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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Relationship Between the Tenant and the Landlord

Wearing the hat of a Landlord never is fun and games, especially if you're an emotional individual with a soft spot in your heart. Although necessary, it is extremely difficult to separate yourself emotionally and look at land-lording as a business.

Disputes happen. Most of the time there are resolutions. Many times things remain the same, at which time the Landlord must take action.

The eviction process causes a great deal of stress on the Landlord (mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.) To eliminate this stress, the Landlord generally makes every effort to resolve these issues but when lies, denial and disrespect enter into the picture there is no alternative but to bring the situation to an end via eviction.

The following case scenarios are an indication that the end result will be eviction:

Dispute #1:   What caused the kitchen sink to overflow three times?

What do you mean a dish rag was accidentally left in the sink drain?
What do you mean the drain was clogged? Why wasn't it reported?
Do you understand this water overflow is doing damage to the unit below you at a great expense?
It was just an accident?

Resolution #1:


Dispute #2:  The one-piece flooring is peeling around the edges of the kitchen floor caused by the kitchen sink overflowing.

Why is a resident ripping these loose pieces up and off?
Why didn't you call us and report the situation?
What do you mean it was like this when you moved in?
Don't you remember we repaired it once following a code enforcement inspection on your behalf?
Why is this now happening on the other side of the room?
Normal wear and tear you say?
It wasn't your fault?

Resolution #2:

None; denial.

Dispute #3:  You know your rent is due on the 1st of each month; why does it arrive routinely during the 2nd - 3rd week of the month?

You say you had car repairs, school supplies, etc., etc.?
Why am I not notified?

Resolution #3:

No promises; too many unexpected monthly expenses.

Dispute #4:  Why is there a fist-sized hole in the center of one of the bedroom doors?

That's not new?
It's been there for awhile?
Why wasn't it reported?

Resolution #4:


Dispute #5:  Your lease states that the premises shall be occupied by you and your two children.

Who is the other woman living there and the additional three children?
You've invited your friend and her children to live with you because her home was condemned and they have nowhere else to live?
Why are they still there after you received written notice from your Landlord asking you to have them move out?

Resolution #5:


Dispute #6:  It was reported by a third party that the front entry door to your unit (made of steel) would not stay shut and annoyingly banged open and shut.

You knew it wouldn't stay shut?
You didn't report it?
The repair man reported that the door was kicked in from the outside so hard it caused damage to the door jam resulting in major repair.
No way, you say, that the door had been kicked in?

Resolution #6:

None; denial.

Dispute #7:  The water from the kitchen sink overflowed into the dining room causing large wrinkles in the wall-to-wall carpet.

Resolution :#7:

None; no defense.

Dispute #8:  The kitchen floor as well as the back stairway are desperately in need of mopping/scrubbing. Walking in these unkempt sticky areas allows for tracking this sticky matter throughout the rest of the unit resulting also in dirty carpeting and a bug and/or rodent infestation.

A fifteen day written request to eliminate this situation was given verbally and in writing.

Resolution #8:

More than 15 days later the floor remains unkempt and sticky.

Dispute #9:  Failure to take responsibility serious for maintaining smoke detectors in working order.

Resolution #9:

None; no defense.

Verbally disputed and denied: broken window glass; friend observed in drug deal on premises whereas police were called; several unsupervised teenage boy guests partying on the premises after midnight annoying other residents; garbage improperly placed in receptacle(s);


  1. In addition to paying rent, the tenant's other obligations are to keep their rental unit clean, safe and free from unnecessary damage.

  2. There is no room in a Landlord/Tenant relationship for lies, denial, or lack of respect.

  3. Honest open communication on both parts is required to prevent a trip to the courthouse.


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