette at (516) 228-0033 ext 213.


Published 2014-12-03

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have people who is staying with me and wont leave there is no lease it was supposed to be tempary they have no mail coming here but one of them hit my son and put a mark on him and also pulled him out of bed one night threw him on the carpet put his knee on his back and told him he was going to f..... Punch him how do i get him out my kids are scared of him he keeps saying i cant throw him out


A: You need to call either the police or child protective services or both ASAP. The eviction process in this situation will not give you fast enough results.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Is law enforcement required to notify a landlord if they are called to the property for whatever reason?

Gwinn, Florida

A: Not at all. Never heard of it. They usually just question whoever's there. (god forbid a cop picks up a phone.)

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a person who is living on my property in a trailer that she owns. We have no written agreement, and she has lived here for 6 years. I would like her gone because she is causing a lot of problems in general around my home. IE: She thinks that she has the right to tell me what to do in my own home etc. She makes a lot of messes, and is generally just a dirty person. Garbage all over etc. I just can’t live with her anymore. I have served her personally with a 60 day notice. Is there anything else that I can do or should be doing?
Please advise,

Kathy Sabin

A: You've laid the ground work. Start drafting those eviction papers so you're ready.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Have a tenant that was evicted from my property I own in Louisiana. They left the place a mess, will require a lot of fixing and they have left a lot of trash and misc. personnel items left. What do I do with the personnel items??

Adrin from Louisiana

A: Sounds like they've abandoned. Time for garage sale or dumpster.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Hello, I have a tenant renting a room and broke into the main house and rob me. He also took my person checks and cashed them. I've called the police serval times but he don't answer the door so they can talk or make an arrest.
Can I throw him out now with the report with police and my bank info.

Ernestina, CA

A: How exactly would that go down? You say, can I "throw him out". Meaning what? You're gonna hire some muscle? Knock down the door with an axe like a SWAT team and drag him out kicking and screaming? You see the problem? "Throw him out" just doesn't work in the real world- unless your talking illegal tactics. If the cops wont do it- you must evict through Court. Sorry Erny.


Published 2014-12-02

Dear Mr. Reno:
My Mom has just passed away on Nov.12,2014. There are three of us daughters. There is a will in place, and our oldest sister has POA and is the executor of the estate. My other sister was our Mom’s live in caretaker, so she brought along with her her boyfriend and his son who have also been living there for the past 10 years. My sister and separately her boyfriend each paid our mother a minimum rent. $150.00-$500.00 per month, whatever they could afford at the time. There was not written lease in place, but our Mother did record the rent in a receipt book when they would happen to pay it.

Problem: Now that our mother has passed away, our sister’s boyfriend is playing the “I have rights as a renter card”, (we predicted years ago that he would do this when this time arrived of our Mom’s passing) and called the police on myself and my 16 year old daughter when we went there yesterday to get some art supplies that our Mom had specifically asked us to get for our daughter BEFORE she passed away. He stated to the police that we were “Trespassing” on “his” property. They came, and advised us yes, as a renter he does have rights and if he does not want us in the house when he is there, then we cannot be there. Our sister who is his girlfriend had given us permission to come over and be in our family home, and the police said that due to that info., that does make it a gray area and becomes an issue between the boyfriend and the sister. Myself and my daughter never raised the tone of our voices during any of this confrontation, and the boyfriend was visably at least half drunk and wreaked of alcohol. We left and said we would take care of it later. Now that the boyfriend is using his “renters” rights, what does our oldest sister that is executor and POA have to do to have him leave, but also allow us into our Mom’s house to do what we need to do in order to take care of her private items that of course fill her house?
Thank you,

Karen, Mountlake Terrace, WA

A: For starters, forget the POA- it expires upon death. Also, even if she's Executor in the will, she still needs to be appointed by the Estate Court. Then she'll be all powerful and can evict this creep. Tell her to get going.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have person who has been in my home for a couple months since my tenant left. He was staying there but was not on lease. Her lease was over and he never paid since she left. What are my rights as a landlord to evict him?


A: You will have to evict him. What other choice do you have?
But if he's been there for over a month, he probably needs a 30 day notice.


Published 2014-11-26

Dear Mr. Reno:
I live in Michigan and I was renting a room to a tenant, who today assaulted my husband. Both went to jail. How long do I have to give to evict him, and how when he is in jail?

Danyelle, MI

A: Everybody gets 30 days. (Some states 60- I hope not Mich.)
You serve a Notice to an inmate through the Warden.
They sign for legal stuff. Usually charge about $35.00.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I currently have a tenet which is late on rent. We agreed on a bi weekly rent payment schedule and reimbursing for the water bills(we decided to put it in our name). He is currently behind on two water bills and half of a months rent. He also already violated the lease by purchasing a dog (the lease states no pets). However, this is not a deadbeat tenant(ran a full credit check) . This tenet is in law enforcement and makes over 90k a year. He is having troubling paying a $1200.00 rent/month... What do you advise? Should I proceed legally? Do I have any hope of wage garnishing this tenant? I m not sure how to proceed, would the judge favor civil servants?
Thanks you for your time,


A: I'm garnishing a cop right now. The Courts have no sympathy for a public servant behaving like a dirt bag. Evict this bum for non-payment.


Published 2014-11-24

Dear Mr. Reno:
Do I have to know that the tenant has seen the notice of intent to enter before entering? If I post the notice and the tenant is staying somewhere else and doesn't see the notice can I still enter the unit?


A: You're taking a chance entering w/o permission. Even with the Notice. That only works if they follow it. Otherwise, if the police come, you're out on a limb.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Leasing out our house in Montana using a PM. Lease runs until Jan 9th, 2015. Tenant self employed and lost his main client , not able to pay rent. PM feels tenant is a " good guy " and has good intentions ( although he went ahead and opened our pool this summer without talking to anyone although lease specifically states NOT to open pool ). He has paid on time until now. Promises to pay and several deadlines have come and gone. PM urging to keep it cordial. We moved to start eviction this Monday and $ 500 was deposited ( of $ 2500 ) again with promise to pay piece by piece for rest of month and move out Nov 29-30. PM keeps bringing up worst case scenarios if we start eviction and again for us to be cordial. PM also keeps stating that tenant will be refunded deposit minus any potential cleaning/damage costs. We have not released him from his lease and even though we are more than willing to try everything to lease ASAP we do not see that any deposit is refunded until house is leased again and if this does not occur before lease runs out or rather deposit money runs out which will happen before that, tenant will not get any deposit back. PM keeps stating that if we don't refund within 30 days tenant is able to receive treble damages. Are we missing something here ? What are the potential consequences of waiting another 2 weeks with eviction ? Pretty certain he will not be able to come up with our rent and deposit + rent on a new place in next 10-11 days.

Appreciate any advice you may have . I should add that we are currently working and living in New Zealand and this situation has the potential of forcing us to shorten our stay and return to the US sooner than intended which has marked financial consequences for us.

Kerstin B., MT

A: Many of the states are enacting strict security laws. Security, in general, is to make repairs. Not for lost rent. That's a common mistake. PM's talking treble damages- if your state has a statute, be familiar with it.

  • Montana Landlord Tenant Law


    Published 2014-11-21

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a friend and her husband living with me there about to sign a lease but the fighting between them two I can't stand any more I have lived here for about 3 years now and they want to sign the lease with me I have already had to call the police on them for putting a hole in my door i don't have money to get a eviction letter my self the landlord says its up to me to get them out. i live in olathe ks. what laws do I have I care about them but its time they go.

    Brian, Kansas

    A: Start packing Brian. The party's over. You had a good thing, but you brought in a dysfunctional couple and now it's a big mess. Find another place. One tenant evicting another? It's not happening. Sooner or later, landlord will evict them (along with you.) Better sooner than later.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Hi,my tenants were arrested two days ago in accusation of stabbing a person to death in their apartment..Both the boyfriend and girlfriend live in a same apartment but only girlfriend have lease with me,how to I get rid of them?


    A: There are only two grounds to evict a tenant: Nonpayment & lease expiration. Murder is not a ground to evict them so the tenants can stay. They can murder people as long as they pay their rent!

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I rented a room in my house (where I currently reside) earlier this year and have had constant problems with one roommate. She paid the security deposit a month late (when the lease stated it would be paid at signing) so I never signed the lease but allowed her to move in. She has a fixed term lease, set to expire at the end of March, but we had a fight (not physical, just verbal), and we now completely ignore each other’s existence. She told me last week she would move out but “not right away” as she wants to find a “nice” place to live. A week ago I emailed her an amendment to the lease stating that it would be converted from a fixed term lease to a day-to-day tenancy where she would need to provide 24 hour notice of moving out. She never signed it or acknowledged the receipt, even when I sent her a text message explicitly asking. Since verbally telling me should would move out, she has seized all forms of communication (I have been away from the home since this time on vacation and business). Do I have any chance of evicting her or using her verbal commitment to move out as grounds for a notice? I am desperate to get my house back into a healthy and happy environment!

    Samantha, Oregon

    A: No Sam you have NO CHANCE of evicting her based upon a verbal commitment (Sorry, I seem all bad news lately- I feel like the X-mas Grinch.)


    Published 2014-11-20

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We have a tenant issue. We rented our basement to two brothers and the oldest brother signed the lease. Within months of moving in he move out to live with his girlfriend. The younger brother was on hook for the entire rent so he asked us if he can find a roommate. We agreed but told him we need to interview the potential roommate and we will have to approve them. He went ahead and rented two days ago without our permission or our knowledge to someone he found online. Now it turns out the lady that he rented to is crazy and refuses to move out even though he did not deposit the money she gave him. He gave the check back but she refuses to move out. The first day she purposely clogged the toilet and is threatening legal action against us. The young man and my family are afraid for our safety because it is clear from our conversation she is mentally and emotionally unstable. The first night she actually locked out the young man from the house after an argument and we had to give him the spare key so he could get back in the house The problem is he had her sign a month to month lease. How can we quickly get her out of my house? If I go through the courts it will take months and we are afraid she will physically attack one of us or try to set fire to the house. We are all afraid for our safety as long as she on on my property. Please help me find some fast way where I can get her out. Thank you.

    Best, Anita, Rego Park, NY

    A: She gave him money. Whether he deposited it or not, she's got tenant status. Ergo, no shortcuts. You need court.

    Sooner or later, (probably sooner) the rent will not be paid. That's your ticket to nonpayment eviction court. Until them, you'll have to just deal with the craziness.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a lease that states all utilities to be paid by tenant., but either party can leave with 90 day notice. Are they still obligated to pay the utilities for that period of time even if they moved out.?
    Thank you

    Carol P., Ohio

    A: Yes, they've agreed to be responsible, so you're off to small claims court for a money judgment.


    Published 2014-11-18

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Have a commercial lease that states either party can cancel 90 days in writing even though the lease is for one year. Can U interpret that the intention is for the renewal only?

    Carol P., Ohio

    A: No, I wouldn't assume that. That is problematic. You should get it out of there at renewal time.


    Published 2014-11-17

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We allowed an individual to move into our home in March and pay rent and utilities. The electric and water remained in my name. They did not sign a lease. I told her that if she didn't pay, she would have to leave immediately. They paid good for a few months. Starting in August, they began to pay late. They only paid half of Oct rent and no utilities. They have paid nothing for November. I issued them a 30 day notice to vacant on November 1st. I filed papers with the court on 11/13 - Occupant refuses to leave. I am concerned because she has several people staying there now and I don't even know their names. How do I get them ALL out - NOW. I also just found out that she didn't pay the water bill back in August that she told me she did. I called the electric company to temp turn off the electric and they refused because someone is there. They said I can turn it off out of my name but they would allow her to then put it in her name even though it is my house and she doesn't have a signed lease. I don't want that - I want her gone. Can I take her to court for rent and utilities? Please advise. THANKS

    John Ward

    A: Usually you'll get a judgment for unpaid rent (& sometimes utilities) as part of the eviction process. You said you filed papers in court on 11/13. Did you ask for a money judgment for what you're owed in addition to eviction? I hope so.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I own a home and let my girlfriend now ex live with me. I made the mistake of signing a lease she wrote up so that I wouldnt kick her out. She has been nothing but a nightmare. Doesnt take care of the house, treats me poorly and doesnt respect the rules. I have had it with her and want her out, is there anything I can do?

    Steven, Dallas Texas

    A: I've heard of guys who own a house and rent an apartment to the GF, but this sounds like something different. Sounds like you and GF share the same living space? And she has a lease? To live with you? That's a new one! Well, as long as she pays the rent (please don't tell me there's no rent!)- as long as she pays the rent, your stuck with devil woman until the lease is up. (Erect man cave?)


    Published 2014-11-13

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    First let me say I am so grateful that you guys are out there, I’m so happy I found you. We have an urgent question I was hoping you could help with.

    We have a rental house and the tenants that signed a lease are breaking the lease and moving out 6 months early they told they would be moving out Nov 30th well we heard from the Relator that they moved out this weekend, she had a showing and she said the house was a disgusting dirty mess. We are trying to show it so we can re-lease it

    We told them we would be going in and looking at it to see what needs to be done so we can hurry up and get it leased. I went in there today and took pictures and text the tenant and he said to leave the house immediately I was trespassing and he would call the police and have me arrested.

    My question is if they moved out and they broke the lease can we go in there now so we can get it ready to release, we asked him to get it cleaned up but he did not respond. How much time do we have to give him to get it cleaned and carpets cleaned before we do it?
    We also found lots of areas where he has damage done to the walls inside the home and he used exterior Stucco patch to patch the walls they are in really bad shape. I saw the stucco container I do not want him making future damage to the house by “repairing it”

    Help what are our legal rights – what can we do? Feeling helpless

    Thank you so much,

    Tish Pilon

    A: As far as entering, you're in a grey area there Tish. Are they out or not? If they're out, you can go in. Otherwise, not. Also, if you want him to stop with Stucco, why don't you just tell him. They'll stop.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My brother has a drug addiction. We have tried to help to no avail. He lives with my mom (Texas). She wants him to leave but he says she must give him 30 days notice. She has photo evidence of the drug paraphernalia. She is worried about the safety of her home due to his addiction and is worried he may be selling from the garage. What can she do?

    Jeff, TX

    A: Give him his 30 days notice. If you can get him out that way, you should consider yourself lucky. It gets worse if Family Court gets involved.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I filed an eviction yesterday for nonpayment and today my tenant want to pay. I still want them to move. Do I accept the RENT?

    Reeree, GA

    A: You might as well. Your tenant will just come into court and say he tendered rent. The judge will make you take it. Them's the breaks Love.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We have a tenant, who was a friend, who moved in 3 years ago. she didn't sign a lease when she moved in. she also never gave us a security deposit when hers was returned from her previous landlord. No rent was paid in July or August of this year but has been paid since. Earlier this month we gave her a lease to sign, which she refuses to sign.
    Since we gave her the lease, she has called the town building inspector because of water damage on 2 ceilings in 2 rooms of the apartment.
    What are our rights in NJ as landlords regarding this?
    Thank You

    Mrs. C. Fearon

    A: You have the right to evict her for non-payment of the July & August rent. What are you waiting for?


    Published 2014-11-12

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Recently my tenant who was under the lease, on 10/11 orally said he will move out from Nov 1 and asked me to keep the one month rent deposit for breaking the lease. I asked him to give in writing but he has not answered my calls. I reached him at the beginning of Nov thru text message and he replied already moved out and had few boxes left and I told him to take out everything by 11/. On 11/6 I entered my property and found that he didn't take out his trash, some old matresses, his broken refrigerator, old broken toys, etc., He took out his clothes and other furniture in entirety. He also took my washer and lawn mower with him (stolen). Now what action I can take against him? Can I file a case for my stolen property and breaking lease? Can I get garnishment against his/her wages? Please let us know and really appreciate your help.

    Abdul, TX

    A: Yes, yes, yes. The answers to all your questions is yes. But first things first. Renovate & Rerent. (Then sue the last tenant.)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My current tenants' lease period is 03/14/14- 03/14/15 but being she has a Housing Voucher it states that the voucher period is 03/14/14-02/28/15 and she has her review for a new voucher on 03/01/15, being I am not renewing her lease due to past due rents from her portion would her move out day be 03/14/15 or 02/28/15?

    Thank you in advance.

    Tabia in Maryland (Prince George's County)

    A: It goes by the lease, i.e. 3/14/15. Question is, who pays from 2/28/15 to 3/14/15? (Probably no one!)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a one family home I rent out in Rhode Island. The current tenants are month to month. Been there for quite some time. Always late on the rent, and are just not easy people to deal with. Continue to run the burner out of oil, and the tank was full when they moved in. House uses less than one tank of oil a year to heat.

    I have repairs I need to do in the house, the ceiling was pealing in one room only. We went in some time ago with a Painter and then a plaster, and scrapped the ceiling, but it could not be primed/painted, as it had soft plaster areas, that had to be taken down, which the plaster did. I need a plaster to go in there again, to repair this one 2’ area, and prime/paint, it will be a 2 day job due to the time needed to dry. I have asked for the time to make the repairs, with no date from the tenant.

    I am actually at the point, I would just like them to Leave. What is my best course of action?
    Thank you.

    Claire, Rhode Island

    A: Sounds like these tenants have worn out their welcome. Why don't you give them a 30 day notice to vacate? They may contact you and perhaps agree to mend their wicked ways, that is, if you're interested in giving them a second chance.


    Published 2014-11-10

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My story is , my uncles brother ( owner ) it renting out a trailer and has asked his brother ( my uncle ) to keep and eye on this trailer when he is in the area and he seen something funny and enters the property to see what it was and the renter came running out cussing at him and then called the cops , the cop told him if he entered the property he would go to jail , but she never called the landlord ( my uncles brother ) to see if he was allowed to enter the property , can the cop take him to jail even if the owner of the property said that he was allowed on the property any time as a care take of the property ?

    Veronica S., Florida

    A: Tell your uncles to keep away from that place- and that even includes the owner. They don't belong there and they're trespassing. Why? Because it's rented. It's someone else's abode. I know owners have a hard time accepting that- but it's the law.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am retired and have a retired couple in a rental house. They have been there for 2 years and i just sent a increase in rent to them for next month. Anyway, they have been late for 3 different months lately and i sent them a notice that they were late. I am suppose to have a small daily charge for being late but have not done this. He sent me back a letter saying there are problems which really does not amount to much and i have fixed anything rapidly when there was a problem. He claimed that i was trying to be a big business man or did not want to be friends with renters because i have asked them to put the rently check in the bank for me. I have put gutters on the house which was not necessary and have fixed two windows which did not open the other day. All appliances were in when they moved here.
    My question is: What do you think I should do with them as far as keeping them as a renter.

    John C., Arkansas

    A: Well they've been paying 2 yrs. late but paying. Annoying requests for repairs- but only minor stuff. Some attitude issues, but on the whole, I'd stick with them (you could do much, much worse) as long as your getting paid. Once they default more than 30 days- give'em the boot.


    Published 2014-11-08

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I live in New York and have a home in atlanta. My tenant did not pay rent for 3 mts. I took her to court to get her out. The judge ruled that she pay the outstanding balance in full and bring proof of what repair she did or leave. She in return appeal the case. On the day for the second hearing she did not show up or paid any money. The judge dismiss the case for the second time and told me I can start the evictions process in 72 hrs. I contact the sherif in 72 hrs they then inform me that the Tennant made a down payment on the outstanding balance she owed. As a result they cannot evict her. I must write the judge a letter informing her that my tenant made a down payment. I need this woman out my hm now due to lack of payment my house is about to go into forclosures this lady is playing games what to do.

    Colino, GA

    A: Appeals in Landlord/Tenant cases are rare. Even then, they don't stop the eviction unless a bond is posted. You say the Sheriff can't evict her. Why? Why would the Sheriff care about a down-payment on the balance? This makes no sense. You need to speak to an appellate lawyer to figure out what the Heck is going on down there.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    This issue is from 2-3 years ago
    yet I am going to ask anyway and see if there is anything i could do

    my renters owe me 931.00 in water bills..I have the water bills and no receipts from checks for 9 months yet I have many other months where they wrote checks for water.
    Not sure if I can go after them of course they will not answer phone.
    Thanks for any information.

    Julia W., FL

    A: Start a small claims court action. That'll get a rise out of 'em.


    Published 2014-11-06

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My soon to be ex husband and I own a home together that is being rented out under fair market value to his ex wife. We have a month to month lease with mine and his signature as landlords. I need a place to live. Can I terminate her lease without his permission? What if he has went behind my back and signed a new lease with her that is only signed by him?

    Amanda Jones, Texas

    A: I just went through this. You can terminate the ex, but he can re-rent to her, and that will continue until the divorce judges tell him to stop. So your divorce lawyer may have to put the kabosh on renting to Hubby's ex.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Good morning.. I'm seeking your assistance and guidance. I am in law enforcement, have three kids, and recently separated from my husband in Nov 2013, Back in May I fell behind on some bills and decided to rent my basement temporarily for the summer, however a friend of mine recommended Simone who's aunt got sick and she needed a place to stay for 2 months. She moved in on July 1 and I wanted her gone almost immediately, she had her son move in and a boyfriend. They smoke weed and cigarettes in my home which is against the written agreement. She was supposed to move out by Sept 1 however came up with and excuse that another landlord took her deposit and she hasn't heard from them..needless to say it's Oct 31 already and she hasn't moved out or paid rent since July. I started the court process by giving her/them a vacate notice on Sept 16, that's up today. Doesn't look like she's going to be out this weekend..what should I do next besides file the paper in court to request a Hearing?
    Please advise.

    Sherice S.

    A: You can start your holdover eviction. You gave them one full month's notice? Right? The month of October? Then you're cleared for takeoff. Good luck.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We have a couple that are 2 months into a 1 year lease. One of them wants out of the lease, but the other doesn’t. We are willing to terminate the lease, but for both of them. What are our options if one person refuses to terminate the lease and the other person moves out?


    A: They've got to be on the same page. You can't be their marriage counselor or referee. Until (and unless) they both agree on what they want to do, the lease stays the way it is and they're both on the hook for the full amount. whether they're still there or not.


    Published 2014-11-03

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My dilemma is this..I payed off my mobile home 7 months ago when i was under a contract of rent to own..

    The landlord has yet to give me the title every time i would go pay the lot rent i would ask them about it they would come up with different exuses. I lost my job 3 months ago so while looking for a new job i fell back on the lot rent..I have found a decent paying job but unfortunately its in texas.I wanted to sell my trailer but because i dont have the title i cant so i offered to sell it back to the original landlord for a lesser value he sold it to me..(He sold it to me for asking 5000.00-4000.00) but this maniac only is offering 1000.00..which is unfair..keep in mind i was counting on this money to move my family to tx.. now hes telling me if i dont take this 1000.00 im getting evicted from a place i payed off.. can he do that??what can and shall i do..I feel so screwed over and pissed..please help..

    Viviana in the sunshine state of Florida

    A: Trailer lots are a Hybrid. You're an owner- but you're a tenant at the same time. You own the trailer- but you rent the lot. He can't evict you from the trailer, but he can evict you from the lot. That's what's happening.

    You also made the mistake of not getting the title when you paid him- but that's a separate issue.


    Published 2014-10-30

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a house in the state of Texas and I myself live in California, under that circumstance my tenant has been doing crazy things to my house. They moved out and left a bulldog in the house with one sister who only goes to the house at night to sleep. The gas has been shut off due to lack of payment, which I just found that out couple of days ago through a friend of mind who lives across the street from my rental house.

    I texted to my tenant and she said that she's temporary taking care of her grandma and will be back in a couple of months, in the mean time, she'll have her sister staying there taking care of the house. In reality, she had destroyed my house: She pulled up the living room carpet and put some linoleum in certain spots and she left her dog in the house all day without any human guidance, so the house is full of dog's feces. And then my tenant's husband punched holes on the wall when they were having a fight.

    Now, my question to you is: would those above reasons enough to call the police and evict them, even though, they did pay for Oct's rent. ( in other words, they are not behind on the rent).
    Could you help me with this kind of situation?
    I'll be urgently awaiting for your answer, your advise will be truly appreciated.

    Teresa S, TX

    A: You can call'em, but I doubt they'll be much help. The cops usually say they can't act without a court order. Seems like I got this question five times this week. The police don't consider this criminal activity- just bad behavior. (I hope this lease is up soon so you can evict.)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a tenant that fell in the apartment due to part of the sealing falling. They claim they will not sue me but have asked for some adjustments, if you will, for the expenses they have incurred. i.e. the daughter fell after going in to pick up mother who fell, ambulance was called, etc. they say. At any rate I’ve waived rent for 3 months. Can I create a waiver form protecting myself from being sued, do you have one on your site or do I have to get one from a lawyer?

    Al from Delaware

    A: The "waiver form" of which you speak is called a "General Release". By the way, stop waiving these people's rent. That's ridiculous. You'd be better off letting them sue you and using your homeowner's insurance.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have an apartment that is above me that I rent out. I have rented it to a family of three, husband/wife/6-yr old boy. This is the first time that a family has lived up there, usually rent to sub-contractors for local business who go home on weekends. I find this very hard as they are very loud, between fighting all the time and the child jumping and running through the apartment. And I just found out they are expecting their second child in a couple of months (not mentioned when applying to rent). This is a cape cod style house turned into a duplex.
    My question to you, since I live on the bottom floor, do I have the right to not rent to those with children?
    Thank you very much

    Theresa F., PA

    A: That is why you NEVER give any more than a 6 mos. lease to start if you live there. When the six months are up, you can evict. You don't need a reason. If your halfway through a one year lease, you're a dead duck.


    Published 2014-10-29

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am married and living with my husband for 38months I move in with him can he kick me out of the apartment that my name is not on lease we are living in Bronx NY

    Winnifred, NY

    A: No he can't kick you out. If you're married, they'll tell him he has to go through divorce court.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My name is Kimberly, i own and rent out a house in South Carolina. I have a signed lease for one year, which ends August 2015. I use a property management company that I pay 10% to monthly. I need to take possession of my house back no later than Feb 2015, do I have any rights to end the lease with notice? My property management company is telling me no. Please help. This is only because of a family emergency that I need my house back.
    Thank you in advance.

    Kimberly, SC

    A: Sorry Kim. Your management company is right. Unless there's some loophole in the lease allowing you cancel, you're pretty much stuck. Sorry again.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My parents have tenants, a family of four, that are clearly (at least to us) doing everything they can to put off eviction. They were originally on a lease, but they declined to renew it 6 months ago. Their rent was continuously late. Once they realized we would evict, the wife “slipped” on a wet floor that was caused by a leaky roof. The roof has leaked since the house was built, my father was raised in that house. The tenets knew about the leak when they moved in 4 years ago. We have had work done on the roof several times since they have lived there, it only leaks under certain conditions.

    She put in a claim for her “fall” a month ago, has not paid rent for at least two months, and yesterday she had the department of health come to the house, they made several (minor) findings. Seems like they plan to drag us through court, and use all these “issues” to live there without paying for as long as they can, or at least reduce the rent they owe. The tenant is a real estate agent, and seems to know every trick in the book.

    Should/can we evict them regardless of these problems? Are there laws to protect property owners from these tactics? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

    Josh, Massachusetts

    A: Yes, you hit the nail on the head Josh; You should evict them regardless of these problems. All this nonsense has nothing to do with not paying rent. And as for the slip & fall, if she tries using that in court, she "wont have a leg to stand on." (LOL)

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    Legal Disclaimer
    The Landlord Protection Agency's "Ask the Attorney" column is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney - client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
    The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

    If you are a Landlord on Long Island, NY, and wish for Mr. Reno to handle your landlord - tenant case, please provide your contact information: e-mail Mr. Reno

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