Daughter of Inglewood mayor charged with hiring a friend to attack her landlord…
The news that made headlines this June, reveals one of the real dangers to professionals in the rental industry. Landlords and property managers have the potential to experience harassment, threats and even physical violence at the hands of their tenants.
In the case above, a renter hired a friend to attack her landlord over an ongoing dispute, according to LA Times. Due to the fact that landlords develop personal relationships with their tenants- one where the renter knows the landlord’s home address and even his schedule- their safety can be at risk if the relationship goes south.
While the situation above is an horrifying example of landlord danger, it is more likely that a landlord will encounter hostile behavior from an unhappy tenant. Hostile tenants use intimidation tactics to harass or threaten their landlord in order to keep a security deposit, live rent-free or otherwise violate a lease agreement.
It is important to be aware of certain safety precautions you can take to protect yourself and your property just in case your landlord-tenant relationship goes south.
Landlord Safety Precautions
- Don’t give out your home address.
- Encourage that your tenants make rent payments online
- Get a P.O. Box for tenants to mail checks to.
- Try a Google Voice number for business calls. It’s free and prevents your tenants from constantly calling your personal number with complaints or threats. As an added bonus, Google will transcribe all voicemails for you for easier record keeping.
- Check your Insurance – An angry tenant poses a real threat to damage your property. Key things to think about when getting a landlord insurance policy include buildings insurance, contents insurance, emergency assistance, legal fee coverage, and accidental damage.
- Screen Your Renters. Tenant screening goes beyond reviewing a tenant’s credit report and criminal background. You should verify professional and landlord references to find out if the applicant has a history with aggression (make sure to google the business and call the online number to make sure they gave you a real reference!).
If your tenants start issuing threatening messages or menacing acts to you, here are some ways to manage it professionally.
What To Do When Your Tenants Threaten You
- Do not threaten back. Keep calm and respond professionally.
- Call the Police if you feel threatened or in immediate danger. Having records will help you if you need to go to court.
- Ask a witness to be with you during interactions with your tenants.
- Tell the tenant that all communication must be done in writing.
- Save all of the texts, emails, and voicemails. You might need them in court someday.
In some cases, a tenant may threaten to take you to court. If your renter claims he will sue you, you can verify the legitimacy of this claim by asking to speak with the attorney they claim is representing them. Get the lawyer’s phone number and give them a call. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to follow the law, and cannot encourage a tenant to pursue a course of action that is not justified. Chances are, the attorney will speak to you more respectfully, making it easier to resolve the problem. Ask for information from the attorney in writing.
If your tenant is especially demanding or mean but hasn’t quite moved towards harassing, it is important to establish yourself as the authority in the relationship. Consider this advice from a landlord on a Mr.Landlord.com forum:
I do not put up with verbal or physical abuse. I would draft a letter today and mail it to her certified mail that you are giving notice of lease non-renewal effective TODAY. So even if her lease doesn’t expire until April, as of TODAY she is aware it is not going to be renewed. No specific reason needs to be given. Just “your lease which ends xxx will not be renewed. Please be completely moved out and return keys on that date by (whatever time). A move out inspection will follow.”
This puts the ball in her court to contact you.
Be careful though. This will undoubtedly [upset] her something serious. Well whoopee doo. She’s already angry. But what you do need to do is follow up with a maintenance visit 30-60 days BEFORE the end of the tenancy so you can note damages, repair them, and bill them to the tenant. Don’t wait until the end to find out how many holes she and her ex-con boyfriend have punched in your walls. There won’t be enough deposit to cover it, likely. Hire a rough and tough handy man who looks like he leads a biker gang to go over to take care of it. If she refuses to let him in for a scheduled appointment (post time and date on the door in advance, of course), bill her for the service call and reschedule. Rinse, repeat as often as necessary, and keep sending the bills and deducting them from her rent. The day she doesn’t pay the charges and is short on rent, evict her.
Some might call this the perfect recipe to hack off a tenant. She’s already hacked off. Nothing you can do at this point to change that. I call it, “taking back control and de-stressing.”
If you don’t like my ideas, that’s fine, but whatever you do, under no circumstances do you answer her hateful texts or phone calls. Do not participate in this kind of childish behavior. –108.250.xxx.xxx
Remember that you have rights when it comes to protecting yourself from negative behavior from your tenants. Follow the law, don’t get emotional, respond professionally, contact the authorities, have a landlord-tenant lawyer on your side, and move forward with a legal eviction if necessary. And don’t forget to screen your tenants.
Do you have any negative tenant stories? Share your experience in the comments.
How can I handle a tenants verbal abuse? She has accused me of things I haven’t done. She enjoys coming into the office screaming calling me incompetent & accused me of being an illegal threat me with calling Immigration etc. Do I have rights as en employee? P.S I am a US citizen never in Gage on such despicable behavior with her of anyone else.
I would talk to your supervisor about the situation. It sounds totally unacceptable. You should try and always have a witness with you when you have to interact with the tenant. Take detailed notes of all the interactions you have with the tenant. Talk to management to see if there are any warnings or notices you can issue the tenant. Is there something in the lease that says all tenants must behavior appropriately to other tenants, and management?
I was threatened with a knife called the cops they did nothing was beaten over the head with a 2 by 4 and taken to the hospital and still the police didn’t arrest them they scrapped the stove and frig and broke a 2 by d our over my head and I don’t know what’s wrong with the police they haven’t done anything they came on my property and tried to kill me
oh my gosh, that is very scary. I would speak with a lawyer right away about advice for further protections.
I did retained a lawyer and he done nothing I paid eviction attorneys $1,960.00 since 7/7/2021 and still this attorney and or his office had contacted me with the courtesy of giving me an update and still this tenants are upstairs 6 months without paying rent and now they been throwing garbage out the window and throw garbage to my Christmas decorations and I also called the police they came with an attitude towards me and asking me and my Grandson if we saw them throwing the garbage🙃 and then the police comes like ready to fight an army with almost Guns drowned?
I too was assaulted twice once after I was granted a restraining order and the judge would not let me use my case to evict them. During Covid-19 I called the police they did nothing but warned me to be careful they were out to get me. The attorney for property evictions would not help me and to this day they are still here not paying rent. They threatened me for two years I don’t even feel safe going out of my apartment, I live onsite. It has affected me emotionally it has affected my job performance . I am a 58 year old woman .
I am a on site manager, and my tenant just finished moving her things, she drove out yelling and threatening to get me. I’m so tired of being the target cos they didn’t pay their rent. Geesh. I feel you, you are not alone.
I have a tenant who constantly keeps me playing defence. I gave him a six month lease in which he agreed to be the ” Best Tenant I ever had ” if I gave him a chance.
At this point he looks like he is going to be a washout, but he believes he is going to renew no problem. I suspect he is an abusive person in that he has so many workarounds when I try to assert myself as landlord. Do you have any recommendations about how to deal with him. He is African American and also has a sixteen year old son. I don’t want to discriminate and dont feel I have at this point.
If the lease is over, can’t you just give a notice to vacate without cause? Make sure to check your state laws and provide proper notice. Good luck!
I live in a two family house where my father the landlord occupies the main level with my grandmother, and I occupy the basement with my girlfriend. We have one family of tenants who live on the top two most spacious floors of the house. My father has gone through painstaking adjustments making several upgrades and conversions on the houses electrical wiring as well as interiors to adjust the current control for the meter to be on the main floor since the previous landlord was living where our current tenants are now. The tenant upstairs is claiming power is being drawn from his apartment and is increasing his electrical bill. My father hired several electricians who have made adjustments to the wiring and ran tests to make sure that the wiring is not affecting the family upstairs all at his own expense. He also compensated them already last year $800 for their perceived increases. Now I am at home yesterday and hear the tenant raising his voice and talking very aggressively and disrespectfully to my father again STILL demanding more compensation and saying that the problem has not been fixed but he is refusing to provide a bill or any proof of his claims. I went upstairs to step in as my fathers son because my father is not a confrontational man, and told the man upstairs to show some respect. The tenant threatened me to that he would “see me outside”. I feel now that my father is being extorted and I am not the kind of young guy who can just stand by and watch that. Please any advise on how we can regain control without the situation developing would be much appreciated.
I suggest reverting back to the lease. If the tenant is out of line with his behavior, take detailed notes and record the interactions if possible. Then follow your state laws for how to submit notice to the tenant that his behavior is inappropriate and violates lease terms if applicable. If your state allows it and your tenant is on a month-to-month lease, you could also move forward with a no-cause eviction, just make sure that the tenant doesn’t feel like the no-cause eviction is an act of retaliation, because retaliation is illegal.
I can’t file a police report the Lynbrook police department told me they do not take reports that I’m on my own. And I’m so worried this tenants are just plain mad. And verbal abuse???
Hi Nancy, I have been in your shoes and while it’s not an easy task to deal with angry and aggressive tenants, perhaps this article with some tips on handling difficult people will be useful? Additionally, I would recommend documenting every interaction carefully and speaking to your police department on how they would like you to proceed in the event issues escalate. If you work for a property management company or owner, be sure to keep them informed and ask for clarity on what steps you should take to protect yourself. Lastly, check with your local and state agencies on the types of notices you are allowed to serve regarding tenant behavior. There will be interactions, regardless of all the steps taken, that will be out of your control – it’s in how we handle ourselves in those moments that make all the difference. As this article indicates and my suggestions above, even if the police will not get involved now, they may in the future. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to help you gain back a feeling of control. Wishing you all the best.
So we had to call the cops on the tenant since she was getting in a huge physical fight with her baby daddy who isn’t even supposed to be living there, but he is the one that pays the rent. I gave her a 30 and now it’s coming up on the 60 day vacate and end tenancy paperwork. I don’t particularily feel safe, and she has many other reasons why she’s not getting her deposit back, and she didn’t pay this last month, so the deposit is being used for that. She stabbed her boyfriend supposedly, lied to the police that we shut off utilities and locked her out. Even though I didn’t state “I dont want to be stabbed too” in her notice, are these viable reasons to upstand in her most likely eviction case?
Hi Grace, that sounds frightening. Be sure to take detailed notes of any incidences as having records and/or police reports will help you in the eviction process. If you haven’t already, I would definitely speak with a legal advisor ASAP about advice for further protections and the eviction process. And of course, don’t hesitate to call the police if you feel in danger.
New York State’s new 2019 law gives tenants so many protections that we are considering selling our properties. We have 3 properties (7 units total) and keep them nice enough that we would live there. NY’s new law forbids us from making inquiries about prior evictions when a person applies to rent, limits the security deposit to 1-month (with no other allowable deposits for last month, oil, anything), and gives lots of other protections to tenants and potential tenants that are guaranteed; that is, not subject to any judicial discretion should the matter go to court. We just spent $10K to enforce a move-out given to a month-to-month tenant with proper notice. It took over 3 months to get her out. She hasn’t physically hurt us, but she’s implied her son will take care of that. We are still dealing with a complaint she submitted to a 3rd state agency. In the end I’m not worried about it since we have evidence she perjured herself because she said completely contradictory things in 2 sworn statements submitted to different agencies. But still we’re the ones getting screwed, harassed, incurring legal fees, and spending time on a person who has learned how to game the system in every conceivable way. If you live in NY and rent properties, call your elected officials and spread the work to any landlords you think are decent people. Renting a few 2-family and 3-family homes doesn’t make a lot, the profit is in the equity we build over time and the increase in property values. Taking a $10K hit puts us in the red. See…
Senate Bill S6458 (of 2019-2020 legislative session), “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection act of 2019” signed into law by A.Cuomo
Thank you for sharing that valuable feedback and how those regulations have impacted you personally. Even without those additional regulations, from experience, I know that evictions are costly and difficult and I’m sorry you had to deal with that scenario. I wish you all the best!
Our son-in-law has told us he is bipolar. They have four children. They are living in our 4/2 invest prop nearby. He has frequent out-of-control verbal fits. Our daughter has called the police on him at least five times. She has filed most of the paperwork to get a divorce and says she wants to complete the divorce. The children (5-12) said they do not want him there and they want to protect their mother. Today he told our daughter he would “pull the plug” if he could. He has moved out three or four times but still wants to park his stuff in the garage. What type of forms do we need to fill out and serve him so he will leave.
Speaking with a lawyer will be your best and safest option to get accurate advice on how to protect your daughter and grandchildren. An attorney will be able to inform you of which papers will help put a restraining order in place or evict your son-in-law from the property.
Hello, I have tenant, she is not paying for few mother multiple guys coming to her space. When I asked to rent and complaint about guys she came at me
It’s always good advice to protect yourself from dangerous situations. It might be best to send her notices of rent due by mail instead of approaching her in person. Not only will you then have a record of your requests in case you need to evict her for violating her lease, but it also keeps you safe.
I have a unwanted tenant that threaten me And try to fight me and put his hands on me the police have been called couple times and got a threaten letter of stuff I haven’t done and try to set me up verbal abuse I’m tired of the abuse I keep my cool and I’m not trying to go to jail if I react people been telling me to record and write the things he does his girlfriend is a weak person he leave her at time to cheat on her at all time a night I’m just tired of it I evicted them giving them a 30 notices and then they both came back and agree to leave but not on my date But of there own like 16 days after And sign my name like I agree to it and I didn’t Aww I’m tired
That does sound tiring. Looks like there is some hope that they may be moving soon. Until then, I would recommend all communication in writing and not in person for your safety.
I let my sons father stay over for a “while he got something else figured out.” He changed the locks, and also didn’t pay the full amount agreed upon. He took the liberty of calling the police so he could have full access to my garage.. which I now have none, but he can have full access to my house.
I am about to leave my own home. He is harrassing me, I found drug paraphernalia in my house.. which is disgusting. He told the police he found the drugs and they were mine. I’ve been fighting to get my son back for 3 years. Just kept doing the next right thing. I thought helping someone was a “right thing” but it’s turned into a complete nightmare and it’s destroying my life.
He has broken every rule I set up and just barges in whenever he wants. Eats all the food, steals from me, then calls the police and says I steal from him.
What I don’t understand is how it’s possible for police to say a man who’s been staying here for 4 days has more power than I do. My mail gets delivered to my garage, which I am not allowed to access so goodbye mail.
And on top of all that, he managed to go door to door and tell my entire complex lies. He has been abusive in the past, and I only did this for my son.
I know my son wants his dad to be healthy.
He is making renovations to my garage.. and takes my stuff and puts it in there says it’s his.
Says he had his friend ( not supposed to have guests) install cameras. Somehow I find that to be incredibly alarming.
I don’t have any money, got laid off due to this covid thing and now I’m dealing with a loose cannon who is bringing people from gangs over to my house when I specifically said no guests.
He’s convinced my neighbors I don’t take care of my dog. I don’t know why, but I’m afraid.
I guess he’s done this before, plans the whole thing out. A true sociopath. He’s drunk and on drugs. I can’t be around that. But the police said he has to stay.
5 days now of complete hell.
Please help. Thanks
You can file to evict a tenant based on illegal drug use/possession in your property. Make sure you have proof (pictures?), but I’m sure courts everywhere are backed up due to Covid.
Someone could make a lot of [explitive] money if they wrote a book on all these [explitive] complaints. God bless the Folklore’s.
First she was holding my money in an alleged escrow account, and not paying due to covid. Now my sublet, sho is eight months past her lease has a laundery list of things that she will take me to court for a “six figure payout” if I don’t agree to pay her $14,000 and she will move by the end of the eviction morarotium. What do I do?
Jaime, I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. That situation sounds serious so it might be time to seek out an attorney familiar with rental real estate law to support you going forward with this tenant.
How can I get rid of my roommate/lodger who is constantly harassing me verbally and making unreasonable demands such as
no repairs or maintenance to her room, no visitors to my home, saying mean and pointed things to me, demanding that I wear a
mask (re: Covid) inside my own home, barging in on me in my home office with different demands, and in general making me feel like I want to hide from her in my own house. She is very intimidating and threatens me constantly. I have become physically ill
on more than one occasion with heart palpitations, shaking, and high blood pressure after she starts up with me. What can I do,
as there is no illegal drug use and she is on month to month over one year. Am I stuck with her for 60 days if I give notice?
please help!!! What to do when the tenant phisically attacks the landlord and the police does not do anything because the tenants claims self defense? Even the landlord being a 66 years old man and the tenant a 38 years old mechanic ?? I have pictures of how my brother in law is right now. I am scared because the tenant continue to live on his property. The police claims that because of Covid they can’t put the people who are not paying out. Please any help is appreciated . Thank you
Get an elder abuse restraining order right away. You are over 65, you can do it and they will kick the room mate out that same day! do it.
I have a Section 8 tenant who was just arrested for a felony level 5 with a deadly weapon attack on landlord. She is in jail for a couple of days. I had to go to ER, get cat scan for swelling on back of head and fractured nose from being beaten with a hammer. A 10-day notice was issued almost 10 days ago. The state has ordered a protective order to protect me. Can I terminate the lease immediately and take possession of the unit? There is a paper trail with the police department 8 visits to the property within 30 days leading up to the battery. There is also a paper trail with Section 8 due to tenant not allowing me into the unit even with police presence and a 24-hour notice for plumber appointment to repair a broken drain pipe or broken pipe. Tenant changed locks, would not answer door for police to enter with me due to verbal threats harmful threats to myself and property damage. Property damages have gone from minimal to escalating costs due to tenants’ sabotage efforts.
I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through, Dara. It was wise of you to have the authorities with you when you went to deal with the repair and I’m glad you have a protective order now.
Unfortunately, this matter is beyond the scope of advice I can offer so would check with your legal council and your local and state regulations on how to proceed. In many cases, the lease can be terminated for that type of violation. However, termination doesn’t necessarily mean instant possession of the unit if they refuse to leave. You might need a court ordered eviction. Your local department of housing and a good real estate attorney will know which forms and notices you’ll need to move that forward. Wishing you all the best!
My ten tent came to me in Fab saying he is living with people that is hostel to hem. i tell hem i have on room for hem. he comes back a foe days and says he really needs help please, I tell hem i have a attic room that he could have tell the first of July. after that it gets to hot to live in. he looks at it and i say “no drugs our drama” he agrees, with in a weak he is yelling and scramming that people is torchering hem this gooses all night for serval nights, i tell hem “this has to stop or get out” all i get is f*** off i can do what i cgose to do. i give hem notice to leave, he duse not so his scramming go on and on tell June and i wright on his reaccept “this is a 30 day notice to leave. he retackles it up and thaws it down he never leaves and just tells me f*** off old man. saterday i tell hem again to leave, he trays to pushes me down to the floor and hits me in the jaw, i push hem off me and again tell hem to get the hell out you are on notice to leave get you! he is stell here. i have a cair giver and am 76 years old. and what di i do next? Henry Linebaugh.
Henry, that sounds very frightening. I recommend you reach out to your local authorities immediately for help. Tell them about the assault and ask them about your options such as pressing charges, a restraining order, or them removing him from your home, etc…
Also, check with your local housing authority to find out what is required in your area to remove a violent tenant from your home. They will let you know if you need to send your tenant an official 30 day notice by mail (certified or regular) or if that hand-delivered note or police action is sufficient. Stay safe and be sure to call on the police and your local housing authority for help as soon as possible.
I have a tenant who has pulled a gun on me, who has attempted to break in to our neighbors houses, who has ran around naked in the street, refused entry after proper service, changed the locks and given me no key to the property, her year lease ended and she hasn’t left, she hasn’t paid rent, she leaves very disturbing messages on my voicemail. How do I get her out?