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Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! - Landlord Forum thread 357263

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Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Marta Leoncini (California) on May 10, 2018 @19:39

Hello everybody, I hope I can find some answers here. I am renting a home in a nice area in West Los Angeles to a young couple and their small girl. They have three small dogs, which by law and by the contract they signed, was agreed when they moved two years ago. Let me say that for the most part I donít have any issues with them at all.

The problem is the older couple living next door to them who were also my former neighbors when I lived there and whom I never have issues with. For five months now I had been getting emails and calls from those former neighbors complaining nonstop about my tenants for petty things.

Then three weeks ago I got an email complaining that:

1. The dogs keep barking too much and is hard for them to work since they work from home)
2. The dogs destroyed their fence
3. My tenants have security cameras all around and apparently one is pointed at them.
4. Both of their wives hate, and I mean hate, each otherís and even call each otherís despicable names. Again, this is a nice area and well-educated people so go figure.

I responded and talk to my tenants so they could fix this matter in a friendly way.

Then last week, my old neighbors called the cops. I was told by tenant that the cops did visit them and found not wrong doing at all and noticed that the camera was not been pointed at the backyard of the next-door home.

Old neighbors said that their fence, which is very old and dilapidated, must be replaced for the dogs have destroyed it. I was sent photos of it and a few pieces were either missing or rotten with the passing of time at the bottom but my old friends said that it was done by the dogs. I figured that I could fix the problem and said that I would send my handy man to placed new boards in there. So, two days ago I got an estimate from them for the fence.

The thing is, and I am not making any of this up and itís as bizarre as it sounds, they want me to replace the WHOLE fence which is 200í long. They sent me 5 estimates ranging from $5,000-$20,000. And due to the ďprivacyĒ issue with the camera, which according to the officers that went there, is not been pointed at their home or backyard, the older couple wants the fence to be 8ítall

I told the older couple that, even when is not my fault at all or my tenants, I would be happy to have their fence fix right away. But they say NO loud and clear and want a new fence or they will take my tenants and me to court.

My tenants feel that the couple wants money and think that in a small court claim a person can get up to $10,000 in compensation and that maybe that is their plan.

Why should I be responsible for her fence at all? Like I said I am willing to fix those 3 or 6 pieces of wood with holes at the bottom which looks as tear and wear instead of something done by an animal.

Any thoughts and ideas please for I am at my wit's end.

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Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Anonymous on May 10, 2018 @20:03 [ Reply ]
Block the neighbor's email address. This isn't your problem, nor should you facilitate being "on call" for her complaints. From now on any time any thing is said, simply tell her to call the police.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Anonymous on May 10, 2018 @20:54 [ Reply ]
If it were me I would send them a letter (certified) restating the offer to fix the fence. Tell them to please response in writing so you can forward it to your attorney (wink, wink) for review/advice. Also let them know that if they chose to proceed with taking you to court, your offer is rescinded. Then let them do what they have to do.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Anonymous on May 10, 2018 @21:05 [ Reply ]
I wouldn't offer a thing. Let them threaten to sue you. It isn't nearly as scary as the media makes it sound. They'll threaten but they won't sue. If they do, then you can give them a reason to not like you. Afterall you can monitor any portion of their property that you want as long as it isn't looking into their house.

Call the county on them. You don't need a reason, make one up. Or you could call building inspections because the fence is now unsightly.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Anonymous on May 10, 2018 @21:36 [ Reply ]
I think by reaching out now, should you end up in court (and I doubt if you will) it would help you score points with the judge by providing a paper trail showing that you were wiling to extend the olive branch from the very beginning. More proof that your neighbors are out of line.

Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Hannah (VT) on May 10, 2018 @22:50 [ Reply ]
I had a neighbor of a rental do this about two years ago. She would email me about (the tenants, their pets, their kids, their cars). After three of these long winded emails, I set up an automatic email reply.

From that day on, anytime she emailed me, she got an automatic response "And what else happened? Could you tell me more?"

To which she would reply. And then reply again. And again. And again. It was hilarious.

Yes she was pissed, but having all of those extra responses to type out her feelings must have made her get over it. Because I never heard another peep from her. She threatened to sue in a couple of the emails, but she was just venting. Because she looked incredibly stupid.

Try it.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Garry (Iowa) on May 11, 2018 @00:26 [ Reply ]
First, about the dogs. Nearly EVERY city in the country has ordinances about barking dogs. YOU allowed the Ts to have the dogs. If they bark constantly, and the police are called enough times, both YOU and the T are going to pay a price. Either a lawsuit by someone, or the city will step in , and possibly FINE you and/or the T. Remember, YOU as the owner, have a LOT bigger pockets than your T does. And the city has the power to PLACARD your property, because it has become a nuisuince to the neighborhood. Do you want to become known as a "bad" LL in the neighborhood ??

Next, about the fence. Since you have been forewarned about a possible lawsuit, prepare for one up front, and hope it never happens. Take pics AND a video of the WHOLE fence, all 200ft of it. NOTE ANYTHING that is not "perfect" Then get estimates from 3 contractors to REPAIR the fence, not replace it. Now, YOU are armed with facts of your own, and are ready for court if it happens.

Now, YOU need to STOP COMMUNICATING with your "OLD FRIENDS", TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, 100%, by ANY method. ANY lawyer will tell you, if someone threatens to sue you, you DON"T KEEP TALKING to them. The more you communicate with them, the better YOUR chances are of saying something wrong that will HURT you in court. They are NOT your "friends" anymore. That went away when you moved, turned your former place into a rental, and put in place someone they didn't get along with. If someone is going to sue you, there is NOTHING you can say or do to stop them.

Finally, your TENANTS are not innocent in all of this. THEY bare SOME responsibility for barking dogs. I get that 3 dogs together, like to play and bark. Your Ts need to limit the play time A LOT. And maybe let the dogs out 1 at a time to do their jobs. Also, they can take them to dog parks to "let off steam". The owning of a pet brings responsibility. Owning of THREE pets brings a BIG/HUGE responsibility. And if you believe your Ts when they say their dogs are "perfect", and NEVER cause any problems, then Ive got some land in Hawaii by a volcano I would like to sell you.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by lamac66 (ga) on May 11, 2018 @10:35 [ Reply ]
sorry to say you opened yourself up with the fence by agreeing to fix it. they set you up. when dogs damage things like fences it's obvious with the naw marks left. photo evidence will bare that out.

the dog barking is tricky. i dont have anything to offer there. i will just say fight back against the fence and prepare for court.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Marta Leoncini (California) on May 11, 2018 @12:00 [ Reply ]
Thank you so much for all your great advice. I decided to fix it since the cost to us is low, just a few pieces of wood and a handyman or my husband to patch it all in there. But not good deed goes unpunished :(

Thanks you also G (Iowa) you gave us some great tips and you are right about our tenants they are not scot free and we will write them a strong email about securing those 3 dogs better and making sure they are not barking so much. We will make sure to go there with a handyman, since a contractor is not needed, to give us an estimate about the REPAIR only which should be around $100-$150.00
Will also stop any form of communications with the old couple, except to tell them once we check the fence that we will only fix it.
Re: Fence, Dogs, Tenants & Neighbors! by Bubba on May 21, 2018 @15:59 [ Reply ]
The dogs destroyed a fence that is 2/3's the length of a football field?

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