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Eviction Attorney

Q&A with John Reno, Eviction Attorney

The 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 (info@theLPA.com)



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Recent Court Victory

Warrant of Eviction with money judgment of $18,600.00 AWARDED!



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Published 2017-05-25

Dear Mr. Reno:
Tenant sent letter (reg. Mail - May 15th) that they are moving out (June 3rd). They have an annual lease that expires on July 31st. I have a last month's rent deposit and a security deposit. Each deposit is equal to one month's rent. They have informed me that I am to use their last month's rent for June and that I should send them a bill for any damages to a forwarding address provided. Obviously what they say and what they do at this point is what matters. With only 2 weeks to go, I thought perhaps I should sit back and wait to see what they do and not respond to the letter?

Less said the better???? Obviously they can't use last months rent for June, but then they are saying they will be moving out before I would normally issue a 3-Day Pay or Vacate (on the 6th.) Bottom line, I am thrilled they are leaving and even happier that it will be early June, giving me an opportunity to clean up and re-lease without having to show the place occupied. I do have an early lease termination clause in the lease, but they signed the option to forfeit the early termination fee as follows. _______I do not agree to liquidated damages or an early termination fee, and I acknowledge that the landlord may seek damages as provided by law.

So, my question(s) is/are: 1. Do I respond to their letter and what do I say other than goodbye and good luck? 2. If they don't leave and don't pay, follow normal default in payment eviction? 3. If they do leave, am I obligated to return any of the deposit and how should it be worded on a security deductions notice? Usually I get them a typical FL State Security notice for deductions along with an itemized list & refund check before 30 days. At this point I don't know if I will get it rented for July 1st or even August 1st. FYI - This tenant has used legal council in the past in an unrelated matter and can be VERY difficult on very small matters.

Karen, Florida

A: You need to respond. Your silence may be deemed an acceptance of them living off the rent.

If you object (as you should) please say so. No rent, start the eviction.

Deduct rent from security? Only if the lease says you can.

Published 2017-05-15

Dear Mr. Reno:
I took a percentage deposit on a home with property in 2014 with a 24 month lease with option to buy. It ended in nov 2016. The tennants did Excercise but have had a hard time getting a jumbo loan . In my contract i specifically stated if they did not excercise the right then the money $15990.00 would then be applied to rent.

They have now not paid march april and now may rent. Can i evict them on this? Also they did not pay the property taxes as agreed this year. Can i evict?

Paige Cloud, Killen, AL

A: Definitely maybe.

If your lease was prepared properly, it would provide that the taxes are like rent. That way, you could evict them as a nonpaying tenant.

Otherwise, not so much.

Published 2017-05-08

Dear Mr. Reno:
Tenants gave 20-day notice that they would not be renewing a 1-year lease. This is a standard C.A.R lease agreement. Can I deduct 10 days rent from security deposit?

Also, they had a pet which was not allowed. The pet caused damage to blinds and carpet. How do I figure out the useful life of these things that are not repairable? This is a high-end home furnished with the best quality carpet and pad available at the time, not cheap 5-year carpet. I called the blind company and over the phone they said with care their blinds should last 20 years and gave me a replacement quote. But I can't get anything in writing from them.

Some of the damage requires the new tenants to be out of the home for repair, so I will likely have to put them up in a hotel. Is that a charge that I can deduct from the security deposit?

Lastly, aside from actual damages caused by the unauthorized pet, do I have any claim for breach of contract? The extensive damage to wood fixtures and irrigation has been nightmarishly time-consuming to deal with and is costing me time away from my business. I have to say, rulings seem skewed in favor of tenants. Are my chances any better if there is an obvious breach of contract?

Thank you,

Caren in California

A: All bad news...

So you have a 1 year lease that expires on a specific date. There's no law requiring notice to not renew. Actually the tenant could legally just walk out the door on the last day!

All of this however, assumes that your lease doesn't specifically require advance notice. Does it?

Damages is simple (but you wont like it). If you need to replace the rug do, you can deduct it. If you're going to keep the rug, you can't deduct. You want to say the tenants have reduced the life expectancy of the rug? That wont fly. it's too subjective.

Hotel bills? Never heard of it.

Yes, you can sue for breach of contract- which it was, but you shill have to establish damages by out-of-pocket expenses- so you're back where we started

Dear Mr. Reno:
My name is Dave, I recently bought a 3 - bedroom, 2 - bath manufactured home in Grand Haven, MI the end of March 2017. My fiancé had her niece, boyfriend and their 3wk newborn move in with us. All of us had to be put on the lot rental lease. Niece and boyfriend were paying me $250 a month, but with a back rent of an additional $50 until the end of June 2017. The rent agreement was not documented.

Upon moving into my new home, the boyfriend broke my New TV and never said anything. One of my friends seen him break it and told me. I confronted the boyfriend and he agreed to pay me $400.00 of which he paid $100.00. The middle of April they decided to move out, and verbally told me they would pay me the monies they owed me. Now at the first of the month, they receive SSI, they are refusing to pay me. They actually left personal items we were going to give back upon receiving the money. Can I take them to small claims court?
Thank you for your time and cooperation with this matter.

Dave N., MI

A: Yes, sue the bastards (am I allowed to say that?)

Small claims costs about $20 and usually can get a judgment between 3000-5000..

Don't worry that its verbal. These verbal agreements can be enforced!

Dear Mr. Reno:
I own a Four Plex in Colorado Springs, CO. My question is: What can I do if I suspect drug dealing activity in one of my units? There's been so much traffic at all hours of day and evening as well as several neighbors have voiced there concern and just flat out told me my new tenants were definitely drug dealers. I have other tenants that have stopped there children from playing outside on my property due to these new tenants and there constant company. Please advise me if possible.

Sincerely,

Marci Kramer, CO

A: You are not Starsky & Hutch and this aint Miami Vice. Don't get involved. If they pay, they stay, until the lease is up. Then you tell them your not renewing because your sick aunt has to live there or she'll die.

Published 2017-05-04

Dear Mr. Reno:
Do NOT want tenant to pay rent after lease expiration but am worried that they will and not leave!

Tenant has said in a text that they will not renew lease (expiring June 30). I have requested "Intention To Vacate" form to be signed and sent back but this has not happened.

I have a weird question: They have been paying by check directly into my account at a local branch of my bank and so they have my account information. If they pay rent with a check on July 1 and refuse to leave (even though I have given them a 60 day notice) how do I prevent this (aside from changing my account number)?

What alternative do you recommend for the future tenants? We are a long distance landlord and want an automatic deposit made but don't want to give out our account information anymore.

Nancy, California

A: This has come up before. You don't want the $, but they can pay without your permission. What to do.

1. First notify them they are not to pay rent past the expiration date and if paid without permission it will be returned.

2. Return it promptly, if paid.


LPA comment:
About your account #... even if the new tenants paid you rent with their check, they'd get your account # on the back of their check.

Check with your new tenant's bank for an automatic payment set-up in which the bank mails you the rent for your tenants on a specific day each month. That works well for us.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I closed escrow on 4/24 on a property I've bought. The Purchase Agreement has a Residential Lease Back After Sale for a term of 30 days starting the following day of escrow. My realtor used one of the California Association of Realtors forms for that and he usually includes in every of his leasebacks a clause where the 'tenant may provide 30-days notice for early termination without penalty, rent will be pro-rated to move out date'. So it is kind of standard language for leasebacks of 30 days or more, and that's why it was included, even if it doesn't make sense on a 30-day leaseback. But the former owner gave 30-day notice on 4/6, that is 18 days before close of escrow and before the lease was effective. And now she wants the rent prorated to 5/6, which is 12 proration out of 30.,p> I never expected she could give notice before the lease even started. Per the Agreement the full-month rent was collected through escrow, as well as the deposit. Am I obligated by the Agreement and by the Law to prorate the rent?

The only additional clause in the Agreement related to this matter says: 'in event of termination by Tenant prior to completion of the original term of this Agreement, if applicable, Tenant shall also be responsible for Lost Rent'.

Thank you very much.

Fernando Garcia, California

A: There's no prohibition on giving the notice before the closing- so the 30 day notice is valid.

But the clause relating to lost rent completely contradicts the 30 day notice option- so I don't get it. I know the lease is a form- but somethings either wrong or being taken out of context. Your agreement is sckitzoid.

Published 2017-04-26

Dear Mr. Reno:
I could really do with some advice please. I am the Landlord
Nevada Reno is where the property is located. Washoe County.
My renters broke lease I was Okay with it and did my best to find new renters so that they did not have to pay the remaining one months rent.

I found new renters they are going to move in May 20th the day the lease expires for the previous renters. (They wanted to move in even later but I said May 20th was the deadline)

Old renters have gone, and I have their deposit $2,000. They have not kept to their side of the bargain and paid rent for the month of April-May on April 20th.

I am aware that I can use the deposit as payment for the non payment on the 20th.
Questions

1. They have broken the yard gate and a couple of other things (nothing drastic) But the repairs will cost more than $200 the surplus of the $1,800 rent = $2,000 deposit.
I assume they obviously realized this and decided to cut and run. Can I still claim the extra $$ for the damage from them please.

2. I would like to change the locks now that they are no longer living there and not paying rent or are they! If I am paying it from the Security Deposit (Is that still classed as payment of rent)
Am I within my rights to change the locks please. By the 25th of April they will of defaulted by 5 days.

Thank you so very much for any advice.
Kindest,

Susie, Reno, NV

A: You can go ahead and change the locks. They're gone. You don't need to evict if they're out. As far as the security goes, I'm a little leery about advising you there because so many have enacted strict laws on returning security and the landlords are getting their butts sued off. As a general rule, security is only to cover damage to the property. Period. So if your lease doesn't specifically allow other deductions, you're on thin ice.

Published 2017-04-20

Dear Mr. Reno:
Renting a church in Baltimore city which is on a month to month lease. He always pays 15 days late and now has not paid rent for March nor April and not responding to my messages.
What is the process in this situation?
Thank you

Irit G., Baltimore City, MD

A: Serve Notice of Default. Then commence Non-payment eviction. (God help us.)

Published 2017-04-13

Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenant who signed a year lease in Sept of 2015 paid the rent for a year (late several times) and refused to renew the lease that based on the lease then becomes a month to month, he owes 5 months’ rent. I just won a District Magistrate decision for money owed and possession, after the 10 days he didn’t move and I had to get an "Order of Possession". The tenant who lived at the apartment with his teenage daughter ended up going to jail prior to the DM hearing for a domestic dispute with his girlfriend at the apartment. The tenant after 3 weeks gets out of jail the same day the constable placed the order of possession notice on the unit, that night the tenant dies of a drug overdose or apparent suicide. The daughter is still living at the apartment.

Questions:

1. The daughter just turned 18 (week after DM hearing, Mar 20th). Is she legally able to stay at the apartment since she was never on the lease?
a. If so, is she liable for the money owed now that she’s an adult?
2. Order of possession date is this upcoming Monday. Does anything change due to his death?
3. He owes $3100 from the DM hearing. I identified multiple issues/damage to the unit, can I get any money from his estate?
4. Can I take possession of the unit now based on his deceased status?
5. What needs to be done with his possessions that are left in the apartment?
b. Keep in mind that the order of possession was in place and set for this upcoming Monday, April 10th.
Thank you for your time

Todd F., PA

A: You're finished with the Court- now you're dealing with the Constable. Will he evict the daughter based on your court case? Give it a try, we'll see if you did your eviction correctly.

You can't get daughter to pay because she didn't sign the lease (his estate is liable.) But she should have been named on your eviction papers. That's what worries me.

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a Rental Home in Kingman Arizona. Last year the Tenant was to Purchase the home through a Lease/Option to Buy, but did not qualify with a Mortgage Company. I provided them with another year Lease; the tenant said he might be in a better situation to qualify for the Option to Buy after April 17th 2017 Income Tax Filing. His Lease ends August 31, 2017.

I am prepared to call the Tenant (After the 17th) and ask him if he IS in a better situation to purchase the home, taking advantage of the Lease/Option to Buy. If he feels he cannot purchase the home, by again, not qualifying with a Mortgage Company, I want to prepare for him to sign a {Lease Change Form}, Changing the Lease to Month-to-Month, and while he is in the home, Allowing me to Hire a Neutral Real Estate Firm to Start Showing the House to potential Buyers.

I have downloaded a Lease Change Form. Question: What should my LEGAL Wording be on the Lease Change Form?
Thank You.

Harry H., Anchorage, AK

A: The terms of this leasehold shall hereafter be "month to month".

The tenant will make the house available to the landlord's real estate agent upon 48 hrs. notice.

Published 2017-04-12

Dear Mr. Reno:
1. I own a residential home that I rent out. If I have an event occur such as fire, flood, etc., and the home is rendered uninhabitable: a. What happens to a 1-year lease if say we are in the middle of month 6? Do I refund unused prepaid rent on a pro-rated basis and somehow end the lease as of the date of the event that caused the home to be uninhabitable? b. If so, how would I end a lease in a situation like that? Certainly I cannot keep or collect any funds paid or due past the date of the event? c. My insurance will cover me for lost rents due to me during the time of repair while home is uninhabitable, so if the lease does not somehow end, does that mean the lease will somehow resume when the tenant is able to return? d. Property damage claims involving a move-out for the occupant are typically 14-21 days in duration, which is a relatively short time frame that a tenant may wait out and return to the home and the lease…to that end, do you know if renters insurance automatically includes Additional Living Expense coverage? If not, should I specifically require tenants to not only have renter’s insurance but a line item minimum for ALE? Thank you very much, I have learned a tremendous about my rights and responsibilities and the pitfalls of being a landlord from the LPA and especially from your Q&A database.

Gregory, CA

A: So the contract would be terminated based upon what we lawyers call "impossibility" or "impossibility of performance." All bets are off- Any prepaid rent prorated and returned. Security refunded. Parties part ways.

They can come back- but no obligation to do so.

Published 2017-04-10

Dear Mr. Reno:
A new tenant and her boyfriend of one month has done nothing but lie to me. She refused to sign the rental agreement that afternoon stating she wanted to read the whole thing over and that sounded reasonable so she told she would sign it and return it to me in the morning and I have never seen this document since that night. whenever I have asked her about this she always comes up with an excuse and she just won’t return it to me. She lied about having a job and when I asked her about this she has given me three different jobs titles and yet she never leaves to go to work at any of these places. I stated no pets and she sneaked her giant lizard into the bedroom which I asked her to please remove and she has ignored my request .

I am a widow, no children with a big house that is way to quiet without people here so I rent for the company and my house is paid off . I had some friends over to play cards last week and this woman demanded to speak to me at 9:15pm and said it was very urgent . I excused myself from my friends and escorted her to my den for privacy . She sounded off to me for 30 minutes! She told me my house wasn’t cleaned to her satisfaction ,she had seen a cockroach in the kitchen, the restroom we share was always to filthy to use, and the couple who rented the front bedroom had had a major physical fight this morning and she’d made several frantic attempts to reach me, knocking and pounding on my door , trying to “wake me up” but couldn’t. She then stated the woman in the front bedroom was getting abused daily and what was I going to do about it ? I asked her if she called the police so told me that’s hat she was trying to wake me up for, I said I’m been up since 9am and nobody had had knocked on my door . If she had tried to wake me I’m a very light sleeper but where were her phone calls , or text messages on a note from her on my door ? She has used all of those messages prior to this day and nothing was there on this day she needed me so much ? I clean the restroom we share every five days with no help from anyone and if she wanted in cleaner she should do it. And I don’t have any bugs in my house . She wanted me to give her this last week for free and demanded answer right then . I told her I needed to speak with the couple in the front bedroom first . When I spoke with them they knew nothing about it . She quit paying her rent to me and I really don’t care anymore . My family called me and wants me to move up to northern ca. and I agreed to go . Another friend of mine has offered to stay in my house rent free to watch it and we have been transferring the utilities over to his name, I told her she would have to work it out with him and he don’t care if she’s here or not either . She’s says I can’t do this . She says I have to stay and rent to her.I told her I’m not renting to anyone anymore. Can you advise? thank you

Debbie Lopez, So. California

A: Sharing living space with total strangers can be a risk, so here we go. Its a good thing you're out at the moment, since this girl obviously needs to be evicted. Best you not be in striking distance when she gets her papers.

I believe a Sixty Day Notice would be step one.

LPA note: Here's what the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs says about this kind of agreement, since you don't have a signed rental agreement:

>> Oral rental agreements

In an oral rental agreement, you and the landlord agree orally (not in writing) that you will rent the rental unit. In addition, you agree to pay a specified rent for a specified period of time - for example, a week or a month. This kind of rental agreement is legally binding on both you and the landlord, even though it is not in writing unless a tenant and a landlord agree to the lease of a rent unit for more than one year, the agreement must be in writing.55 If such an agreement is not in writing, it is not enforceable. If you have a valid oral agreement and later have a disagreement with your landlord, you will have no written proof of the terms of your rental agreement. Therefore, it’s usually best to have a written rental agreement.

However, even if the agreement is oral, the landlord must give you a written statement regarding the name, street address, and phone number of the landlord or agent for receipt of legal notices; the contact information for the person who is to accept the rent; and how the rent is to be paid (for example by cash, check or money order.)56

It's especially important to have a written rental agreement if your tenancy involves special circumstances, such as any of the following:

You plan to live in the unit for a long time (for example, nine months or a year);
Your landlord has agreed to your having a pet or water-filled furniture (such as a waterbed); or
The landlord has agreed to pay any expenses (for example, utilities or garbage removal) or to provide any services (for example, a gardener).

Dear Mr. Reno:
My tenant who signed a year lease in Sept of 2015 paid the rent for a year (late several times) and refused to renew the lease that based on the lease then becomes a month to month, he owes 5 months’ rent. I just won a District Magistrate decision for money owed and possession, after the 10 days he didn’t move and I had to get an “Order of Possession”. The tenant who lived at the apartment with his teenage daughter ended up going to jail prior to the DM hearing for a domestic dispute with his girlfriend at the apartment. The tenant after 3 weeks gets out of jail the same day the constable placed the order of possession notice on the unit, that night the tenant dies of a drug overdose or apparent suicide. The daughter is still living at the apartment.

Questions:
1. The daughter just turned 18 (week after DM hearing, Mar 20th). Is she legally able to stay at the apartment since she was never on the lease?
a. If so, is she liable for the money owed now that she’s an adult?
2. Order of possession date is this upcoming Monday. Does anything change due to his death?
3. He owes $3100 from the DM hearing. I identified multiple issues/damage to the unit, can I get any money from his estate?
4. Can I take possession of the unit now based on his deceased status?
5. What needs to be done with his possessions that are left in the apartment?
b. Keep in mind that the order of possession was in place and set for this upcoming Monday, April 10th.

Thank you for your time

Todd F., PA

A: You're finished with the Court- now you're dealing with the Constable. Will he evict the daughter based on your court case? Give it a try, we'll see if you did your eviction correctly.

You can't get daughter to pay because she didn't sign the lease (his estate is liable.) But she should have been named on your eviction papers. That's what worries me.

Dear Mr. Reno:
Our tenants installed a hot tub in our back yard without permission (a few years ago). I am pretty sure that a permit is required for this and as the owner, I know that a permit was never given. If I do nothing, can I get in trouble for this? What are my options?

Joyce, California

A: You could start by telling the tenants to either legalize it or remove it.

Also, check the lease. That's probably a violation. You can tell the tenants that their lease may be terminated or that basis.

Published 2017-03-30

Dear Mr. Reno:
Do you have a template or suggestion for a simple document that assigns the right to collect on a rent/eviction judgment from one LLC to another?

I sold a property owned by one of my LLCs and want to dissolve that LLC, yet still want to start collecting on the court judgment in the near future using another LLC that I control... thanks! - Les

A: I doubt you'll find an "Assignment of Judgment" form. It's quite rare.

Just use a standard "Blumberg" form for assignment of contracts & modify it.

Published 2017-03-28

Dear Mr. Reno:
My rental located in florida is occupied by a tenant. In July a final judgment was recieved for eviction (possession)' the sheriff arrived and completed the ebiction. renter asked to stay a few days because she had too many items. I allowed tenant to remain in the house after the eviction to get her affairs in order. eight months later she refuses to leave stating I need to refile another eviction, or worst sn ejection. will the july eviction be enough to remove her or what steps do I need to take to get her off my property

April B., FL

A: Have you lost your mind? You went thru the whole process, including the Sheriff, & then let her stay? Why, why, why?

Call the Sheriff. It's up to them. They'll either come back, or send you back to court.

Why, why, why?

Published 2017-03-24

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have been leasing my own properties since 1981.. This is my first experience with bad tenants. It is a woman 28 and her boyfriend age 21. She paid a 600 deposit 5 days earlier, to hold the unit and that cleared, using PAYPAL. She then texted they were coming with 2500.00 cash, When they arrived we signed the years lease. She asked if she could use Paypal to pay the 2500.00 (1st and last months rent). So I agreed, they left with the keys, and after about 1 hour I called her back and said this PayPal is not responding. I need to cancel and get a check or cash.

Well, they didn’t answer and they moved in. I politely called and said I need to get this money covered by 8 am 2 days later. When I didn’t get the money, as I demanded, so that night I went over to the house and asked for the lease because I had signed Paid by Pay Pal on it.. I told her, when pay me I will re-do the lease.

She said she made a police report that I “stole” her document. I have a text message that says she has a copy.

Long story short, I gave them 9 days to pay the funds, with a notice on the door and a text message of the same. Now, I filed an paid for a formal eviction at the clerk of court last Tuesday, and collection of funds, of 2500 plus 500 for the charges to file.

The young man has not talked to me only the woman. They are living in my house and she says she wont leave. They haven’t been served the summons yet.

Now, they are not married, and I got a text message from the young man who claims that his girlfriend stole 2500.00 he gave her to pay me! He also said that she got his key and kicked him out. I am suing each of them for the money.

I printed out all the texts from the woman. Over the course of one week she texted me over 400 times.

She also opened a letter I mailed to the former tenant, and got his email and sent him a message.

I gave specific instructions to her because I was on vacation last week. She did not deposit the cash or certified checks into my bank account I gave them two banks and 2 bank managers who were instructed to take the money and send me the e-copies of the receipts.

She claims since I took her copy of the years lease, so she didn’t have to pay me, unless I met her in person. I say she fraudulently paid me using a Pay Pal account which was not even her account! She said her sister was covering the rent for them, and I called the sister and she said she would, but never did. I never got even one notice of a payment pending from any Paypal account.

I told her she is fraudulently living in my house, and in breach of contract.

Since I am suing each of them, I am willing to release the guy from the suit, provided he empties out my place, and leaves it as they found it. I think he would do this.

I just spent 22,000$ doing home improvements to it. I am furious!

Does she have a leg to stand on?

Thank you

Kim, St. Johns County, Florida

A: Live and learn, Kim. These people need cash or bank check to move in. You can't even trust electronic fund transfers like pay pal. I recently learned that even if they go through, they can be reversed.

Your main objective right now is getting back possession. Forget who's suing who or who's releasing who. Get your place back.

Published 2017-03-22

Dear Mr. Reno:
I have a question regarding my tenants.
I got an email from my tenant that the husband has left her, and is threatening them. She mentioned the police is involved. She wants me change the locks on the property. Both the husband and wife are on the lease. Can you please advice on what is the best route to take? I do not have any problems changing the locks, but is it Ok because the husband is also on the lease?
Thanks,

Bhavin, TX

A: Do not meddle in affairs of the heart! This is not your problems! Let her change her own locks! Do not get involved or take sides.

Published 2017-03-20

Dear Mr. Reno:
Are you familiar with rent control in New York city? I have a rent control tenant. whom I believed that she doesn’t live in the apartment. It seems like she is letting her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend live int the apartment. Tenant still alive? It is legal that tenant can live somewhere else and she can pass down to let children stay in the apartment? Can the children take over the apartment?
Regards,

Sue Fong, NY

A: Yes, it is my understanding that children of the tenants do have some rights to continuation of rent control rights, but that's after death. So if the tenant is still alive, I don't think they can move out & sublet to the kids.

On the other hand, it's NYC, so anything is possible. Why don't you call the Rent Control Board and ask them?

Published 2017-03-13

Dear Mr. Reno:
Good day, I have what appears to be a simple question, but isn't.

Can a landlord property manager and or broker turn down an apartment application based on employment type? For example, taxi driver, police officer and or attorney. These employments are just random examples.

Also, can an applicant be turned down for income source such as section 8, feps or any other government source? Or just require an applicant to be stable on the job?

Finally, if a tenant for any reason whatsoever loses said job and qualified for a program, then may a landlord turn down said government checks for rent a demand payments continue in cash?

Thanks in advance.

No Name, New York

A: Some people say it's illegal to discriminate- but that's not true. You CAN discriminate as long as its not based on certain thins.

Okay, here's a list on "NO-NO's", or as we lawyers say "Suspect Classifications"

  • Sex
  • Race,
  • Color,
  • Creed,
  • Religion
  • Nation Origin
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Physical Handicap
  • Marital Status

    You can "Discriminate" as long as its not based on those things. That's my understanding.

    Published 2017-03-10

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have a question for the Ask an Attorney questions .
    My Single family home rental is in Los Angeles County. Our floor heater went out this month. Tenant waited a week to notify me. We attempted a repair, which failed and now the unit has been red tagged by the gas company. We elected to replace it with a dual sided wall furnace. Tenant then claimed it was a violation of the ADA as the hall would be too narrow.

    We met with an attorney who recommended replacing the unit with the same kind we have now. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. So we are installing a forced air unit. Now tenant says we can not charge rent for the days she went without heat.

    Do you know if this is the case in SoCal? We thought a landlord with one rental property was exempt from the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) as it seems to apply to larger commercial properties.

    B Walsh, CA

    A: I don't know exactly what this has to do with the Disability Act. Is the hall to narrow because of a wheelchair?

    Anyway, if the old unit is unavailable, I think you're covered. You may have to give some discount for the days w/o heat. Maybe not 100%.

    How about 50% off per diem with no heat?

    Published 2017-03-07

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have some one renting my house on a 30day lease and they are responsible for the electric bill but did not pay it. The utility co said they were going to cut it off. What do I do ?

    I live in Indiana. Thank you

    Chris J., IN

    A: So let'em cut it off. What's the problem?

    (Most times, the tenants will get the money & pay it, rather than have no electricity- No TV? No Internet? God forbid! They'll stop paying rent before they let the U-tube go off.)

    Of course, if you face the possibility of pipes freezing and serious damage to the home due to cold conditions, then you might have to take matters into your own hands.

    The problem with that, is you may never get the tenant to pay and the tenant will stay warm and comfortable throughout your entire eviction process!!! Good luck!

    Published 2017-02-27

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    It's a rent control area. My tenant took out my kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinet and replaced it with smaller one and took out the closet door and put curtain. I took him to court and lost because I didn't have contract it was dismissed. Then he didn't pay rent I took him to court and the judge forced me to make him stay and pay because his lawyer filled motion because I didn't put my address on 3 day notice but I live in same property but different address. He called housing authority and health commissioner because he damaged my shower and cracked the lenolyan tile and broke the wall heater and broke the smoke detector so I fixed all of that. I don't know what to do with him. He doesn't want to move. His bringing guests over and telling me "you cannot do anything because no matter what u do I win".

    Osanna, L.A., CA

    A: Wow! Where I come from, even with rent control, you're not obligated to renew a lease. If he's got one, and now he's paying, unfortunately, you're probably stuck with this nightmare until the lease expires.

    You need to familiarize yourself intimately with the rules and regulations on non-renewal of the rent board and what your lease says. That's your ticket out.

    Published 2017-02-24

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I have tenant whose lease expired years ago and is now on a month to month lease. I would like to sell my property; however, I would like to sell it vacant. Could I provide my tenant 60 days notice to vacate because I am selling? I have had mixed replies to this question with some folks saying I could ask her to vacate in 60 days and others saying that I can not ask a tenant to vacate without probable cause for eviction and that I have to let her stay during the sale. I'm wondering if you could shed light on this and offer any input.
    Thank you,

    Marianne, NJ

    A: No reason is required. You are cleared for take off. Serve your notice.

    Published 2017-02-22

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Tenant dribble pays her rent – little bit here, little bit there. I told her this was no longer acceptable and served her with a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit due by Feb 17th. Rent is $550; she paid $300 on 2/3 – rent is due on the 1st. She was $100 late on January rent, she owed $250 for February or $350 total. On Feb. 18th, she leaves me $180 with a note where she has prorated the rent and will only pay through the 19th. She still owes $170.

    I realize that by accepting her partial payment I invalidated the 3-Day Notice and will have to serve it again. My question is she’s only paid partial rent. Doesn’t that mean partial privileges? She wanted to do her laundry and had started it (she only shows up when she has dirty clothes). So I took her clothes out of the washer and threw them on the floor and told her since she doesn’t pay rent in full, she has no rights here. I own the home and she is renting a room from me.

    Susan S., Burbank, CA

    A: I disagree with the first part. On a Three Day Notice, the whole thing is due- not partial. She's still in default!

    As for "partial privileges", that wont fly. (Nice try.)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I currently have a tenant who has defaulted on a water bill (the lease specifically states that she is responsible for all utilities, including the water bill), and I received a shut-off notice from the municipal billing service. I am on the hook to pay for the water bill, but I am wondering how to evict her, as soon as possible, for a lease violation (of non-payment of the water bill). I want to serve a 10-day notice, in the event that she doesn’t pay the water bill by the shut off date (which I have a feeling she will not pay). I want this tenant out, but she behaves as though this is her home. She even calls it “my home” when she sends me e-mails, or if she talks to me on the phone. How do I get her out, asap, and how do I legally get this woman to understand that this is not her home? I am at the end of my rope.

    Thank you!

    Sarah H., Illinois

    A: You'll never get her to understand anything- but that doesn't mean you can't evict her. If its in the lease that she pays it, evict for "no-pay" see what happens. You may not get her out- but you'll get your water bill paid at the very least.

    Published 2017-02-21

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Our tenant of almost 4 years cracked our bathroom sink 1.5 years ago. She notified us and promised to fix it over and over again from then until now. It remains unrepaired. She’s moving out in 3 weeks. We gave her an estimate from our plumber. She says the price for labor is too high and her friend’s husband is a plumber and has agreed to fix it as a favor to her. If we insist on using the licensed and insured plumber, she is refusing to pay for the labor costs but says she will pay for the sink. If we use her licensed but uninsured friend, she says she will pay for all of it. Our rental agency will not advise us as to our legal rights despite repeated requests for advice. They only keep saying per the lease we can’t override her as to who repairs it, as long as she has it repaired correctly. The lease says nothing even close to that and they can’t show us where they’re getting their information from and are now dodging our calls and emails. What are our legal rights? We want to use a company that will guarantee their work. It is very possible that her friend won’t guarantee his work if it was found to be poorly done later on. The house is currently under contract and we have to ensure quality and accountability for the new buyers. Originally she agreed for us to have it repaired and we would withhold the amount from her security deposit. However, now she is refusing that plan. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Kristy K., Griffin, GA

    A: If a license is required for this work (are you sure it is?) well, assuming it is required, then you have no obligation to allow it to be done in violation of law. If she doesn't like your plumber, she can pick her own- as long as he's licensed.

    You've got to tell her the cost to do the repair by a licensed plumber will be deducted from her security.

    There's a few different twists and turns this may take. We'll have to see what happens. Good luck.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am desperately seeking advice on landlord's rights from your organization.

    My wife and I are from Hong Kong. We have co-owned a property at Altamonte Springs, Florida for more than three years now. We hired a property management services company at Houston, Texas, responsible for leasing the Florida property for us. Our first 2-year management services contract with the company at Houston was finished. In our second management services contract, we were told that another property management services company at Houston was to take care of our property at Florida.

    Unfortunately, figures had shown confusion and doubt in our rental receivable account balances in recent months. My wife and I questioned the new property management services company about this. We were told by the company that the tenant had not paid the rents for our property for almost half a year. The company did not inform us of the non-payment of rents by the tenant, and did not take any eviction action against the tenant. Upon our urgent request to the company, the tenant was evicted from our property only a few weeks ago.

    I should be most grateful if you would kindly provide me with possible answers to the following questions:
    1. What legal channels/organizations can we use to get back the unpaid rents by the tenant?
    2. Do we have the legal rights and in what ways can we sue the new management services company for negligence to look after our property?

    Thank you very much indeed for your kind attention to this matter. I look forward to receiving your help as soon as possible.

    With warm regards,

    Allan Charm, Hong Kong - FL

    A: 1. You should have gotten a judgment for money's owed as part of the eviction. Did you? If so, refer it to a collection agency.

    2. Knock yourselves out! (Probably throwing good $ after bad.)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We have a rental in Indiana. We don't know yet if renter has moved out or not. The water is to get disconnected tomorrow. We can't get a hold of her by phone. I think that I'll need to send a certified letter. How long do we have to wait before moving her stuff out?

    Thanks,

    Leisa S., IN

    A: It's not that simple. You have to make sure she's out. Can someone stop by? Did she say she was leaving? What kind of stuff is still there? TV's and other valuable? Clothes? Or just junk?

    What's up with the rent and the lease? The lease expired? No rent? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I signed a form for my brother to give to his parole officer stating he was to pay me a certain amount of rent each month to live in my home. He has never paid the amount on a regular basis and within the last seven months, he has paid nothing toward his room and board. He keeps taking property that does not belong to him and using things that belong to others in my house.
    Is he considered a tenant because he receives mail at my address and can I evict him from my premises without listing a cause such as non-payment of rent ? I live in the state of Michigan and I thank you for your time.

    G. Williams, MI

    A: You can either evict him for non-payment or serve him a 30-60 day notice (like any other dirtbag?)

    Published 2017-02-15

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My name is Kristine and I'm from Wyoming. I have a month to month renter in my house. He moved in at the end of Nov and paid me in advance for Dec, Jan & Feb and told me he only wanted to be there until the 28th of Feb.

    My question is, this was not a 3 month lease or 3 month rental, is he still required to give me a 30 day notice since it states that in the rental agreement that he signed?
    Thank you

    Kristine, WY

    A: If the rental agreement provides the ending date, 2/28, then no notice is needed. But if its just month to month, 30 days notice is generally required.

    I recommend using some LPA Move-out reminder forms to remind him to be out on the date he said he would be, starting with #1. You need to be able to rely on his notice to vacate.

    1. Tenant's Notice of Intention to Vacate

    Related forms:

    2. Move Out Clean Up & Debris Letter

    3. Security Deposit Return Time Chart State by State

    4. Security Deposit Settlement Statement

    5. Security Settlement Challenge Crusher

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am a landlord with a rental property in Suffolk County. I won the eviction of my tenant and they finally were served 72 hour notice on Feb 1. I received their extremely high invoice of $1800 to start the process. How long after receiving the final eviction fees, will it take for the Sheriff to complete eviction and removal of tenant?

    Theresa (NY)

    A: My paralegal says "usually about 2 weeks."

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT MY RIGHTS OUR AS A LANDLORD WE HAVE A TENANT THAT WAS A HORRIFIC HOARDER AND THE WORST CASE OF BEDBUG INFESTATION THAT THE CASEWORKER FROM BUREAU OF AGING THAT SHE HAS EVER SEEN HE IS 86 YRS OLD AND WE HAVE TO KEEP AWAY FROM HIS APARTMENT RIGHT NOW TO TAKE CARE OF THIS HORRIBLE ISSUE. HE WOULD NEVER LET US IN TO TAKE OF THE BED BUG PROBLEM IT HAS SPREAD TO OUR OTHER TENANTS APARTMENT AND THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE OUT BECAUSE THE OF THE STENCH AND BEDBUGS FROM THIS TENANT. HE FELL WENT INTO THE HOSPITAL THE FIRST RESPONDER TO CAME TO GET HIM SAID THIS CONDITION IS DEPLORABLE SO I IMMEDIATELY WENT UP THE NEXT DAY TO STARTING HAULING AND CLEANING OUT BECAUSE OUR EXTERMINATOR COULDN'T EVEN GIVE US AN ESTIMATE BECAUSE OF ALL OF HIS HOARDING THE BUREAU OF AGING FEEL HE NEEDS A PERSONAL CARE HOME BECAUSE HE CAN'T USE A MICROWAVE. WE HAVE TRIED TO SUPPLY AND TEACH HIM HOW TO USE IT HOWEVER HE WOULD RATHER BE CATERED TO, WE GAVE HIM 3 COFFEES A DAY AND COOKED HIS DINNERS IN OUR MICROWAVE ALONG WITH ME MAKING HIM A SIDE DISH. HE HAS DESTROYED OUR APARTMENT HE HAD BED BUGS IN HIS REFRIGERATOR HE HAD GARBAGE ON TOP OF GARBAGE TO WHEN I CLEANED IT OUT I FOUND TO CURB SIZE GARBAGE CANS FULL OF GARBAGE FROM WHO KNOWS WHEN. WHEN I FINALLY FOUND HIS STOVE UNDERNEATH ALL OF HIS GARBAGE THERE WAS MICE DROPPINGS UNDER ALL OF THE BURNERS THE GARBAGE THAT OVER FLOWED FROM THE GARBAGE CANS FELL ONTO OUR BASEBOARD HEATERS IN HIS APARTMENT AND COULD HAVE CAUSED US A FIRE. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF HIS JUNK. ITS ALL INFESTED WITH BEDBUGS AND HIS CLOTHES ARE ALL THAT WAY TO. WE DON'T WANT HIS JUNK OR HIM BACK. HOW DO WE GET HIM TO PAY FOR ALL OF THE DAMAGES WHICH ARE VERY EXTENSIVE. CAN YOU HAPPEN TO TELL ME BY CHANCE. WE NEED ALL OF THIS GARBAGE WHICH IS 5 ROOMS FULL OF NOTHING BUT HOARDING JUNK. HE IS GOING INTO A PERSONAL CARE MANOR AND I HOPE FOR GOOD. I WILL NOT BE HELPING HIM WITH FOOD OR COFFEE OR ANYTHING IF WE ALLOW HIM BACK. HE DID NOT FLUSH THE TOILET IN AT LEAST A YR. THE FLOOR AROUND THE TOILET WAS CAKED ON URINE.

    CAN YOU TELL ME LEGALLY WHAT TO DO WITH HIS JUNK?

    I WOULD TRULY APPRECIATIVE THANK YOU SO MUCH AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

    KIM L.

    A: OMG!

    I don't get why you're focused on his junk. The problem isn't- what to do with his junk- it's what to do with him. He's still in possession.

    What about his lease? You didn't say.

    What about the rent? Is he current?

    If he's got a lease and he's current, oh boy, that's a problem.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I own a property in Georgia. I rented a house to a person. He has subleased the property to 7 individuals and turned it into a rooming house. He claims 5 of the 7 are "relatives", a brother and his wife, plus 3 cousins. I demanded that he correct the problem and get rid of the people he rented to and remove the walls and doors that he put up to create 7 living quarters, (including the garage), within 10 days. He claims he "legally"needs 30 days to evict the tenants. I believe that is to prevent them from seeking a refund of their rent. I am willing to be flexible in my demand, but how do you think I should proceed?

    Michael, GA

    A: He'll need time to get'em out- this is true. If he can do it in 30 days, consider yourself lucky.

    Published 2017-02-07

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    If a live-in housekeeper at a large apartment complex in the Buffalo, NY area is fired for any reason, can he (and his wife) be locked out of their (comp/no-rent) apartment immediately, or is there an eviction notice time period? Please let me know of any fees required for your professional response.
    Kind Regards

    Alan from Buffalo

    A: Can't lock out. Sorry. It's their residence. They need at least a 30 day notice.

    Published 2017-01-25

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am a landlord of a two-family home in Rhode Island and just rented the second floor to a new tenant on 12-10. It is a partially furnished apartment.

    I had to constantly keep reaching out to her to switch over the utilities and she finally got it done but took her three weeks. I didn't want to risk shutting it off because it is winter.

    Next, my first floor tenant said she threw a party until 4:00 in the morning and it keep everyone up. The next day I visited her to discuss and smelled smoke in the apartment. They were obviously smoking pot in the apartment.

    The first of the month came for her to pay her first full month's rent and she claims her bank account got hacked and the bank is holding her funds.

    At that point I said it's enough. I sat down with her on the 6th and said she has to leave. I have not given her the eviction letter in writing yet because I have to wait until the last day of the month before handing the 30-day letter.

    The monthly rental agreement was not signed until after she had moved in so will that be an issue in court? All the things she has done have been violations of the agreement: smoking, disturbing other tenants late at night and not paying rent.

    I want to get her out as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

    Ravi, RI

    A: Serve the 30 day Notice now- don't wait. (Is that something special in R.I. that you must wait until the last day? I've never heard of that. You should look into it.)

    In my state, if the rent is due on 3/1, you serve before 2/1. But if it's not due until 3/10, then you serve on or before 2/9/17. This can be tricky, so beware.

    Published 2017-01-24

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Notice. I have tenants whose lease expires 30 June 2017. I would like to have them sign a new lease (as opposed to extending the existing one) because I have purchased all new appliances and want them to be responsible for the maintenance of them instead of me (after all-everything is new!).
    Also, they installed a hot tub without permission and I would like to add a clause in the new lease that states that they are not allowed to do this so I am covered.

    I would like to send them notice and find out if they intend to stay and request a response by April 1, 2017. Can I do this if their lease doesn't expire until June 30th? The reason I want to know sooner is because I will have to fly out there to do the walk-through and cleanup, advertisements, etc. before the next tenants arrive and need to get things lined up. Plus, I'd like to get my plane reservation done in advance for cheaper flights.

    Thank you,

    Joyce, California Property (Virginia Landlord)

    A: Well I guess the answer is, you can ask, but they're under no obligation to comply with this request. Unless the lease says otherwise, they don't have to make any decision until June 30 or May 31 at the earliest.

    I'm not saying don't give it a try. Maybe they're just as anxious as you to plan ahead. Good Luck!

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I rent out a townhouse and it had a chimney/roof fire on November 26th. The fire was deemed accidental but the fire marshal mentioned that they used the wrong kind of wood, also the tenants boyfriend unplugged and ignored the first fire alarm and a neighbor warned them of the fire and called 911.

    Since it was accidental, my tenant is playing hardball and saying since it is inhabitable and she had to find another place to live during repairs she should get her WHOLE deposit back. But she had acknowledged and agreed when I said that I knew the screen door was broken and another screen on a window in a bedroom. I responded saying that I would give her back part of the deposit minus those repairs and she is saying that she didn’t have time to clean it and it is inhabitable so she should get it all plus interest AND the four days in November she had no place to live.

    Any advice would be great. She is getting angry and saying I only had 5 days to give her all that money but seriously after 5 days they were still investigating.

    Thank you,

    Kim, Minnesota

    A: I'm assuming she was current on her rent. You should prorate the last 4 days of November and refund that. As far as the repairs go but, I'm a little leery about advising you there because so many states have enacted strict laws on returning security and the landlords are getting their butts sued off.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    We have a well documented case where two women are on a lease together and one is in multiple violations of the contract. The woman not in violation wants to stay, and we would like to keep her. Can we evict one person from the property without evicted the other woman? Or do we have to evict both of them?

    Colby L., TX

    A: Can't evict one of two tenants. They're a package. In other words, if you rent to Jane & Mary, you have one tenant named "Jane & Mary".

    Now after you evict both- you can let one back in. It's been done- but it's a headache.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    The tenant has not paid rent since November. Has not paid water, so water company has pulled the meter. Tenant has left what looks like all his worldly goods in the house. He has not been observed at the house for weeks. There is a bullet hole in one window, fired from outside the house. There is also one on an unattached garage door. There is damage to the interior walls and ceiling from unknown objects penetrating them. My question: Can we claim abandonment and follow the following statue, which appears to give us instant possession, or should we do a standard eviction, with its attendant 30 day notice?

    66-28-405. Abandonment.

    (a) The tenant's unexplained or extended absence from the premises for thirty (30) days or more without payment of rent as due shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment. The landlord is then expressly authorized to reenter and take possession of the premises.

    (b) (1) The tenant's nonpayment of rent for fifteen (15) days past the rental due date, together with other reasonable factual circumstances indicating the tenant has permanently vacated the premises, including, but not limited to, the removal by the tenant of substantially all of the tenant's possessions and personal effects from the premises, or the tenant's voluntary termination of utility service to the premises, shall also be prima facie evidence of abandonment.

    (2) In cases described in subdivision (b)(1), the landlord shall post notice at the rental premises and shall also send the notice to the tenant by regular mail, postage prepaid, at the rental premises address. The notice shall state that:

    (A) The landlord has reason to believe that the tenant has abandoned the premises;

    (B) The landlord intends to reenter and take possession of the premises, unless the tenant contacts the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice;

    (C) If the tenant does not contact the landlord within the ten-day period, the landlord intends to remove any and all possessions and personal effects remaining in or on the premises and to rerent the dwelling unit; and

    (D) If the tenant does not reclaim the possessions and personal effects within thirty (30) days of the landlord taking possession of the possessions and personal effects, the landlord intends to dispose of the tenant's possessions and personal effects as provided for in subsection (c).

    (3) The notice shall also include a telephone number and a mailing address at which the landlord may be contacted.

    (4) If the tenant fails to contact the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice, the landlord may reenter and take possession of the premises. If the tenant contacts the landlord within ten (10) days of the posting and mailing of the notice and indicates the tenant's intention to remain in possession of the rental premises, the landlord shall comply with the provisions of this chapter relative to termination of tenancy and recovery of possession of the premises through judicial process.

    (c) When proceeding under either subsection (a) or (b), the landlord shall remove the tenant's possessions and personal effects from the premises and store the personal possessions and personal effects for not less than thirty (30) days. The tenant may reclaim the possessions and personal effects from the landlord within the thirty-day period. If the tenant does not reclaim the possessions and personal effects within the thirty-day period, the landlord may sell or otherwise dispose of the tenant's possessions and personal effects and apply the proceeds of the sale to the unpaid rents, damages, storage fees, sale costs and attorney's fees. Any balances are to be held by the landlord for a period of six (6) months after the sale.

    Steve

    A: Looks like he split. You can follow the statute, which is pretty cool. It's really a statement of the common law & common sense which basically is you don't have to evict a tenant if he's already vacated.

    But this statute, specified time periods and specific methodology of notifying the tenant that the landlord is retaking possession, which protects the landlord from law suits because he can say "I followed 66-28-405."

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My Father is 95 years old and still lives in his own home. Six years ago after his wife died he had a friend move into his home to help him out. For his help and companionship he provided him with a car, his own room and paid him for his help $600 a month. His friend is also elderly at 86 but the friendship is now over and he wants him out, there was never an agreement other than a handshake. Are there legal issues to get him to leave the house.

    Fred, California

    A: Step one:
    60 day notice to vacate.
    If you're lucky, that's also the last step, but most people aren't that lucky.
    Good luck.

    Published 2017-01-09

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Can a landlord deny specific breeds (aggressive, like pit bulls) and require weight limits such as no more than 35 pounds. Landlord cannot deny the Emotional Support animal under Fair Housing, but can they set the above specific limits?
    Thanks,

    Bruce H., Reston, VA

    A: That's a problem. The fair Housing act doesn't provide weight limits. Some of those seeing eye dogs are quite hefty. Emotional support dogs may be too. ("Beware of dog" laws.)

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I recently (12.22.17) won an eviction case against my tenant. In East Stroudsburg PA. I am having a hard time with my attorney he doesn't return calls or emails and frankly I don't think he is a good attorney.

    The tenant is paranoid and personally I think mentally disturbed. He has not paid Decembers rent, nor January's rent. I am trying to get the judge to send the sheriff out to present an order of possession however because I live and work inn Manhattan (the house is in PA) I have to do all of these forms via mail and I have been told that the back and forth it will be weeks before the judge sends the sheriff or constable out because of all the forms he needs completely filled out before he can request the possession letter be given to the tenant. In one month after the tenant moved in he claims there was acts of vandalism ( a camera, a cigarette case and my well cover is missing, he alluded that I had something to do with it since there was no force entry) The fire was also according to him mischievous act of vandalism (I also believe he started the fire), there is quite a bit of damage to a support beam and the black top driveway, My attorney told me not to fix anything until he has moved out. now the tenant is saying he he wants it cleaned up because he can;t walk or drive in that area (the area is not walk-able drive able before the fire, it is in an area that is not a main area for access or even necessary to go near for entrance or exit to the house.

    Although he has been told to reach out to my attorney for all correspondence he wrote me the email today asking for repairs to be done, which I forwarded to the attorney and have not heard back yet from him. Meanwhile the items he is complaining about just like the other dozens of items he complained of in court were all in working condition when he took possession of the house. After he took possession everything fell apart according to him. I truly believe he is purposely damaging and breaking these things to aggravate me and to get me to spend money (I have 2 months security, already spent on rent due, damages legal fees etc)

    The Judge said that the items that I took fixed at the tenants request after he moved in - I shouldn't have fixed - so they were a gift to him. I do not think I should repair to any of his complaints because every-week something is damaged, and no matter how many times I send some one to fix something he breaks something else and asks me to send someone to fix again either something new or something else. Am I obligated to repair these items even though he most likely broke them and caused the issues or do I ignore hm like my attorney has told me too from he beginning?
    Stressed, agitated and irritated landlord

    Judy, PA

    A: I agree with your atty. Let this guy pound salt. Also, you said you won the eviction. So your problems will soon be over.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My mother is in a nursing home and owns a Mobil home in New York State. Her caregiver/boyfriend lives there now. We would like him to move out and either sell the property or allow my sister to live there. The nursing home is not interested in the home because it is 30 years old and they do not believe it would be worth much. My sisters are power of attorney and I have a brother that is executor of her estate. Can we evict him? Mom is the sole owner of the property. Thank you....

    Stacey S., NY

    A: Well the executor does not come into it as long as she's alive. So that leaves you with the power of attorney. That's usually sufficient. You have to start with a 30 day notice.

    Does the Power of Attorney include "litigation". Check that out. You'll need that for the eviction.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    I am the owner of 2 coop apartments in Brooklyn, NY . Both apartments are in the same building. I live in one of them, the second apartment I bought 15 years ago for my parents. After they passed away 10 years ago, I let my brother to live in it without a lease - he had a divorce and had no place to live. Now I need to sell that my second apartment because I lost my job and can't work anymore due to health issues - I am 61, but my brother who is 67 does not want to move out, saying he do not have place to live.
    What can I do to have him move out?
    Thanks

    Ellen, NYC

    A: You're in NYC. That a big problem. I would give him a Notice to Vacate by 1/31/16. Then you're off to evict (housing) court. Good luck with that. You may have them out by 4th of July.

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    my question is since my tenant is in jail he has a guest that staying in the home or apartment. The guest wants to have guests. Legally how do I handle that?

    Gene in the state of California

    A: You evict the jailbird tenant and all the John Does and Jane Does he let in. Include the whole Cabal. That's the ticket.

    Published 2017-01-05

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Let me try to explain......
    Mother, who is 90 years old and has the start of dementia, owns home. Daughter, who also lives in home has Power of Attorney over mothers affairs. Mothers son and daughter-in-law have been living in home for about 5 years. Son went to prison and will be gone for 3 years. Daughter-in-law has not paid any rent, bad-mouthing daughter to mother. Daughter wants her out of the house. There is no lease agreement or anything like that. How does she go about getting daughter-in-law out of home?

    Laurie, CA

    A: Yes, that is big trouble. You can't do it for her. You have no authority. Mom has to give daughter-in-law 60 day notice. If she can't do it b/c of dementia, that's a big problem.

    Maybe try elder protection service for abused elders? Mom may need a conservator appointed. You'll need a social worker and/or an attorney with mental hygiene/health experience.

    Published 2016-12-28

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    My father's girlfriend decides that she don't want to live at my home anymore. Instead of moving out right away she decides to just take one or two items occasionally out of the house and keeps coming back to verbally abuse everyone. She has already have her important mail changed to her son's house, but she keeps saying she will leave but have not and is verbally abusive everyday. when she starts verbal abuse it goes on for 2 to 3 hours of constant complaining and arguing.

    What are my rights to keep her out. Right now she sleeps over at her son's house for a couple days and she leaves for the night whenever she is mad. I want to schedule with her one or two days to grab her belongings then I want to be sure she can not enter my home again. What are my rights as the owner. We do not have a formal rent agreement to family and my father pays for her share of our their rent and utilities. She has been living with me for about 10 years.

    Pam, Oregon State

    A: Well, the last sentence of your question is the problem. She established this as a residence. She has rights.

    But that doesn't mean you have no rights. You have the right to serve her a 30 day notice (or 60- depends on your state). You really need a local attorney that knows what he's doing. This can get tricky.

    TIP: How to Select a Good Eviction Attorney

    Published 2016-12-21

    Dear Mr. Reno:
    Hello, I will try and make this short, I am moving back into my house that I had rented. The tenant moved out but left behind 2 people that he rented 1 of the bedrooms to. They haven't paid rent and have no intention to pay rent. Hence the eviction process is started. Now my question is can I take back the bedroom for myself without kicking them out. I don't care if they sleep in the bathroom. I want my bedroom.

    Sherry, Shirley NY

    A: How exactly would that work, Sherry? I'm not getting it. You ask them to move out of the bedroom and they say "no" and then what? You're going to have to let the Court process run its course. if I were you, I wouldn't have moved back in at this juncture. I know it's your house, still, sounds like a bad situation you've walked into.

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    Legal Disclaimer
    The Landlord Protection Agency's "Ask the Attorney" column is for informational 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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