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Renters are loud and rude! Grrr
January 13, 2010 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Renters in our condo are loud and obnoxious to their neighbors. Well, one of them is. Their lease is up for renewal. Should we?

We started renting our condo (in a 36 unit building) almost exactly a year ago to three people who were not long out of college. Six months later, we got an irate call from one of our neighbors at 1:30am (we didn't even hear our phone and didn't get his message until the next morning) that our tenants were having a loud party and he couldn't sleep.
We talked to our management company and they said we should fine them and make sure neighbors in the future immediately called the police for infractions like this. Five months go by and everything seems fine.
Another irate call. Same neighbor. 2am. Saying our tenants were in mid-party and have been "completely out of control," "trainwrecks," disruptive and consistently rude to their fellow neighbors. We contacted the building's management to see if this had been an ongoing problem. It seems that it wasn't quite that extreme but the other neighbors would love to not have the lease renewed.
We had toyed with renewing the lease (if we do, we will definitely do it on a month by month basis to allow ourselves to make a move if need be) and raising the rent. Then, if at the end of a year there were no further complaints, refunding that rent (in the form of a discount off the last months rent.
One last wrinkle - That last part would've been a good plan, but it turns out that really, only ONE of the three roommates (A) is the problem. He is the one that has been cussing out neighbors and drinking and playing loud music late into the night. The other two seem pretty horrified. (A) comes from a wealthy family who fund most of his life. The rent increase would only hurt the other two and give them more incentive to move out, leaving him there.
This is our first foray into landlording. These kids aren't cooking up meth in the kitchen, or selling drugs, or running a prostitution ring out of the condo. But they are being disruptive and rude to neighbors in a building that we lived in for many years, and enjoyed the company of the neighbors. It weighs pretty heavily on us that their lives are being disrupted by our renters.
Some possibly relevant details...the condo is on the 3rd floor. It would cost us a good chunk of change (close to $4000 IF we get a renter in right away) to not renew their lease and find other tenants. The lease is up at the end of this month. I think we have to give them 30 days anyway. Also, there's no guarantee that the next tenants will be any better.
Sorry this is so long. My question is this: What should we do? Can you think of any other way we can get these (or this guy) tenants to respect their neighbors? I thought the no complaints for a year=refunded money was a good plan, but looks like it might not work. Any other solutions like that? Thanks in advance for your input.
posted by Spyder's Game to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How possible would it be to renew for B and C, and a later-to-be-supplied A1? Maybe talk to B and C to see if they know of anyone who would want to get into the newly vacant room.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:01 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd talk to the two good tenants, tell them "We'd love to have you two stay on but Number Three has received multiple complaints. Is there a possibility you could find another roommate to replace him when it comes time to renew the lease?"
posted by 6550 at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why don't you just renew the lease at the current rate with the good tenants and say that A isn't welcome any longer?
posted by youcancallmeal at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're over-thinking this and placing way too much burden on yourself. Doesn't matter what the arrangements are within the unit, you have problem renters. Don't renew.

Also, when you are showing the unit to prospective tenants make sure they know the previous occupants got the boot for causing problems.
posted by trinity8-director at 3:05 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would offer a new lease, exclude Roommate A from the new lease altogether, and seeing as Roommate B & C are good, I would offer a third off the rent for the first 30 days so they have a chance to find someone new and can move out if they come up shorthanded. It's true new tenants may not be better, but with the status quo the trouble is guaranteed.
posted by crapmatic at 3:10 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Tell them that you've had complaints and that you cannot renew the lease unless these problems are going to go away. B and C know what the problem is. If they want to stay they'll either ask or find a way to get rid of the problem.
posted by theichibun at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Refuse to renew the lease for A, B and C. Offer B and C a new lease if they want it. That's it, really.
posted by davejay at 3:36 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the sound of it, I'm guessing they're all on the same lease? If that's the case, I've lived some places where all the tenants are on their own lease. This allows the landlords to easily deal with situations like yours be just not renewing tenant A's lease while renewing B & C.

The catch is that the burden of finding that third roommate is now on you instead of B & C as you'd be taking the financial hit if none is found.

I've also been tenant B/C in this situation. From your description of their reaction, chances are they'll be happy if you give the boot to A. If it wasn't for money, they probably would have told A off- now you get to be the bad person.
posted by jmd82 at 4:16 PM on January 13, 2010


Tenant A needs to get gone. End the current lease. Offer B and C a new lease. If you really don't want to go through the hassle of finding three new tenants you could offer them either 1/3 off the rent for a month or two for signing a 1-year lease, or go monthly until they find a roommate and then write a new one-year lease for B, C, and D.

I am sort of confused as to why finding new tenants will cost $4000, even if they move in right away.
posted by indyz at 4:32 PM on January 13, 2010


When A was making all the noise, the neighbors called you. But did anyone talk directly with A? Hopefully, you talked with the whole group, and said something like, "If A doesn't knock it off, then I will have a hard time extending a renewal." Then, B and C would have forewarning. Did the police come out the second time? I ask because I can imagine a situation in which A (and A's parents) will be very upset and demand an accounting to explain how you are being fair and equal with the tenants.
posted by Houstonian at 4:57 PM on January 13, 2010


I gently suggest that in the future, you remind yourself that you own this property, you're the landlord, this is a business relationship, and you're not your tenants' aunt/uncle.

/end pep talk

Now, presuming for the moment that what B and C are saying is actually true, that they're angels and A is a dick, renew the lease with B and C conditional on A moving out. Renew it month-to-month. Consider it probation.
posted by desuetude at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


If A is a friend then he'll be there often enough to do all this stuff again. Obviously his friends cant control him as roommates, I doubt they can control him as 'guy at party.' Kick them all out and start fresh. Consider it a free lesson in the law of association.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:50 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really get the situation with the other two tenants. If A was causing so much noise, couldn't they have/why didn't they intervene? Were they not disrupted, as much as if not more so than your neighbors? They are in the position to talk with A, negotiate with A on the spot, and even pull the plug from A's speakers, if it comes to that - all things a neighbor cannot do. If the other tenants have not been mitigating the problem that A has been, this makes me suspicious of the story they've presented. This is something I would think about seriously before offering the other tenants the ability to renew or start a new lease.

As someone with an insanely noisy neighbor, someone whose life has been seriously negatively impacted by said neighbor - please, PLEASE do not allow these tenants to remain. This kind of a situation is not just a nuisance, but a major impact upon one's life and one's health. You say your neighbor's situation weighs heavily on you - show them the goodwill you clearly feel and deny your tenants the ability to stay and continue to cause problems. Meticulously checked references for new tenants should prevent any other issues of this nature, and perhaps you will end up with folks who will stay for quite a long time. This current situation, even edited, sounds unsustainable for all involved.
posted by AthenaPolias at 8:59 PM on January 13, 2010


In response to those suggesting you offer to renew for B and C but not A, it would be smart to offer them a month to month. They will be scrambling to find a replacement roommate to cover the rent and the replacement may not be any better. Once you are happy with all three, then offer the one year.

Also, you mentioned that A's parents fund most of his life. Are they also co-signers on the lease by any chance? If so, you are well within your right and duty to contact them directly on the matter.

You don't mention the ages of these tenants but from your description I am guessing early 20's. You need to have a "come to jesus" talk with all three and level with them by explaining that while they may still be in party mode, they are being completely disrespectful of their neighbors and the shit needs to stop yesterday or there will be consequences.

Also, if the neighbors have been contacting you, have YOU called the police at all? Has ANYBODY?! You never know if there is drug use involved and a few visits from the cops might put the fear of god into them.

I cannot figure out what might cost you $4k by missing a month but if that much is at stake, it might be worth a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in this to figure out what your options are if you need to take more drastic measures.
posted by Elminster24 at 9:26 PM on January 13, 2010


Forgot to mention...

If you do end up getting new tenants, make it crystal clear to them that while you don't like to be a landlord that is watching over their shoulder all the time, the past tenants caused a lot of issues for you due to disrupting the neighbors and you will be checking in with the neighbors/management regularly to make sure there are no issues. If there are, there will be consequences. For consequences, consider having a clause in the lease about fining them for noise complaints.
posted by Elminster24 at 9:29 PM on January 13, 2010


I am sort of confused as to why finding new tenants will cost $4000, even if they move in right away.

Management companies usually charge a fee for finding new tenants, usually around 1 month's rent. The paper for the lease and the lawyers who white those things up aren't free.
posted by I am the Walrus at 5:47 AM on January 14, 2010


The paper for the lease and the lawyers who white those things up aren't free.
At least where I live, no lawyers are involved in drafting a particular lease. It's a form from a realty association and a real estate professional makes any alterations for the particular circumstances.

I would not renew it for any of them. If their roommate is having loud parties, they must be aware of it. It's their responsibility to shut down the party if it's getting out of hand.
posted by ishotjr at 8:57 AM on January 14, 2010


You need to have a "come to jesus" talk with all three and level with them by explaining that while they may still be in party mode, they are being completely disrespectful of their neighbors and the shit needs to stop yesterday or there will be consequences.

Agree. Since you've put yourself in the position of knowing about their personal dynamics, and because you're feeling kindly toward B and C, go ahead and have the come-to-jesus talk (heh, that is in fact the exact phrase that I use for this sort of thing.) And maybe I'm being a little too "get off my lawn," but the talk does not mean you can't insist on excluding A from the lease, IMO.

Y'know, I had parties at apartments in my 20s and hell, we have them now, and yet have managed to be a respectful neighbor without needing a tutorial. People like A piss me off because THIS is how stereotypes happen, and THIS is why some landlords make a lot of snap judgments about not renting to anyone who looks as if they might be a certain age.
posted by desuetude at 9:09 AM on January 14, 2010


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