October 13, 2023 at 5:47 am

‘The next morning, I started issuing professional Lease Violation Notices.’ Her Tenant Told Her To Start Acting Professionally, So She Did Again And Again

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA

There are all kinds of landlords out there, and even if, as a whole, they’re getting a bad rap these days, there surely are still some good ones in the bunch.

OP is a landlord, but a small-time one, with only 4 properties. She noticed that in one of her properties, the tenants weren’t responding to her requests to put additional people on the lease, register their dog, etc.

I am a small-time Landlord, with just 4 tenants.

Earlier this year, I had two sisters that didn’t respond to my requests to add of the gal’s husband to the lease, though he was living with them. Not a BIG deal… but did I mention the pit bull they also brought home, without permission?

I DO allow pets, and had previously approved their other dog. I asked nicely in person and by email in the months leading up to the malicious compliance…

So, when they wouldn’t confirm that they were going to stay at all, she started scheduling showings. She gave them notice but the day of the showings was pretty much a s*%tshow.

They also did not respond when I asked if they were happy there, and wanted to renew their lease for the following year. I asked again… Then I emailed them notice that I would start showing the unit 2 days later.

I try to be a nice Landlord… I do.

They had a newborn, as well, so I scheduled all of the showings within a 2 hour window on the same night so I could be in their space as little as possible.

Also, because they had not responded, and it was now serious “crunch time” for getting another tenant and my spouse worked all the following two weeks during evening showing hours, I had the delightful inconvenience of bringing my 2 and 6 year old children with me to the showings.

Because I’m not a corporation – I’m a small-time family landlord with kids.

Try to imagine how difficult it is to conduct business meetings with 2 kids, right? Then imagine staggering showings every fifteen minutes, with prospective tenants who are also bringing their own kids. Just to further clutter your imagination, this is an 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment with a cozy entryway.

So I arrive with my two kids, to find that my tenants are still at home, along with the husband, the newborn and the other sister’s boyfriend.

So that’s 7 people in a small kitchen already.

Then the first prospective tenants start arriving. Husbands, wives, with kids, and some showing up early so there’s two sets of them. That’s 14 people in a small kitchen…

And I’m a mom. I have magical powers. So I’m holding my toddler, my daughter is safely under the dining table coloring, and I’m chatting with the prospective tenants and directing traffic while my actual tenants prepare to depart.

If you didn’t know this already, it’s common practice in the US to leave the premises during real estate or apartment showings. This was their first apartment, so I actually emailed them ahead of time to let them know what is generally expected at showings (e.g. a relatively tidy apartment, and that they can leave, for their own convenience).

They do eventually leave, after the boyfriend tells a prospective tenant that he, in fact, ALSO lives there. And I carry on with an exhausting scheduling of showings. And have my new tenants all picked out and lease signed by the next day. Awesome, right?

At the end of it, her tenants told her she needed to be more professional.

The next night, I get a voicemail from the husband (who is NOT my tenant). I saved it, and just listed to it again, because it still gives me that same delightful shiver of malicious compliance..

In his voicemail, he told me how awful it was that MY children touched HIS infant’s things (they didn’t, because I keep my kids entertained with magical mommy toys, but prospective tenants also brought children), and how they had to sterilize everything to keep their infant from being sick, and how inconvenient it was to have showings with only 2 days notice, and how very unprofessional I was to bring my children, and asked if I could just be more professional in the future.

You can hear it, can’t you? The deep shiver of malicious compliance vibrating through my offended being.

So, she was. She issued their violations in writing, and followed up in email.

The next morning, I started issuing professional Lease Violation Notices. One for the extra residents of the unit (hubby and boyfriend). One for the extra dog. And a few additional ones for building concerns I noted during the showings.

They ignored the violation notice, which I sent by certified mail and, thoughtfully, also by email.

When they didn’t respond she issued a professional eviction notice and notified their emergency contact.

I decided to be even more professional 30 days later, and issue a 5-day notice to vacate. And I called their mom, who is their emergency contact, as an eviction notice IS an emergency. Did I mention that their lease was due to end just a few weeks later? But it would be unprofessional of me to let these violations slide until then..

Three days later, they’d magically sent me all the information I’d requested, removed the other dog, licensed the first dog, gotten the required pet insurance…

When they moved out and didn’t meet all of their obligations, she professionally took them to small claims court and professional kicked their rear ends in front of a judge.

They moved out on their lease termination date. And skipped out on their last electric bill, and left the unit in damaged condition. Despite my professional security deposit disposition statement and request for payment, they ignored those notices, until I stated I would proceed to small claims court by X date for the total due BEYOND their security deposit.

On X date, they replied stating they “didn’t think it was fair” that they should have to cover damages to the unit, or “pay any more money” toward their utility bill.

Yep. Two months later, there we were in the lobby of the court house, sitting across from each other on uncomfortable waiting-room benches. They’re laughing among themselves about how they’re going to get their full security deposit back.

And I’m quietly reviewing my presentation notes to the judge and my sizable stack of evidence, photographs, videos…. this was my first time in court, but I wasn’t laughing. I was preparing.

And she got her pen back.

One hour later, we’re back in the lobby and their mom is trying to write me a check for the full amount of the judgement. She doesn’t have a pen. Her kids don’t have a pen. I, however, have a pen. I cheerfully offer my pen. She writes the check and hands it to me, and… wait…. I hold my out my hand again. Got my pen back too.

I was so proud of myself for not saying any of the sassy things in my head in that moment. You know why? Because I was being professional, as I’d been from the moment he’d left that voicemail.

Is Reddit going to actually side with a landlord? Let’s find out!

The top comment says you can always tell you’ve won when the money shows up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Sometimes small claims court is worth it.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Cheaters (and bullies) never prosper.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person sadly doubts anyone has learned a lesson here.

Source: Reddit/AITA

The small things in life really do add up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This time, the landlord was in the right.

Too many people out there are effing around and finding out the hard way.