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Broken lease by Tenant

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  • Broken lease by Tenant

    I have a construction company that signed a lease for 10 months. They only had airbeds in the house, no furniture or curtains except for what I had put up[ and brought 5th wheels to park on the property, which is out in the country. The house was essentially empty mostly. It was used for a place to stay during the work week. The company was working on a road project nearby. I have owned this house for 20 years and have never had a rodent problem, but the second month they were there rats started moving in and besides leaving droppings made the house stink. They tried to take care of it on their own without notifying me but after about a month the company did let me know. The problem by this time was critical and I called in a carpet cleaner and exterminator to clean the house and get rid of the rats. The tenants moved out during this time and would not move back in. I got paid rent for October and November and a little over half of December. The owner called me and said he was giving 30 days so he felt he only had to pay part of December.

    I hired an exterminator, carpet cleaner, cleaned out every cabinet, disinfected the house, sealed entry points into the house completely and made the house livable again but the employees wouldn't move back in. So, the house still isn't rented, it is March and the rent is a critical part of our income. My husband is disabled and I have rental income. I can understand if I wouldn't take care of things but I wasn't notified until the problem was critical and more costly to take care of and I took care of things immediately. The tenants had my cell phone number, email address and my husband's cell number. We could have easily been reached at any time.

    I found out that a neighbor, hidden by trees, was forced to clean up the property he was dumping tires, old appliances and cars on and the rats had been living there. They also moved to another property owner's house on the far side of the ratty neighbor. These three homes are not visable from each home.

    What recourse do I have?

  • #2
    Re: Broken lease by Tenant

    I wish to inform you that you may give a written notice to the tenant. You may claim damages in terms of rental till the premises is hired again, costs and costs involved in getting rid of the rodent menace. If the tenant does not resolve the matter, then you may file a lawsuit. You may place all evidence in support of your view point before the Court. The burden of proof to prove your claims will be on you. It is your duty to mitigate your claims by finding a new tenant as soon as possible. The Court will consider all the facts and decide the matter.

    AFF

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Broken lease by Tenant

      Originally posted by Josie9001 View Post
      I have a construction company that signed a lease for 10 months. They only had airbeds in the house, no furniture or curtains except for what I had put up[ and brought 5th wheels to park on the property, which is out in the country. The house was essentially empty mostly. It was used for a place to stay during the work week. The company was working on a road project nearby. I have owned this house for 20 years and have never had a rodent problem, but the second month they were there rats started moving in and besides leaving droppings made the house stink. They tried to take care of it on their own without notifying me but after about a month the company did let me know. The problem by this time was critical and I called in a carpet cleaner and exterminator to clean the house and get rid of the rats. The tenants moved out during this time and would not move back in. I got paid rent for October and November and a little over half of December. The owner called me and said he was giving 30 days so he felt he only had to pay part of December.

      I hired an exterminator, carpet cleaner, cleaned out every cabinet, disinfected the house, sealed entry points into the house completely and made the house livable again but the employees wouldn't move back in. So, the house still isn't rented, it is March and the rent is a critical part of our income. My husband is disabled and I have rental income. I can understand if I wouldn't take care of things but I wasn't notified until the problem was critical and more costly to take care of and I took care of things immediately. The tenants had my cell phone number, email address and my husband's cell number. We could have easily been reached at any time.

      I found out that a neighbor, hidden by trees, was forced to clean up the property he was dumping tires, old appliances and cars on and the rats had been living there. They also moved to another property owner's house on the far side of the ratty neighbor. These three homes are not visable from each home.

      What recourse do I have?
      Your options will be determined by your state's LL/T laws. One might argue that the severe rat infestation made the property totally uninhabitable due to the significant health and safety hazards. The tenant may be able to make that argument, and he may not.

      You could always try suing for the unpaid rent under the lease, but again, state law determines whether that's possible and for how many months of that lease you can do so. You would need to prove that you mitigated the damages from the early termination by making reasonable efforts to re-rent the property.
      "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
      "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
      "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Broken lease by Tenant

        It appears based on your timeline you took about a month and a half to solve the issue. It is understandable they moved elsewhere. Any claim you make for lost rent will likely be offset by expenses they incurred moving the crew elsewhere. Then the court will take into consideration your attempts to rent again.
        Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

        I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

        Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Broken lease by Tenant

          I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. I wasn't told for over a month. When I found out I called an exterminator right away and had the problem taken care of . I also called a carpet cleaner and went in myself and wiped everything down and disinfected it. A problem with rats in the home is not something I would ignore.

          Thank you for your reply.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Broken lease by Tenant

            In this situation, you may succeed in small claims by suing the company. You appear to have the lease/law on your side. That said, examine the psychological defense they will assert. Have you ever been camping and woken up with rats or racoons on, or around you? After a few weeks of waking up in the night to scurrying creatures, could you sleep on an airbed in the same place? What would you say is the Christian thing to do? Good Luck, no matter what your decision.
            Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

            I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

            Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

            Comment

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