Author Topic: Tenant with murder charges  (Read 1343 times)

joleran

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Tenant with murder charges
« on: May 29, 2020, 09:23:07 AM »
I've got a tenant that allegedly murdered a couple of people.  Thoughts, other than contacting a lawyer to navigate these waters?

waltworks

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 09:51:58 AM »
Have they been arrested? Are they still paying rent?

I mean, in the short term, you have to abide by the terms of the lease. There's probably a no-committing-felonies on the premises clause, but unless the people died on your property, that's not relevant. And these are allegations, not a conviction.

If the tenant stops paying rent, evict them/terminate the lease. If you feel you or other tenants are in danger, contact the police. Otherwise sit tight for now.

-W

Bettersafe

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 09:57:26 AM »
I understand that might have scared you!
But, is the tenant accused or convicted already? And how long is he/she a tenant of you?

joleran

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 10:53:50 AM »
They're arrested and being held without bail.  I'm told that I can evict based on a notice on their door, which seems gloriously shitty of me given there's no way they can really get notice from jail.  It does seem to be pretty near to "caught in the act" type charges though.  Police are on the premises going through their stuff.

They were a tenant of the previous owner, had them for a year and a half.

FINate

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 11:36:54 AM »
They're arrested and being held without bail.  I'm told that I can evict based on a notice on their door, which seems gloriously shitty of me given there's no way they can really get notice from jail.  It does seem to be pretty near to "caught in the act" type charges though.  Police are on the premises going through their stuff.

They were a tenant of the previous owner, had them for a year and a half.

What's shitty is murdering people. I understand they are innocent until proven guilty, but they are being held w/o bail and sounds like the prosecutor has a strong case.

Regardless, none of this is relevant to you. You are both bound by the terms of a contract. They know when rent is due, and can arrange to have payment made while in custody. If they don't pay rent then start the eviction process. Do it by the book and document everything.

bacchi

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2020, 11:44:49 AM »
Yeah, this tenant will be out of your hair pretty quickly.

If your state has an abandonment clause, you can use that.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 11:49:19 AM »
Well it's not the first of the month yet, for all you know rent could get paid!

If that doesn't happen, does the tenant have family/friends who can arrange for his things to be moved?

Imma

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2020, 12:36:55 PM »
I hope you can get in touch with his next of kin somehow so they can arrange something for his belongings. A while back someone in my street was evicted for the same reason (well, apparantly not a murder case but arrest that led to a prison sentence) and even though prison is where he belongs it was still sad to see all his material possesions, from his underwear to albums full of pictures, end up in a dumpster. We had previously avoided all contact with this man because we'd seen him pull a knife on someone over a trivial dispute, so we had no clue who to contact either.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2020, 03:46:58 PM »
Well it's not the first of the month yet, for all you know rent could get paid!

If that doesn't happen, does the tenant have family/friends who can arrange for his things to be moved?

One more advantage of making your tenants set up auto-payments: When they go away for murder, you keep getting paid until their bank account is drained.

LWYRUP

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2020, 04:31:01 PM »
Well it's not the first of the month yet, for all you know rent could get paid!

If that doesn't happen, does the tenant have family/friends who can arrange for his things to be moved?

One more advantage of making your tenants set up auto-payments: When they go away for murder, you keep getting paid until their bank account is drained.

I know this was mostly a joke but I would not do this.  LL has a duty to mitigate (find another tenant).  If LL finds another tenant, he should only deduct the costs of finding the new tenant (or if there is a decline in rent, the difference). 

You shouldn't just drain somebody's account, murder suspect or otherwise. 

marty998

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2020, 04:41:20 PM »
Well it's not the first of the month yet, for all you know rent could get paid!

If that doesn't happen, does the tenant have family/friends who can arrange for his things to be moved?

One more advantage of making your tenants set up auto-payments: When they go away for murder, you keep getting paid until their bank account is drained.

I know this was mostly a joke but I would not do this.  LL has a duty to mitigate (find another tenant).  If LL finds another tenant, he should only deduct the costs of finding the new tenant (or if there is a decline in rent, the difference). 

You shouldn't just drain somebody's account, murder suspect or otherwise.

Agreed, they are likely going to need to money to pay for their lawyer etc, and won't be able to earn an income in the meantime.

Even (alleged) murderers have family and friends that could move out their belongings and settle up their affairs while the court case and prison sentence is carried out.

But this is dependant on the landlord knowing there is a problem in the first place, given that tenants usually have the right to "peaceful enjoyment" of the property without being 'harassed' by the owner. If rent is paid on direct debits, and no inspections of the property have been made for a while, it's entirely possible a landlord may be unaware of something like this.

LWYRUP

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2020, 05:22:55 PM »
Well it's not the first of the month yet, for all you know rent could get paid!

If that doesn't happen, does the tenant have family/friends who can arrange for his things to be moved?

One more advantage of making your tenants set up auto-payments: When they go away for murder, you keep getting paid until their bank account is drained.

I know this was mostly a joke but I would not do this.  LL has a duty to mitigate (find another tenant).  If LL finds another tenant, he should only deduct the costs of finding the new tenant (or if there is a decline in rent, the difference). 

You shouldn't just drain somebody's account, murder suspect or otherwise.

Agreed, they are likely going to need to money to pay for their lawyer etc, and won't be able to earn an income in the meantime.

Even (alleged) murderers have family and friends that could move out their belongings and settle up their affairs while the court case and prison sentence is carried out.

But this is dependant on the landlord knowing there is a problem in the first place, given that tenants usually have the right to "peaceful enjoyment" of the property without being 'harassed' by the owner. If rent is paid on direct debits, and no inspections of the property have been made for a while, it's entirely possible a landlord may be unaware of something like this.

Yeah, that's a good point.  We don't know at this point whether the tenant WANTS to keep renting the property or not.  So presumably the landlord could just keep deducting rent until informed otherwise.

The ethical thing to do though would be to try to get in touch with the tenant and find out if they are planning to keep paying rent and return to the property.  If they intend to keep paying, no issue.  If they want to abandon the lease, LL can still charge rent while looking for a new tenant. 

However, I'm guessing there's a 99% chance the tenant has zero plans to pay rent and that's why LL is getting the advice from the police about declaring the property abandonded.  I have no knowledge of the rules of the particular jurisdiction (and am far too lazy to look this up to answer a question an anonymous internet board anyways) so I can't vouch for that.

I will say that LL would be well advised to (1) look up the law in their jurisdiction and (2) try to contact the tenant (through family / friends) to avoid miscommunication.  Also, generally speaking sending a thoughtful written letter before taking any major actions and providing contact information in that letter is always helpful.  Whether that decision is keep charging rent or find a new tenant or whatever, keeping a record that tried to inform the tenant via written notice and heard nothing would I think be helpful.  Backup for your files in case there is ever an issue. 

former player

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2020, 06:00:55 PM »
Rather than trying to find and talk to the tenant's friends and family I think you would do better to talk to their lawyer.  You should be able to find out who their lawyer is through either the police or the courts, or perhaps get a message passed to them.

marty998

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2020, 11:42:19 PM »
Did the murder happen in the house?

There are disclosure laws in Australia if a major crime has been committed in the house you need to disclose it when trying to rent or sell the property.

Bettersafe

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Re: Tenant with murder charges
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2020, 02:20:25 AM »
Rather than trying to find and talk to the tenant's friends and family I think you would do better to talk to their lawyer.  You should be able to find out who their lawyer is through either the police or the courts, or perhaps get a message passed to them.

I second this, talking to a lawyer is better than dealing with (probably) upset family or friends.