Author Topic: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts? UPDATED post 39  (Read 4487 times)

MsPeacock

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I recently rented out the finished bedroom/kitchenette and shared family room space in my basement to a young woman in college. I allowed her to bring her small dog w/ her, met the dog before the lease signing. The dog was friendly, well behaved, and the tenant assured me it was crate trained. She moved in early August. I was away for 2 weeks in August - so we didn't have much interaction until the end of August.

What has happened is that her dog actually barks incessantly the entire time she is away - which is many hours at a time. Initially I texted her and she said I could let the dog out. I was willing to do this as her dog and my dog get along fine. However, the situation has progressed to where she leaves for many hours at the time and I am stuck w/ her dog - even at times that i need to leave the house.

 While crated the dog destroyed the front of a dresser that was next to his crate. (Tenant has taken it in for repairs and was responsible for it - also got a cover for the crate and relocated it.) When left outside the dog barks and has torn up the bottom of the gate in an effort to get out of the yard.  Saturday she was gone all day hiking, home for an hour, and then out again until 3:00am. She left the dog w/ me the entire time - without asking me if I would watch him and without telling me she was going to be out. I had guests for dinner and it was really disruptive to have to deal w/ an additional dog. Additionally, when I tried to go to bed the dog barked and clawed incessantly and I was unable to sleep. I texted the tenant twice (at midnight and 1:00am) and she basically said she was out and put him outside. (Which I cannot do due to the barking and gate-destroying). I am dealing w/ either incessant barking OR babysitting the dog on a daily basis.

The dog has also started to urinate inside when I let him out of the crate. After listening to barking for an hour today I let him out and put him outside w/ my dog. I later left the back door open so the dogs could come inside and out. The tenant's dog urinated on the floor twice during this time. Now he pees on the floor about 50% of the time, even with open access to the yard.

So - tonight I told her she has to find a way that he can be quite, be in his crate, and that i can no longer take care of him. I asked her to come up w/ some possible solutions by the end of the week. She said she didn't know if she could continue living here if he couldn't stay. To which I said well, you might have to break the lease then. I don't know what else to do. She also said she ordered a citronella collar to help w/ the barking (which I don't think will do anything).

I have a pet addendum on the lease  but it basically covers just the pet, vaccinations, pet deposit, etc. and doesn't really address the destructive behaviors or barking - or kicking the dog out. I'm  hoping we reach a resolution or she just moves out.

UGH - lesson learned - absolutely no more tenants w/ pets.

Any other thoughts on options or possibilities?

« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 09:16:08 AM by MsPeacock »

MacGyverIt

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 06:33:18 PM »
Landlord laws can vary widely by state -- does your state have any rules about if you own less than X number of rentals, you do not have to abide by the state's landlord laws?

I'd show her the door asap. You're already not going to get your deposit money back and it's only going to get worse, given the tenant apparently shows no respect for you or your home.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 07:05:09 PM »
Not sure about the state laws - and not sure if they would cover the dog's tenancy. I'm fine w/ her staying. I'm fine w/ the dog staying. I am NOT fine w/ the dog barking all the time and peeing in my house and being left for me to take care of. I figure I can set a standard of being able to reasonably use my house (e.g. sleep, work from home, not clean up pee) and she can figure out if she has to break the lease or if she can solve her dog's problems.

10 weeks left on the lease right now.

She is upset at the moment - so we will see what she has to say tomorrow.


fishnfool

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 07:53:17 PM »
This....... UGH - lesson learned - absolutely no more tenants w/ pets.

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 08:14:14 PM »
Can you put him on a leash in the yard somewhere where he can't do anything other than bark?

Might solve some of your problems, at least.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2016, 05:16:42 AM »
Can you put him on a leash in the yard somewhere where he can't do anything other than bark?

Might solve some of your problems, at least.

Not sure about that - but neighbors have already commented about his barking. I have one set of insane neighbors who are highly likely to call animal control. This time of year everyone's Windows are open (including mine) and I don't want to listen to it either.


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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2016, 05:36:21 AM »
Draft and write up a letter about your concern.  You need to ensure that you are documenting everything.  Go over the lease and find where there are probable violations to cite.  For example disrupting other tenants due to noise complaints is a big one on my lease.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 06:18:02 AM »
Draft and write up a letter about your concern.  You need to ensure that you are documenting everything.  Go over the lease and find where there are probable violations to cite.  For example disrupting other tenants due to noise complaints is a big one on my lease.

Thank you. I emailed her last night after we spoke. I plan to email her now after each occurs Cs (which is likely to be daily until resolution). I plan to revisit the lease and identify violations. I also found our initial email communication where she told me that the dog was crate trained and housebroken.

My boyfriend thinks she is likely to move out - which is fine at this point.

lizzzi

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2016, 08:22:50 AM »
The one I feel sorry for here is the dog. It is obviously not getting enough time and attention from the owner. I am in the process of renting an apartment in another state to be sort of a crash pad and second home, and am severely limited in what I can rent because I have a dog. (Eight pounds, house-trained, neutered, one year old.) My dog gets a lot of attention and time with me--long walks, play sessions, sit together on couch, etc. The longest I have ever left him alone is four and a half hours. If I have to be gone all day, I would board him in a dog day care, and if I had to be gone for an overnight, (like the tenant who was out all day, came home for an hour, and then went out until 3 am), I would board the dog or get a pet sitter. My only concern about when I rent an apartment for me and him, is that he will bark and disturb others. But he will not be left alone long enough for it to be a huge problem, I don't think, and I intend to communicate with my neighbors to make sure he is not disturbing anybody. I'm just thinking that maybe landlords could ask more detailed, searching questions, if they can legally do it, to at least get some idea of how much time the potential canine resident would be spending alone. If I were a landlord, I would keep it simple and just say, "No pets." But as a dog owner and potential tenant , I can't say how much I appreciate landlords who will take a chance on me and Bandit. And I don't mind paying a one-time pet fee, or a pet fee and slightly higher rent. I just look at it as part of the cost of dog ownership.

Jack

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2016, 08:38:29 AM »
The one I feel sorry for here is the dog. It is obviously not getting enough time and attention from the owner.

+1. I'm not a "dog person," but I've watched enough My Cat From Hell to know that behavioral problems in pets are usually the owner's fault. Having the woman move out will make it no longer the OP's problem, but it won't actually solve it.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 09:14:26 AM »
I also feel bad for the dog! I told the tenant that I think he has separation anxiety. And I absolutely agree that he isn't getting enough time or attention. He is a small dog,  but I don't think I have ever seen her walk him. And this is why I was initially willing to have him hang out with me - but that turned from a couple hours to All the time every day, plus cleaning up urine, plus him freaking out if I left (so I feel stuck and trapped with her dog). He actually is a nice sweet little dog and it is unfortunate that she can't care for him. Some dogs with separation anxiety can't be left alone really at all, that is the reality of it.

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2016, 09:29:27 AM »
What I don't understand is why the tenant went out hiking without the dog - a large part of having a dog is taking it out with you when you go walking or hiking.

Well done on saying that you can no longer look after the dog.  If the dog is not quiet when crated there is probably no acceptable way to keep him quiet when left alone.  Obviously he can no longer be left off the lead in the yard either, if he is going to come into your house and urinate or destroy the gate.   One solution if your tenant is leaving the dog alone inside for unacceptable lengths of time one solution might be for you to call animal control yourself rather than waiting for the neighbours to do it.

When looking at the tenancy agreement it is a strong point that your tenant described the dog as well behaved when it is not.  If the tenant is newly away from home and her family were previously involved in helping to look after the dog it is possible though that the dog's issues are new and arise from the move away from familiar surroundings, constant company and better care from family members.  But if you have documented the damage to the dresser and the gate and the peeing incidents, then you have evidence that the description of the dog as well behaved could have been a lie, which begins to bring in a question of whether the tenancy was obtained fraudulently. 

Fishindude

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 09:42:28 AM »
Nothing more annoying than a constantly barking dog.  Can neighbors hear it too?
No excuse for tearing the place up either.

Just tell the tenant that this has to cease immediately, or you will have to evict her.
If she's a good renter otherwise, I'd politely suggest that she doesn't have time for a dog and should consider giving it away.

Enigma

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 12:52:20 PM »
I know a buddy that has a dog.  I will estimate that he spends maybe 2 hours a day with their pet.

DC long hours (10hr days), goes on vacation and has others dog sit, sometimes pays a dog walker, goes out with friends (restaurants, clubs, etc) few more ours out of the week, etc...  Sleeps 8 hours thus most of their hours are all taken up.  Some people dont need pets...  Just saying

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 06:18:20 PM »
Well, had a few nice days of quiet, mostly because tenant went home - with her dog - to visit her parents. Today, so far 6 hours and 13 minutes of continuous barking. I texted her at hour two and she said there was nothing she could do because she had surgery last week (????) and she be home at 8pm. I can hear the dog clawing at the side of his crate. Poor dog and I am absolutely frazzled and on my last nerve. And, oh yeah, I was taking a $1500 state licensing exam that was timed for two hours and could not be paused or restarted.

The pet addendum to the lease states that the dog has to be under control and cannot be left unattended for long periods of time.

I plan to wait until she pay November rent and - IDK - evict the dog or her or something.

Absolutely had it. I do not care if she got engaged and was busy or if she had surgery or has a final exam or whatever. I do not care. She can take the dog to doggie daycare, or a friend's house, or her parents house until the term is up, or move out.

fishnfool

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2016, 07:30:12 PM »
The tenant is clearly in violation of your pet agreement in the lease. I would start the eviction at this point!

GizmoTX

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2016, 08:12:00 PM »
The pet addendum to the lease states that the dog has to be under control and cannot be left unattended for long periods of time.
...
She can take the dog to doggie daycare, or a friend's house, or her parents house until the term is up, or move out.

This. Insist that from this day forward, the dog can only be present when she is there to make sure it behaves properly. Otherwise she needs to move out.

Villanelle

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2016, 02:47:33 AM »
I would collect the Nov rent and immediately give her notice that she is in violation of the lease (Under control, not unattended for long periods of time) and that while you've tried to work with her, nothing has changed, and you are giving her notice (whatever eviction notice is required by law).  I'd be prepared for her to bail without paying rent, so it might be a good time to check on local laws about keeping a security deposit for unpaid rents. 

Also, start getting estimates for any damage the dog has done, and for getting the carpet deep cleaned (due to the urine), so that you have those available.  Depending on how badly you want her gone, you can consider working with her on things like giving her slightly more time to find a new place ad potentially even some of the damage, especially if she's likely to bail without paying, but I'd have all my ducks in a row. 

Enigma

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2016, 04:39:48 AM »
I am not sure I would even collect the Nov rent.  That would give her all of that month.  I would go ahead and start the eviction process now.  Certified letter and whatever is required for your state/county.

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 04:47:27 AM »
I would collect the Nov rent and immediately give her notice that she is in violation of the lease (Under control, not unattended for long periods of time) and that while you've tried to work with her, nothing has changed, and you are giving her notice (whatever eviction notice is required by law).  I'd be prepared for her to bail without paying rent, so it might be a good time to check on local laws about keeping a security deposit for unpaid rents. 

Also, start getting estimates for any damage the dog has done, and for getting the carpet deep cleaned (due to the urine), so that you have those available.  Depending on how badly you want her gone, you can consider working with her on things like giving her slightly more time to find a new place ad potentially even some of the damage, especially if she's likely to bail without paying, but I'd have all my ducks in a row.

I agree with this. I would also get documents from neighbours describing days and lengths of the dogs disruptive behaviour if you haven't already.

I am a dog person and have dealt with roommates dogs separation anxiety, it's a hard one to settle, and you are in a unique experience considering you are home while it is crated, which causes it more anxiety. It is however her problem to deal with, and this person has violated your terms for almost two months(if not longer while you were away). Enough is enough. Time to deal with it. If not for your sanity for the sanity of the dog. This person clearly cares little about the dog and feels fine burdening you with it.


MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2016, 04:52:16 AM »
The lease is up at the end of December - so I feel that l am likely stuck w/ her until then, no matter what (because eviction takes time). I am emailing her today w/ a copy of the pet addendum and a reminder that she is in violation. I do plan to collect NOV rent before taking eviction action because, assuming I have to move forward - I won't be out any rent since I have the security deposit that covers December. Working on getting an estimate to repair the gate - hard to find someone for small jobs like that. It is outside my skill level. I do have a good carpet steamer - maybe can charge her for doing it myself after she leaves.

I am planning to leave the room vacant for January and see if I can rent it out for a few nights during the inauguration. I've done it in the past and been able to get about $200 per night. That way I get a break from drama and can find a tenant FEB onward - with NO PETS!

Jack

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2016, 11:59:12 AM »
I won't be out any rent since I have the security deposit that covers December.

IANAL[andlord], but you mean you have a "security deposit" and separately "last month's rent" that covers December, right?

In at least some jurisdictions, those aren't the same thing (e.g. you can withhold the "security deposit" only to pay for damage but not for failure to pay rent), plus if the tenant both damages the apartment and skips out without paying then you want enough money to cover both kinds of loss anyway.

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2016, 12:03:10 PM »
I feel sorry for the dog.  Also thank you for trying to help.  What a hard situation.
Your tenant is not a good tenant nor dog owner.

lizzzi

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2016, 01:52:07 PM »
I'm also signing a lease on Nov. 1 for a pet-friendly apartment, where I'll be part-time with my small, one-year-old dog. I don't plan to leave him alone for very long...maybe four or five hours tops...will either take him with me or find a good dog day care for him. Like The Barkinator, he is semi-yappy at times--a good little watchdog-- and the apartment will be new to him...I don't want him feeling lonely and anxious and annoying people. Or barking endlessly at nefarious things like birds outside or people walking around the building or cars driving down the road. I will take it one step at a time...see how he does...but he is meant to be my companion animal, so for the most part we are...well...companions. He isn't alone that much, and he's not in his crate very much except when we go to sleep for the night.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2016, 02:02:15 PM »

That way I get a break from drama and can find a tenant FEB onward - with NO PETS!

Why punish all the responsible dog owners in the world, and their dogs, for this one being a shithead? I'd adjust your pet addendum to cover situations like this more clearly, and with more protection for you, and move on with life.

I will never run a no-pet rental, no matter what one idiot might subject me to. Pets and their owners are welcome, IF and ONLY IF, the pets are cared for and managed well.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2016, 02:28:03 PM »

That way I get a break from drama and can find a tenant FEB onward - with NO PETS!

Why punish all the responsible dog owners in the world, and their dogs, for this one being a shithead? I'd adjust your pet addendum to cover situations like this more clearly, and with more protection for you, and move on with life.

I will never run a no-pet rental, no matter what one idiot might subject me to. Pets and their owners are welcome, IF and ONLY IF, the pets are cared for and managed well.

Why punish myself with having to deal with this again? I also expected/wanted someone who cared for their pet, which was the purpose of meeting tenant and dog beforehand, discussing the training, and having a specific pet addendum. That didn't prevent the problem. Now I have a problem tenant and I am stuck - my option is to avoid this particular problem in the future. I am not punishing anyone.

There is good reason that some landlords avoid pets, and I will be joining those ranks. Rental market is good enough here that I don't have to allow pets in order to have a tenant.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2016, 02:30:08 PM »
I am not punishing anyone.

In the interest of avoiding a semantic argument, I'll just say "no contest"...

TrMama

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2016, 03:16:47 PM »
Not sure about the state laws - and not sure if they would cover the dog's tenancy.

This is your real problem. It's also your solution. Figure out what the laws are in your state and what immediate recourse you have. In my province, there's even a special office you can call on to deal with residential tenancy problems. Further, in shared living situations like the one you describe, the tenant frequently has significantly fewer rights than in a situation where there is no shared space.

You've been a million times more patient than I would've been. If this were my tenant, the dog would have been delivered to animal control long ago. At the very least, modify the lease to include a charge that covers dog daycare, every single time the dog barks when she's not there. I'm sure you can find someplace that will pick the dog up from your home.

zephyr911

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2016, 03:25:08 PM »
In Ms. Peacocks case she's renting a somewhat shared space unlike most landlords who don't live in the same house as their tenents. That makes a big difference IMO. Who she rents to directly effects her every so gle day as well as her neighbors. Even if you have pets yourself, your tenant and you may have diiferent pet care ideologies that can cause big problems. Hard to know what those differences will be, and how they'll impact you, until you actually live together or share some spaces. So if I was in the OPs shoes I wouldn't rent to a pet owner again either in.her situation.
Sure, and I understand the hesitation, but the odds of this happening again are pretty low. I just have too much empathy to enact a policy that will hurt others because this one did dumb shit. Obviously, she's welcome to respond however she likes.

Enigma

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2016, 06:48:10 AM »
The lease is up at the end of December.  I am planning to leave the room vacant for January.... I've done it in the past and been able to get about $200 per night.

Earlier you stated she moved in around the second week of August.  Your tenant has a small dog and it sounds like you are home all day.  You crossed a line taking care of the dog at all and showing the dog you were home all day to support it.  Why wouldn't the dog carry on all day if it knows you are there and willing to walk him or feed him?  Why is the dog supposed to lay quietly in their crate while you do daily choirs?

Who signs a 5 month lease?  (Aug-Dec)...  Were you always planning to rent the property out in Jan?  To me this is starting to sound very sketchy...  Almost as if you are as a landlord trying to vacate the area so you can make income in Jan that you usually make.  Possibly up to 6k for the month of Jan.  This is starting to sound like you are building a case for early eviction process so you can ensure vacancy is completed by the end of Dec.   Again the more details I start hearing the more sketchy this sounds.

Sad, very sad

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2016, 07:47:49 AM »
The lease is up at the end of December.  I am planning to leave the room vacant for January.... I've done it in the past and been able to get about $200 per night.

Earlier you stated she moved in around the second week of August.  Your tenant has a small dog and it sounds like you are home all day.  You crossed a line taking care of the dog at all and showing the dog you were home all day to support it.  Why wouldn't the dog carry on all day if it knows you are there and willing to walk him or feed him?  Why is the dog supposed to lay quietly in their crate while you do daily choirs?

Who signs a 5 month lease?  (Aug-Dec)...  Were you always planning to rent the property out in Jan?  To me this is starting to sound very sketchy...  Almost as if you are as a landlord trying to vacate the area so you can make income in Jan that you usually make.  Possibly up to 6k for the month of Jan.  This is starting to sound like you are building a case for early eviction process so you can ensure vacancy is completed by the end of Dec.   Again the more details I start hearing the more sketchy this sounds.

Sad, very sad

The first paragraph is valid.

The second paragraph sound like some interesting trolling. I think we can all agree the OP is not going to rent our her basement for $200/night the entire month of January.

The third paragraph reminds me of our current presidential race. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2016, 09:33:13 AM »
The lease is up at the end of December.  I am planning to leave the room vacant for January.... I've done it in the past and been able to get about $200 per night.

Earlier you stated she moved in around the second week of August.  Your tenant has a small dog and it sounds like you are home all day.  You crossed a line taking care of the dog at all and showing the dog you were home all day to support it.  Why wouldn't the dog carry on all day if it knows you are there and willing to walk him or feed him?  Why is the dog supposed to lay quietly in their crate while you do daily choirs?

Who signs a 5 month lease?  (Aug-Dec)...  Were you always planning to rent the property out in Jan?  To me this is starting to sound very sketchy...  Almost as if you are as a landlord trying to vacate the area so you can make income in Jan that you usually make.  Possibly up to 6k for the month of Jan.  This is starting to sound like you are building a case for early eviction process so you can ensure vacancy is completed by the end of Dec.   Again the more details I start hearing the more sketchy this sounds.

Sad, very sad

So many incorrect assumptions here.

She wanted the lease to end in December because that is when she graduates and moves. I planned to find a regular tenant again starting in January, but due to the inauguration this year I can rent it out for a week for 200-250 per night.  Since her lease ends at the end of December the room would be vacant anyhow/available for January so there is no secret plot on my part to evict have the room for January.

I can only rent for a few days around inauguration. Not sure where you are getting 6k from.

I was traveling the first two weeks of August so did not encounter the dog until I returned mid August. There were immediate problems with the dog barking incessantly. The tenant informed me that he had been that way the prior two weeks even when no one else was home. After two days I agreed to let the dog out when I was home because the barking was unbearable. In retrospect I should have instead enforced the pet addendum and forced her to find another solution.

I work 8 hours a week from home. The dog barks constantly regardless of what time it is and how much noise anyone else is making.  This includes hours when normal people who don't work from home are home - because the the tenant is out doing her thing at 8pm or 3am or 2pm. What time it is doesn't matter.

The tenant said prior to moving in the dog was crate trained and never previously a problem - so you are right that I expected the dog to be quiet and crated. Crate trained dogs are actually trained to be quiet and calm in their crate, regardless of other people being around. That is what crate training is. Other dogs are quiet and clam when their owns aren't around, even without being crated. It is also a requirement of the lease that the dog be quiet (but not crated).

Enigma

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2016, 11:02:11 AM »
I live in the DC area and I have heard horror stories about evictions in DC, MD, and VA.  With that being said I am going to assume this is for the DC area.  This area is pro-tenant (DC Tenant Bill of Rights) and not pro-landlord so most judges will rule in favor of the tenant.  In DC many properties will not rent to you if you have any evictions in your record.  Also in DC a tenant may not be evicted just because the initial lease term expires.

In this situation the tenant can show they tried to remediate the problem of their pet by allowing the landlord to put them outside, walk them, feed them, and care for them.  The tenant can argue they have put their pet in a crate throughout the day so the pet hasnít been tearing up most of the place.  By the time the court date rolls around the tenant will have completed 90-100% of their lease.  They can most likely even show they have paid for November when you are planning to give them an eviction notice.

This is a nightmare situation for a DC landlord or even nearby counties of MD and VA.  There are too many lawyers in the DC metropolitan area that would take this case in a heartbeat and the tenant will have to fight to maintain a clean record to rent again.  Holding back their security deposit can find you in even deeper hot water.  In DC security deposits are placed in an interest bearing account on day one and renters are entitled to their deposit plus interest. Even holding back the security deposit partially will require an itemized explanation within 45days that can be contested.  I am not sure if they paid a pet deposit but that could even open up the situation for more scrutiny.

Call me a troller or whateverÖ  but DC/VA/MD is a nightmare.  I agreed with you on the 10th and was pushing that you write them up in a letter NOT knowing they had completed more than half of their lease.  The correct time to address an issue as a landlord is immediately following up routinely in writing by certified mail.  Addressing the issue when the lease is nearly completed will most likely backfire.  I agreed that an eviction should be made thinking they had a lease till next August.

My recommendation to save you headache would just be to follow through with the lease terms as much as possible and document more in writing the issue of the pet.  When Decemberís rent comes due accept it and then give back their entire security deposit when they move out.  That is my recommendation.  However, I do wish you the best on however you address this.

srob

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2016, 11:55:14 AM »
It might be more bearable to house a problem dog if they were as contrite as Denver the guilty dog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ISzf2pryI

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2016, 02:01:57 PM »


My recommendation to save you headache would just be to follow through with the lease terms as much as possible and document more in writing the issue of the pet.  When Decemberís rent comes due accept it and then give back their entire security deposit when they move out.  That is my recommendation.  However, I do wish you the best on however you address this.

Thank you. Good to know. I guess my best hope is that she either keeps the dog under control or she decides to terminate lease to get out of here early. She is basically being home as little as possible at this point, and taking her dog with her, which is fine. I just have to make it through December - and maybe she will be vacating early because her classes will be out mid-month (fingers crossed).

She has already had the dresser that the dog destroyed repaired at her own cost. I have to get the fence fixed and hopefully there won't be more damage after that.

Villanelle

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2016, 11:45:06 PM »
Since you are okay with her leaving early, you might mention that.  She may be as anxious to get out as you're at o have her go, but worried about losing a couple weeks rent.  If you let her know that you are fine with her terminating the lease early and not being penalized for it (as long as she gives X time notice, and vacating no earlier than Dec. 15,or whatever other rules you might want to apply, if any), you might both get what you want.  I'd make sure to explain that if she takes you up on it, you'd prorate the rent due for the month, so everything is clear.  I can't really see what it would hurt to let her know you'd be okay with it. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2016, 09:15:44 AM »
UPDATE:

Received an email from the tenant this morning stating she was moving out by the end of the month because she has "felt continuously threatened" and that her "privacy has been invaded" and that she tried really hard to fix the dog problem <by doing nothing> and that I have been impatient with her and unfair. It is a long email about how awful things have been for her.

The only actual complaint she ever made to me during her tenancy was that the internet wasn't working - and I had the service, modem, and router all replaced, along w/ installing two wifi signal boosters.


It is one of those situations where what she is alleging is ridiculous and never happened - her door locked, no one ever went in, she was in violation of the pet addendum for 2 months with repeated warnings, things were always friendly between us until I told her she had to fix the dog situation, etc. Most definitely never threatened her or behaved in any way other than friendly or businesslike (towards the end). Other than using the shared space (e.g. hallway to the laundry room) no one even went to the basement - and most definitely not in her room.

Relieved she is going. She wants her security deposit back because she is being "forced" to move because of all the threats. ( ????).

I am glad she is going because the crazy is definitely showing big time. She said she talked to a lawyer.

Anyhow - I told her I would deduct damages but otherwise not go after her for the remaining rent.

So glad she is leaving - hopefully w/ no drama (but my expectations are *REALLY* low at this point that she is going to accomplish this w/o drama).

Good luck to her next landlord.

ketchup

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts?
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2016, 09:20:06 AM »
UPDATE:

Received an email from the tenant this morning stating she was moving out by the end of the month because she has "felt continuously threatened" and that her "privacy has been invaded" and that she tried really hard to fix the dog problem <by doing nothing> and that I have been impatient with her and unfair. It is a long email about how awful things have been for her.

The only actual complaint she ever made to me during her tenancy was that the internet wasn't working - and I had the service, modem, and router all replaced, along w/ installing two wifi signal boosters.


It is one of those situations where what she is alleging is ridiculous and never happened - her door locked, no one ever went in, she was in violation of the pet addendum for 2 months with repeated warnings, things were always friendly between us until I told her she had to fix the dog situation, etc. Most definitely never threatened her or behaved in any way other than friendly or businesslike (towards the end). Other than using the shared space (e.g. hallway to the laundry room) no one even went to the basement - and most definitely not in her room.

Relieved she is going. She wants her security deposit back because she is being "forced" to move because of all the threats. ( ????).

I am glad she is going because the crazy is definitely showing big time. She said she talked to a lawyer.

Anyhow - I told her I would deduct damages but otherwise not go after her for the remaining rent.

So glad she is leaving - hopefully w/ no drama (but my expectations are *REALLY* low at this point that she is going to accomplish this w/o drama).

Good luck to her next landlord.
Document everything.  CYA.

MsPeacock

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts? UPDATED post 39
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2016, 09:28:42 AM »
I have all the emails and texts. Yes - CYA.

Having gone through a very acrimonious divorce I've learned my lesson regarding documentation.

The "threats" thing just is so crazy. I look back at the emails and there is absolutely nothing there remotely threatening and I certainly haven't threatened her in person (and I am tiny - so hard to imagine).  I am going to make sure my boyfriend is around when she moves out so I have a witness (he is also completely not threatening). We are talking two skinny people who neither have ever threatened or been in a physical fight ever in our entire lives.

She is going to have problems wherever she goes unless it is a free standing out - because the dog can't be left alone (and she leave it alone in a crate for 10+ hours sometimes).


Enigma

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Re: Tenant in rented basement w/ problem dog - thoughts? UPDATED post 39
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2016, 05:56:04 AM »
I can see this potentially turning into a "Judge Judy" style law suit!

Congrats on the tenant moving at the end of this month!  "She said she talked to a lawyer. Anyhow - I told her I would deduct damages but otherwise not go after her for the remaining rent."

Talking to a lawyer in this area isn't the same as obtaining a lawyer.  Most of my lawyer friends work for the DOJ, IRS, or another gov agency in the DC area and can give me insight then if I push the subject they can recommend a lawyer friend of theirs that could take a case.  Her aggressive email most likely was a push not to have to pay for Nov and Dec and to leave early.  Showing that you are working with here from the very beginning should help you out if there are any issues.  It is just a headache that both of you sound like you are ready to move away from.

As always best of luck!