Author Topic: Need to get rid of crappy roommates  (Read 1486 times)

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« on: January 16, 2021, 02:07:15 PM »
I have been renting out 2 of my bedrooms (for 6 months) to two people who have become increasingly obnoxious. I am working on an end of tenancy letter. It's not required for me to give them a reason why I am ending their lease.
But there was an incident where I had been keeping the heat off in the living room during the afternoons and one of the tenants threatened to report me the city if I didn't keep the heat on in the living room in the afternoon. The law requires that the heat be at 70 from 6am from 10pm all day in common areas. So I changed it.

I don't want her to think I am retaliating against her for telling me to raise the heat. So I want to put a reason in the letter to cover my bases.
Reasons:
Noise disturbances due to relational activities between tenants (they started dating each other)
My roommates talk to me too much
One of them is becoming a hoarder
The other one talks about guns too much
I'm tired of asking them to clean up after themselves in the kitchen
They quit their jobs and they're home all day every day and they're driving me crazy
I'm a crappy landlord and I need to stop doing this as a way to make money
Or I could say "no reason" and let the chips fall where they may. The worst case scenario is that I could be found to be retaliating and have to pay one of the tenants 3 months of rent in damages and her legal fees. In the letter I could say something like "if requested a list of reasons may be provided on the last day of the lease."

I'm trying to minimize arguing and threats. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 02:22:28 PM by mozar »

ctuser1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1741
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 02:23:37 PM »
Are you even allowed to kick tenants out during COVID?

Assuming COVID moratorium does not apply, this is very much dependent on local laws. So you would be much better off talking to a local lawyer on this.

If you want to state a reason, perhaps invent a reason why you need the space yourself to live in. Maybe something like "I need to work from home and need to set up a home office/bigger home office"? I know this (=landlord needing the space himself to live in) is a valid reason to kick out even rent controlled tenants in NYC - possibly one of the most tenant friendly jurisdictions in the country.

If the tenants leave without hassle then the reason should not matter. If, however, it blows up and gets into lawsuit territory then having a solid, lawyer approved reason, or a "no reason" if appropriate for your legal jurisdiction, can save a lot of time and money.
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 02:25:13 PM by ctuser1 »

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2021, 02:30:52 PM »
The letter I saw said the moratorium ended Dec 2020. But I will double check. Landlord needs more space is a good one.

maizefolk

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5664
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2021, 02:35:03 PM »
If you are worried I would agree with ctuser1 about consulting a local lawyer. However my first reaction is that if you don't provide a reason now (since you're not required to), you could still aways provide any and all of those reasons later if your tenants try to take you to court (and which point you'll definitely have a lawyer to advise on which reasons will and won't be helpful to include). If you give a specific reason in the letter she could certainly still sue saying that wasn't the "real" reason, you're much more locked in to the strategy you'll have to use in your defense.

If you end tenancy and don't re-rent the rooms to anyone else ("I'm a crappy landlord and I need to stop doing this as a way to make money") that would seem to be a pretty good evidence if it does end up in court someday. But again, I am not a lawyer.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2021, 02:42:55 PM »
The eviction moratorium only applies to tenants who aren't paying.

That's good point @maizefolk

iluvzbeach

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2021, 03:07:25 PM »
I would state the reason (you need the space back for your own personal reasons) in the letter. Donít make it about them (points they can argue), make it about you and what you need. More space because working from home. Period.

Cb1234567

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2021, 10:55:03 AM »
Yes, donít say anything about any personal issues (guns, dating ;-) lest you get close to a protected group or right.

Just indicate that you are no longer going to rent the rooms. If youíre in a renter-favorable area (I.e. CA), have your attorney review it. Ask the attorney what you can do if they delay. Then you know your options if they cry covid or no jobs/credit. Stay impersonal. If necessary, have the attorney handle it.

P.S. Make sure there is a date to be out in the letter.

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1206
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2021, 11:07:14 AM »
There was an incident where I had been keeping the heat off in the living room during the afternoons and one of the tenants threatened to report me the city if I didn't keep the heat on in the living room in the afternoon. The law requires that the heat be at 70 from 6am from 10pm all day in common areas. So I changed it.
Where do you live? NYC? If so, you might be able to drop the temp two degrees.
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/news/042-20/hpd-start-the-2020-2021-heat-season-new-york-city#/0

Jon Bon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2021, 01:23:37 PM »
Make it worth their while.

"I know you paid January rent, but if you are out by this Saturday I will refund you the entire month."  Or something like that.

I pay tenants to get out early all the time. They usually jump at a chance to get a few weeks of rent back and I am free to make all the noise and mess I want turning over the property. Bigger pockets is like a goldmine of ways to get rid of shitty tenants. Pretty much all of them involve the carrot (paying cash) rather then going through an eviction process that is MUCH more difficult. Find out what works for them and make them an offer.

Also don't share your home with strangers? Friends usually work out ok!






mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 04:56:33 PM »
Update!

So as I said before the tenants started dating each other. On a positive note they think that I don't know, and they think they're keeping it a secret, so they started avoiding me. It was two weeks of delicious silence.
I had originally thought I needed to give them both notice at the same time. But I realized a better strategy would be to tell the non-litigious one to move out and the other one will stay until the lookback period for the heating issue of six months is over. Unless she moves out to be with her new boo, which would be great.

I gave a lease termination letter to the non-litigious one today and he took it well. I'll leave it up to him whether he wants to tell his new girlfriend.
Divide and conquer!

I'll look into bigger pockets for getting out the other one. Thanks for the tip.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 06:02:55 PM by mozar »

driftwood

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2021, 04:24:32 PM »
What happens when he leaves as a tenant but comes back as a boyfriend? Does their lease with you dictate visitation rules? Overnight guests?

You have some good reasons for wanting them to move out, but some are laughable - dating each other cause for eviction? If they both date other people you end up with four extra adults in your home at certain times, now you just have the two who are also paying rent.

Agree with the other advice to make the reasons why about you and your needs of your property and not the tenants. Roomates really suck if you can't find awesome ones.

electriceagle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2021, 06:00:12 AM »
If you are worried I would agree with ctuser1 about consulting a local lawyer. However my first reaction is that if you don't provide a reason now (since you're not required to), you could still aways provide any and all of those reasons later if your tenants try to take you to court (and which point you'll definitely have a lawyer to advise on which reasons will and won't be helpful to include). If you give a specific reason in the letter she could certainly still sue saying that wasn't the "real" reason, you're much more locked in to the strategy you'll have to use in your defense.


On the other hand, if he gives them a letter with an acceptable reason and they take it to a lawyer who works on contingency, the lawyer may tell them "you have no case" and move on.

If he gives a letter with no reason, a lawyer that his roommates visit might commit themselves to it.

Either way, he should talk to a lawyer in his jurisdiction before doing anything.

jesski

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2021, 07:17:01 PM »
I have a friend who was recently in a similar position and after much discussion re the situation, we came up with the following strategy:

- make it THEIR idea

Figure out what you can legally do as a landlord to annoy them (in our jurisdiction we settled on assigning new and ambiguous "rules" verbally around the house, like, "I think I'm allergic to your plants, so you have to get rid of them," and so forth), complaining about things, etc. so that they are eventually compelled to "stick it to you" by giving notice.

My friend had this one gal in our house that was absolutely intolerable, but given her level of crazy, my friend was afraid to give her a perfectly legal "please vacate" letter for fear she would do something (or several somethings) that would either damage the house or otherwise make life difficult, in retaliation. A couple of weeks after starting to employ the "annoy her so she'll leave" tactic my friend's tennant decided that the house just wasn't a good fit for her anymore and she upped and moved out of her own accord.

After she moved out (having given notice and so forth), and cleaned everything to my satisfaction, my friend promptly changed all the locks on the house and made it clear to the other roommate that she was not welcome at the house any further.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 07:50:37 PM by jesski »

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Need to get rid of crappy roommates
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2021, 09:43:59 AM »
Quote
Figure out what you can legally do as a landlord to annoy them

I don't think there is anything I could have done to make them annoyed enough to leave. They regularly told me that they didn't like living with me.

Since this thread has been resurrected, update for the kids at home:
I decided to split them up so they wouldn't gang up on me.
I gave roommate A a 30 day notice to vacate in late January. The letter didn't have a reason. He's not litigious so he didn't complain. He didn't tell roommate B that he was moving out until a few days before which is what I was hoping for. He moved out last Sunday. 

I gave roommate B a notice to vacate last Sunday (no reason). She was very upset but hasn't made noises about suing. They were so enmeshed in their relationship it kind of made it easier because they were distracted. They also somehow thought that I didn't know about their relationship so didn't fuss at me as much as they could have, for fear of revealing anything.

Someone asked upthread what happens when roommate A comes back to visit. Well roommate A dumped roommate B (which is what I thought would happen) and I haven't seen him since.

It really all came down to a noise complaint. They had both quit their jobs, had no schedules, were sleeping all day and staying up all night, going up and down the stairs, cooking in the kitchen, using the bathroom over and over again until 2, 3, or 4 in the morning. It's impossible to evict for noise where I live so I had to figure out another way.

Until March 31st it's just me and roommate B. She a lot quieter at night now that she doesn't have a buddy and I'm finally getting some sleep!

Also I'm leaving out a lot of details. Their behavior was so ridiculous and I don't feel like writing a novel.

 

« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 09:58:02 AM by mozar »