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Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: kap
Date: January 15, 2006 01:13AM
We are facing a dilemma as landlord (Monrovia, CA): Our tenant, a single working mom, keeps allowing her relatives to bring in a dog during visits (we don't know if it's overnight or one time deal, we aren't home all the time to know). We already asked her not to bring the dog into the rental because our dog would bark (he's not any more). She mumbled that she doesn't like to have animal inside but her sister keeps ignoring her. I told her that her guest'd be her responsibility. We have turned a blind eye for quite sometime now because, generally, she's a good tenant, i.e. never late on rent payment, quiet, keeps to herself and reasonably clean. But tonight we caught her and one of her relative entering the rental with the dog again. We could charge the tenant a $250 pet deposite. Then we would have to allow her have a dog; we do not want pets in the rental at all. The contract specifies no animals allowed. What do you think we should do? TiA

Kap



SoCal for now.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: kap
Date: January 15, 2006 01:16AM
ADDENDUM:
It's an attached one bedroom guest house ... the rental and the main house share a common wall. Separate entrance door and back door for each division.

Kap



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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: Webster J. Duck
Date: January 15, 2006 01:19AM
You’re probably in the right charging for the dog (I know nothing about being a landlord), but you could lose the tenant and get a much worse renter…an unmitigated ass (I know a lot about unmitigated asses). She pays on time and keeps the unit reasonably clean. You could do much worse.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: h'
Date: January 15, 2006 02:06AM
I think you should continue to turn a blind eye to a visiting dog. Especially since you have one yourself (I did understand your problem but it's just not a reasonable reason to keep a visiting dog out, sorry). You seem to be disturbed by this tenant a lot. Have you thought about not renewing the lease?
I sent my first 5-day notice today via certified mail. I feel like crap about it but slightly better now tat I've got it over with.

Craigslist housing forum is a good place to ask this stuff if you can ignore the grays.



I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Anonymous User
Date: January 15, 2006 02:51AM
Turn a blind eye about charging her extra. like W Duck stated, you could have a worse tenant.
Two of my friends are currenly being sued by their tenents. Not good.
I would explain, that she has to be firm with her guest about bringing pets over. Review the lease with her and explain why you do not want pets on the premesis.

Carm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2006 02:55AM by Carm.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: January 15, 2006 06:43AM
Personally I think it's a bit hypocritical to require no pets while you yourself have one. I understand it's your right AND your property but as a tenant I would find it odd that another pet owner doesn't want any animals on the property especially if they are only visiting. I could see your concern if the visitor was daily and or left "packages" without cleaning up but that was not mentioned.

Just my .02...





- Jack D.




New tasteless sig coming soon!
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: JEBB
Date: January 15, 2006 06:55AM
Being a landlord is not worth the hassle and the returns are usually lousy compared to index funds. Been there, done that, hated it. If you want to invest in real estate buy shares of REITs - no midnight calls for stopped up toilets, no dog problems, etc., etc.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: kap
Date: January 15, 2006 08:47AM
We are more disturbed by the tenant's visiting relatives. Inadvertently, the tenant herself because she allows her guests to break the contract's rules: guests who come and stay over 5-6 days out of the week and bringing dog in the rental. We have had a talk with her before she moved in and again, last month. We told her that we would try to make arrangements to accommodate her but don't sneak around doing things behind our backs. We have already had a few talks with her about keeping up with the rules. So far, her relatives only follow for a short while.

Really, we don't want to have to charge her a pet deposite nor to raise the monthly rent (her anniversary as a tenant was last November) because she IS a good tenant. We only want to do that with her relatives :\

We are neither tyrants or hypocrites but you're right it is our right and our property. If the tenants were intent to have the same priviledges as the property's owners, there would not any contract that we'd have to deal with. As tenants a few years ago, we would have liked absolute equality ;)

Kap





SoCal for now.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: IronMac
Date: January 15, 2006 12:01PM
I don't understand what the issue is. From the twists and turns in the story it seems that you simply don't want the dog, the tenant or guests around.

What does the lease specifically say about guests? If it doesn't say anything about guests then it's none of your business. My Mother has been staying here for over three weeks now and it's none of my landlord's business if she wants to stay another three weeks.

Are you being disturbed by the guests? It doesn't sound like it. Are you being disturbed by the dog? It doesn't sound like it either.

Really, unless the lease defines what are guests and how long they can stay with your tenant you've got no recourse.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: d0e
Date: January 15, 2006 12:01PM
h' Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think you should continue to turn a blind eye to
> a visiting dog. Especially since you have one
> yourself (I did understand your problem but it's
> just not a reasonable reason to keep a visiting
> dog out, sorry).

well they could "The contract specifies no animals allowed"
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: d0e
Date: January 15, 2006 12:09PM
kap you have couple choices
1. give a last warning "if we see another pet on the property you will have voided your lease and will be evicted"
2. charge the pet fee and just deal with it
3. toss them out for breach of contract and take the chance of getting a worse tenant.

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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: IronMac
Date: January 15, 2006 12:10PM
Good point, d0e...I missed that. In that case, you have to figure out whether or not the clause applies to the tenant or does it also apply to her guests? It may come down to allowing the guests but not their dog and if she wants to pay the $250 pet deposit then there's nothing much you can do.

But, this sounds like there's a lot more involved than simply the dog.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: January 15, 2006 12:11PM
Even though she is not a property owner, the tenant has rights. If her guests aren't breaking the law, in the sense that they are not selling drugs or stolen goods out the door, or playing loud music till 3 a.m. and disturbing the neighborhood, then she has the right to have guests, and it's really not the landlord's business who they are or how long they stay as long as their stay is not permanent. If they move furniture in, that's a different story.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: kap
Date: January 15, 2006 12:44PM
Yes, the contact specifies no animals (we got our dog AFTER they have theirs) on the premises. There was a couple of near dog fights between the tenant's guest's dog and ours (our is very protective male dog) when the other dog had no leash on. So I told our tenant to always leash the other dog. Ours is always on leash whenever he's outside. I even slightly broke our contact by agreeing verbally to let her guest's bringing the dog occasionally. Now it's a common occurence.

Yes, the contract specifies how long an overnight guest could stay until we have to start charging for having an additional tenant (3 in a one bedroom guesthouse). We don't want to avoid that route. Yes, we had been lenient and turned blind eyes when the tenant's boyfriend start staying (moving in?) everyday for 11 months until we had a talk with her about it last December. As I have mentioned we don't mind her having guests coming over every weekend from Friday through Sunday.

We don't have a problem with the tenant herself; it's her guests. But then she is responsible for her guests.

Man, we have been a homeowner less than 4 years. Before that we had been renters for years and years. The truth be told, all of our landlords appreciated our outstanding tenancy. Regardless, our rent was always increased when the time came. Because we don't forget that we were once a tenant so we give our tenant room to wiggle.

Kap



SoCal for now.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: h'
Date: January 15, 2006 01:05PM
Didn't get the answer you wanted, huh?
Well, hopefully this thread was helpful in some way.



I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: January 15, 2006 02:11PM
Kap Quote.:
"There was a couple of near dog fights between the tenant's guest's dog and ours (our is very protective male dog) when the other dog had no leash on."

Kap, your dog is not "protective", it is dominant, he thinks he is the alpha male and believes he is in charge, that makes for a deadly mix, dogs can never be in charge, most humans have no clue about how a dog pack works. Do yourself a big favor, watch the "Dog Whisperer".

BGnR
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: d0e
Date: January 15, 2006 03:13PM
Kap wrote : "There was a couple of near dog fights between the tenant's guest's dog and ours (our is very protective male dog) when the other dog had no leash on"

right then i would have told the tenant if you ever have another dog over you will need to find a new place to live , as a owner you made the rules and when the tenant signed the lease they agreed.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: Marcos Malo
Date: January 15, 2006 04:01PM
I've been on both ends in such situations, and I've both received and given eviction notices.

Nothing can clear up a misunderstanding faster than an eviction notice. You don't have to go through with the eviction, but it will certainly get your tenants attention. It might also actually help her with her relatives by giving her ammo when she needs to be firm with them.

An eviction notice is revocable, so it's a good stick to use with the carrot of "one last chance".

In any case, what is most important (in many, many situations of social interaction) is to set boundaries and enforce them. You might feel bad about enforcing a stated boundary, but it's really the other party that is being the @sshole if you've been clear about boundaries.

If you decide to go through with the eviction, you should know that you can probably get a very good student tenant from Art Center in Pasadena. I've got a tenant right now who pays $700/month + share of utilities for a studio apartment over the garage. He's a very good tenant, pays on time, and is quiet. The program at Art Center is so hard that most of the time he is doing his school work when he is at home.

FWIW, I'm in Eaglerock/Highland Park, which is currently a "hot" neighborhood. I could probably get more for the Studio Apartment, but the tenant is a good one, so we haven't raised the rent. We're also a lot closer to Art Center than you are in Monrovia.



_____________________________________________
I think….
there….
4a.m.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2006 04:04PM by Marcos Malo.
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Re: Need advice: Dog in the rental (long)
Posted by: kap
Date: January 15, 2006 09:30PM
h',
Actually, every input offered here help us to better formulate our resolution smiling smiley

====

BGnR,

We don't have cables (I wish we could afford it!) so we read as much as we can about dogs' behaviors and training techniques as possible on different websites esp. Humane Society USA. And, of course, here at this forum. Yes, we have made sure that he knows we are ... well, I am the alphadog smiling smiley

====

dOe,

Yes, indeed, we make the rules with rooms for the tenant to wiggle depending on how good a tenant she is. Yes, she agreed to all the verbal and written rules in the contract when she signed.

====

Marco,

We have also thought about giving the tenant a copy of the contract with highlighted specifics as an amo to deal with her relatives. We are hoping that we will not have to end with an eviction.

====

Greatly appreciative of everyone's input smiling smiley

Kap





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