Author Topic: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property  (Read 2731 times)

buckeyenuts

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Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« on: September 08, 2014, 01:46:20 PM »
I have a difficult situation regarding my SFH rental property. Here is some background:

I have owned this SFH rental property in a working middle class neighborhood (no HOA) and have rented it out for several years. I self-manage from about 250 miles away and the tenants have agreed to basic seasonal exterior maintenance (lawn-mowing, trimming, weeding). My tenants (who are excellent btw, take great care of my home, pay rent on time, have expressed interest in renewing the lease and possibly buying my property some day) have complained about the dilapidated exterior condition of the property next door, which has peeling paint, overgrown grass, and weeds taking over flowerbeds. This property is still owned by a resident and not bank owned/foreclosed, but no one has lived there in 5+ years. Someone comes by this house about every 2 months to cut the grass, poorly, but nothing else. In the past, I have trimmed branches of trees on this property that overhang onto mine and done light trimming of weeds on the side nearest my house. After these efforts, I received an anonymous letter (who i am sure are from members of the family who own the property) warning me to stay off the property. I reported this activity to the police. My current tenants have commented that they are disappointed when they willingly spend time maintaining the exterior of my property when the one next door is such an eyesore.

I have reported this house to the city who have promised to investigate, but have a feeling that since it is not a health or safety hazard, there may be little that they can do.

How can I best proceed to remedy this situation quickly in a lawful manner and keep the morale of my tenants high?


arebelspy

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Re: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 03:39:53 PM »
Sounds like a great opportunity to buy a distressed property!

Have you tried contacting the owner of the property?
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Mr Mark

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Re: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 10:28:19 PM »
I agree with ARS, looks like a great opportunity.  Why would someone hold such a house with negative cashflow for so long?

I say get as much legal hassle on the owners as possible - you and your tenants should register complaints with local authorities,  especially the week before they cut the grass after 2 months of growth. Call the local political representative(s) and engage them in the problem too. Is there a mortgage on the property? complain to the bank. Continue to tresspass to cut weeds and trees overhanging. Sending threatening letters could be criminal. Follow that up too. Generally do all you legally can to put pressure on them. Maybe even talk to other neighbors to join in the campaign.

Then approach them with a decent low ball offer, and at the same time provide a path to escape all their current problems! 

arebelspy

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Re: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 07:50:26 AM »
I agree with ARS, looks like a great opportunity.  Why would someone hold such a house with negative cashflow for so long?

I say get as much legal hassle on the owners as possible - you and your tenants should register complaints with local authorities,  especially the week before they cut the grass after 2 months of growth. Call the local political representative(s) and engage them in the problem too. Is there a mortgage on the property? complain to the bank. Continue to tresspass to cut weeds and trees overhanging. Sending threatening letters could be criminal. Follow that up too. Generally do all you legally can to put pressure on them. Maybe even talk to other neighbors to join in the campaign.

Then approach them with a decent low ball offer, and at the same time provide a path to escape all their current problems!

Be sure not to make an enemy of them.
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MikeBear

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Re: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2014, 08:31:03 AM »
I agree with ARS, looks like a great opportunity.  Why would someone hold such a house with negative cashflow for so long?

I say get as much legal hassle on the owners as possible - you and your tenants should register complaints with local authorities,  especially the week before they cut the grass after 2 months of growth. Call the local political representative(s) and engage them in the problem too. Is there a mortgage on the property? complain to the bank. Continue to tresspass to cut weeds and trees overhanging. Sending threatening letters could be criminal. Follow that up too. Generally do all you legally can to put pressure on them. Maybe even talk to other neighbors to join in the campaign.

Then approach them with a decent low ball offer, and at the same time provide a path to escape all their current problems!

If I owned that house and a neighbor next door did what you suggest, he'd have an enemy for life. I'd tell him to go F- himself, and I'd never deal with him no matter what. It doesn't matter why the house is in the shape it's in, he could simply go and talk to them, state his position, and just listen. Then he's in a position to figure out a solution, which might just be buying the house.

Another Reader

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Re: Vacant House next door to SFH rental property
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 03:52:37 PM »
I would probably write a letter to the owners and ask how we could work together to solve the problem of a vacant property that needs some work to restore it to what it once was. Explain that both you and your tenants are concerned that teenagers or squatters could further damage the property or even start a fire that would destroy the house and possibly injure neighbors or spread to adjacent properties.  If they contact you, you can feel them out about selling - would selling the property solve the family issue here.

If you get no response and/or they are hostile, then you need to get code enforcement and the City Council member for the district where the property is located involved.  Carrot and stick theory applies here.