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      07-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
enron29
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Any Real Estate Attorney's On Here???

I have a situation that has come up, and I'm looking for some quick advice/help. Please let me know if any of you are familiar, especially in the state of CA. Thanks.
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      07-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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We have a tenant leasing our house with a 1-year fixed lease agreement. On July 7th, we get an e-mail from her that some things are going on around the house (not anything to do with the house), and that she will not be renewing her lease, and has been advised to find a new renter for us so she can move out possibly Sept. 1st. The end of lease agreement is Nov. 20th.

So my wife and I take that as she is wanting out early, and start posting our house for rent. The current tenant is compliant with us showing the house to new possible renters. We find new renters. Then she says that she is being forced to move out. I draw up a Lease Termination Agreement ending her lease on August 19th, which she eventually signs. Meanwhile, I have a signed lease agreement for the new tenants as well.

However, the new tenants notified me yesterday that even after signing the new lease agreement, that they are not going to be moving in on August 22nd. So I post the house up for rent again. Then I get an e-mail from my current tenant questioning why it was back up.

Now she is saying that she is terminating our Lease Termination Agreement, and is threatening to sue my wife and I saying that we are forcing her out and that we are holding her deposit over her head. First, we have never said we are keeping her deposit, and it even says so in the Lease Termination Agreement. Second, we are not charging her any penalty fees for terminating the lease early. Nothing. I have her e-mails and texts saying that it's ok to show the property, and that she could possibly move out before Sept. 1st. Now she's changing her mind, again.

Any advice would greatly be appreciated if anyone has some, because my wife and I are at a loss right now.
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      07-25-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
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Hope she does not have kids or is pregnant... may have a difficult time with that.
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      07-25-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Hope she does not have kids or is pregnant... may have a difficult time with that.
Yeah, she has kids. Here is the thing. She said that she is basically being stalked at the house. She said a note was left on her car, yet she never called the police. She made a big deal how she did not feel safe and was thinking about getting out early, hence the Sept 1st date. However, now it's not that big of a concern to her? I don't get it.

Let me make note that my wife and I nor anyone we know in the neighborhood had any problems in the 6 years we lived there prior.
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      07-25-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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I'm not an attorney but my girlfriend manages rental property. She deals with people all the time who get tight on cash and try to find a sneaky way to end their leases early or skip a month of rent. One lady called and said that she had done asbestos testing on the house and claimed to have found some, making it sound like she was doing us a huge favor. Wanted her to take 550 bucks off of the rent "for the cost of the test" or there would be a lawsuit. The landlord went over there and told the tenant to get the fuck out and that he never wanted to hear from her again; she did and he didn't.

Your tenant may be trying to make an opportunity out of you or she may be crazier than hell. Kind of a gamble over whether she has enough money to come after you IMO.
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      07-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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The landlord went over there and told the tenant to get the fuck out and that he never wanted to hear from her again; she did and he didn't.
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      07-25-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
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You need a landlord tenant lawyer, not real estate. If you have an email from her stating that she is breaking the lease of her own accord then she has no ground to stand on.

And did you not state on the lease with the new tenants when their term started? Who gives a shit if they're not moving in until November if they signed a lease for a time prior to that? Or are they telling you they're not moving in at all? They shouldn't be able to break the lease if they have already signed it.
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      07-25-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Op,

I see you are in Calif, and I know since I lived out there and had a rental property there as well. I never managed it, I let someone else do it since renters tended to take advantage of owners if you deal with them directly. Anyway, I was not joking about pregnant and kids it is virtually impossible to evict a single mom, the courts never want to be known to have tossed a single mom.

I would have to agree she trying to scam you somehow, but you called her bluff when you found new tenants. I guaranty you she will claim she signed the lease termination under direst and any contract sign under direst is void.

Lesson learned here, if you want to manage your own property never ever let the renter know you are the owner. You should set up an LLC and operate in under that and when you engage renters you are only the poor manager of the property and you have no clue who the owner actually is. Renter tend not to try and take on a company with no face or at least make threats that is for sure.

I am not sure what you can do in this case other than make it difficult for her to stay. I hope your rental agreement has statement about it her responsibility for all the up keep and maintenance of the home and the appliance are not include in the rental they are only on loan and if they break she has to find her own replacements.

FYI, the friend who managed my property would interview people who were interested in my place, she would also visit their current resident and talk to the neighbors and landlord or manager to see if there were any issues and if she could she would peek into the window of their place. I never had a single problem with tenants nor did I ever rent to any one with kids.

Last edited by Maestro; 07-25-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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      07-25-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Op,

I see you are in Calif, and I know since I lived out there and had a rental property there as well. I never managed it, I let someone else do it since renters tended to take advantage of owners if you deal with them directly. Anyway, I was not joking about pregnant and kids it is virtually impossible to evict a single mom, the courts never want to be known to have tossed a single mom.

I would have to agree she trying to scam you somehow, but you called her bluff when you found new tenants. I guaranty you she will claim she signed the lease termination under direst and any contract sign under direst it void.

Lesson learned here, if you want to manage your own property never ever let the renter know you are the owner. You should set up an LLC and operate in under that and when you engage renters you are only the poor manager of the property and you have no clue who the owner actually is. Renter tend not to try and take on a company with no face or at least make threats that is for sure.

I am not sure what you can do in this case other than make it difficult for her to stay. I hope your rental agreement has statement about it her responsibility for all the up keep and maintenance of the home and the appliance are not include in the rental they are only on loan and if they break she has to find her own replacements.

FYI, the friend who managed my property would interview people who were interested in my place, she would also visit their current resident and talk to the neighbors and landlord or manager to see if there were any issues and if she could she would peek into the window of their place. I never had a single problem with tenants nor did I ever rent to and one with kids.
Thanks for your thoughts. That is exactly what she is claiming is that she signed the Lease Termination Agreement under pressure by us, and that she is terminating that agreement. She said the three possible outcomes are she stays until Sept. 1st and moves out early still (which is only 1 week difference from what we signed really), moves out the original end of lease, or we go to court.

Obviously, like you said, I feel we are a sinking ship with the last option. So I just replied to her that she can stay until the end of the original lease agreement, and hope she gets the fuck out without and problems at the end and we are able to find new renters.

Wish there was more I could do, because I'm not really happy with her, and she is full of shit.
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      07-25-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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Go take the front door off of the property and see how willing she is to stay.
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      07-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote from her original e-mail:

"From here I wanted to discuss some thing with you. I'm not going to stay past my lease time, unfortunately. I'm already getting heat from in-laws but I can't afford to relinquich my deposit or have my credit tarnished. I was talking to a friend of mine and he said that I should offer that maybe be could find someone to take over the rental here on September 1st. Simply because there are more people WANTING to rent & move during the summer months versus in November. So maybe it would be helping you in the long run. Then it would passify my in-laws. I could still gain a rental reference out of it and retain my deposit as well. I have had so much anxiety at night time here that I beg friends to stay with me when the kids aren't here. I don't want to live in fear and I also have not done anything to bring this on myself."
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      07-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enron29 View Post

However, the new tenants notified me yesterday that even after signing the new lease agreement, that they are not going to be moving in on August 22nd. So I post the house up for rent again.
I'm presuming from this post they do not want the property at all, if so do you have their notification of that in writing? If not, get it before you do anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enron29 View Post
Quote from her original e-mail:

"I was talking to a friend of mine and he said that I should offer that maybe be could find someone to take over the rental here on September 1st. "
Your answer better be NO!! I would be seriously suspicious of this. She wants to set it up so her friend brings someone in to take over the final weeks of her lease. So many things can go wrong here.

She signed a legally binding document, tell her to quit jerking you around.
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      07-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SS32 View Post
You need a landlord tenant lawyer, not real estate. If you have an email from her stating that she is breaking the lease of her own accord then she has no ground to stand on.

And did you not state on the lease with the new tenants when their term started? Who gives a shit if they're not moving in until November if they signed a lease for a time prior to that? Or are they telling you they're not moving in at all? They shouldn't be able to break the lease if they have already signed it.
If you see my other post with a quote from her initial email, that is what she said. Wasnt exactly, "I am moving out now early on this date.". However, I have other emails and texts from her saying I can show the property and she would be able to move earlier than Sept. 1st. Then she keeps going back on that.

As far as the new tenants, they will not be moving in at all. We had a signed document, so I have kept their $500 holding deposit. I told them they were still liable for the rent, but it's somewhat a blessing they dropped out with this crap going on.

In the end, I told the crazy bitch to just stay until the end of her original lease agreement. Don't have time or money to go to court. Wish I did though. I'm trying to look at it that I just pocketed $500 for all my troubles. Just hope I can find a new (better) renter in November.
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      07-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #14
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I'm presuming from this post they do not want the property at all, if so do you have their notification of that in writing? If not, get it before you do anything else.

I have an email from them saying they will not be moving in.



Your answer better be NO!! I would be seriously suspicious of this. She wants to set it up so her friend brings someone in to take over the final weeks of her lease. So many things can go wrong here.

She signed a legally binding document, tell her to quit jerking you around.
That was my very first thought. No way is she ever going to choose anyone to live in my house.
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