Legal Corner

Duringer-Legal Corner | January 2, 2008

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Q: My wife and I have a single-family house that we’ve rented out for several years. The house is quite a ways away so we don’t get over to visit it very often. I generally leave it up to my tenant to let me know if something needs to be repaired. Well, last weekend I decided to drop by just to see how things were. Long story short, my beautiful lush green lawn is no longer beautiful, lush or green. In fact it was hard to see it at all with all the cars parked on it! I knocked on the door and was met by someone I had never seen before, and as the door was opened I saw that my nice living room had been converted into a bedroom, with mattresses strewn all over the floor. I was also met with an odor that reminded me of my high school gym socks. When I asked for my tenant by name, this person seemed confused, but then quickly babbled some story about him being out of town, on business, or something like that. The rent has always been paid on time, but I didn’t like what I saw. What do I do?

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Duringer-Legal Corner | January 2, 2008

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Duringer-Legal Corner | January 2, 2008

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Q: My tenant is driving me nuts! Every month he deducts a portion of his rent because of various “necessary” repairs he has supposedly made. This month, the doorbell buzzer didn’t “buzz” loud enough. What burns me is that he didn’t tell me, or my handyman, about the problem. He replaced the doorbell buzzer and deducted the $45 from the rent claiming he is entitled to under the “repair and deduct” theory. Can he do this?

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Duringer-Legal Corner | January 2, 2008

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Q: I own a house that I use as a rental property. Since it was my residence at one time, I like to make sure that it is kept-up by the tenants. In the rental agreement, I include provisions for upkeep and maintenance. As a landlord, I like to periodically inspect the house for compliance by the tenants with the terms of the rental agreement. I always post a 24-hour notice indicating that I will be inspecting the property during “normal business hours”. I have never had a problem until recently. My tenant says I have no right to come in and snoop around. Is she right?

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Duringer-Legal Corner | November 30, 2007

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Q: I seem to be able to work out differences with my residents quite easily, but there are times when we disagree as to just who is responsible for making certain repairs to the apartment. Can you give me some guidelines that will help me decide if the repairs are my responsibility or the responsibility of the tenant?

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