May 25, 2006

craigslist rocks

Posted in landlording at 1:45 am by Marise Phillips

from a wise nightowl on the housing forum:

It’s really your choice how to handle this. Her ignorance of 30 day notices isn’t your problem. However, whenever I get something that kinda looks like an attempt at a 30 day notice (this is from experience with the sort of conflict you are describing), I immediately write the tenant a letter telling her/him why the notice isn’t a legal notice, describe the proper form, and suggest that she/he resubmit a correct 30 day notice ASAP.

You are right that her bounced check entitles you to withhold that amount from her security deposit. You should NEVER have a tenant pay “First and Last month’s rent” when they move in. You can have an initial payment that totals 3x the monthly rent if the unit is unfurnished and 4x the monthly rent if it is furnished. The smart thing is to call everything over the first month’s rent a security deposit and NEVER have a separate pet deposit, for example.

Generally, if there is confusion in communication, the interpretation favors the person being communicated with, not the person writing the communication. I think your tenant screwed up. And now she is trying to cover her ass.

The real question is what kind of karma you want to create for yourself. I have made this decision all over the map and regret the times I took a hard position. Time and experience (I own 35 rental units) eventually “shows the way.” LOL.


May 24, 2006

don’t fuck w/da riseyp

Posted in landlording at 6:55 pm by Marise Phillips

ME: my stupid tenant in colorado…
ME: she emailed me in late april to give me a heads-up she’d be moving out sometime this summer
ME: which i appreciated
ME: and then she sent me her rent check for May like 8 days late
ME: and the check she sent me had some cross-outs, like she had originally written the check for another purchase, but then decided to start over and send it to me
ME: so i deposited the check
ME: and the bank returned it
IM BUDDY: are you kidding me?
ME: yep
ME: it gets WORSE
IM BUDDY: did she initial the cross outs?
ME: no, i don’t think so
ME: not sure
IM BUDDY: oh my
ME: anyway, i left her a vm on her cell saying please send me a new check
ME: three days go by, no response
IM BUDDY: oh my
ME: i wrote her an email saying please send me a new check
ME: (btw she’s been 7-10 days late with rent at least 3 or 4 times since she moved in in Jan)
IM BUDDY: did you interview her or get her through an agency
ME: but she had a good credit rating, and has always been super nice and apologetic…
IM BUDDY: oh I see
IM BUDDY: has she paid you yet?
ME: she is just always busy and travels a lot for work
ME: so, she wrote me back saying she’s moving out this weekend
ME: and i’m like WTF???
ME: and she insists that her initial email to me was notice
ME: and i said no it wasn’t cause there’s nothing in it saying what date she plans to move out
ME: she said “sometime in the summer”
IM BUDDY: oh man!
IM BUDDY: not cool
ME: so now she’s refusing to send me a replacement check for May
ME: and so here is my dilemma
IM BUDDY: damn
ME: she was SOOOOOO unbelievably rude via email
ME: totally on the defensive
ME: and like borderline evil
ME: it was like Jekyll and Hyde
IM BUDDY: maybe she is bipolar
ME: i think she’s just stressed, cause she’s moving from Colorado to Hawaii, and it appears to have been thrown together somewhat hastily
ME: so my dilemma is that i have last months rent plus a security deposit (worth one more month of rent) which would cover what I think she owes me…
IM BUDDY: yeah, she still owes you rent
IM BUDDY: it’s June
ME: anyway, the lease we both signed pretty much protects me way more
IM BUDDY: not only does she owe you May but technically June too
ME: yep
ME: so i’m going to do some due diligence and make sure it’s legal for me to keep her deposit
IM BUDDY: it is
ME: one of the complicating factors to consider
IM BUDDY: but you might be short regarding any damage done
ME: is that she supposedly tried to contact me via at my old work email after i left- and the emails never bounced back, so apparently she just assumed I wasn’t responding
IM BUDDY: does she have a contact number
IM BUDDY: she can’t make up the stuff
ME: well, she moves out in a few days, so i should hear soon as to whether there is damage
ME: i don’t think there will be – and i have tried not to escalate any anger via email
IM BUDDY: so if she did try to contact you then she might have ground to stand on, but that doesn’t negate a full months rent for May does it?
IM BUDDY: good
ME: well, central to her argument is that her email from late april was official notice
ME: but it’s very weak
ME: this is what she wrote:

I also wanted to let you know that I am not going to be able to renew my lease. It looks as though the company I work for may be transferring me to Hawaii at some point this Summer. With that uncertainty, I do not want to commit myself to renewing the lease.

IM BUDDY: do you have any legal buddies you can ask?
ME: there is no mention in there re: moveout date
IM BUDDY: I agree
IM BUDDY: but did she give you a date in the bounce back emails?
ME: i was advised to ask the housing forum on craigslist… lots of landlords from all over the country post there
ME: i asked her to forward me the emails she sent to my old work address, but she hasn’t done it, so i think she’s lying.
ME: but in the lease, it says 30 days notice must be given via certified mail
ME: so she’s screwed.
IM BUDDY: oh my
IM BUDDY: she is
IM BUDDY: but even if she owes you, it’s hard for you to collect right?
ME: she won’t owe me anything as long as she doesn’t leave the place damaged.
ME: so i’m treading lightly
ME: this all went down yesterday.
ME: so i’m biding my time
ME: and need to do a bit more research
ME: just want to make sure i’m not doing anything that could ever be construed as illegal.
ME: she’s an idiot
IM BUDDY: good for you
IM BUDDY: boy I’m sorry you have this situation
ME: and if she really did send me emails, then she should have called or written me snail mail to cover her own ass.
IM BUDDY: when I heard you got property I wanted to do it too
ME: yeah, i was SOOOOOO upset about it yesterday.
IM BUDDY: you remind now why I don’t
ME: heheh!!
ME: yes, i’ve learned some really good lessons, thoguh
ME: the hardest one is don’t get emotional
IM BUDDY: right
IM BUDDY: good for you
IM BUDDY: calmness will allow you to react logically, which protects you legally
ME: hell yeah
ME: but also – calmness makes sure i don’t kill myself
IM BUDDY: well you don’t sound so angry
IM BUDDY: but then I can’t hear a word you are saying
ME: no, i’m WAY better
IM BUDDY: good
IM BUDDY: don’t stress yourself
ME: yesterday i was extremely enraged
IM BUDDY: not like you can change anything by stressing out
ME: nope
IM BUDDY: I can imagine
ME: it was the unfairness #1, and then it was her rudeness
IM BUDDY: boy, she’s lucky she doesn’t live in SF
IM BUDDY: she might not have lived till today
ME: heh
IM BUDDY: I agree, you felt indignant
ME: my good friend M was a sweetheart w/me yesterday
IM BUDDY: you want vindication
IM BUDDY: awww that’s good
IM BUDDY: glad you have good friends
ME: she is the one who lives out there, whose husband was my real estate agent
ME: and they’ve helped me so much
IM BUDDY: oh that’s nice
ME: that’s mostly why i bought there.
ME: having them to help me out.
IM BUDDY: well don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be ping’ing folks on your behalf
ME: yeah – they already have a couple leads on new tenants
IM BUDDY: great
ME: yup
IM BUDDY: consider this as another rough current to ride
ME: it’s a small town
IM BUDDY: it’s not so bad considering
ME: yeah, the fact that i’m so much calmer today is a huge deal
IM BUDDY: well if I move out there I will rent from you
IM BUDDY: I won’t pull that crap on you
IM BUDDY: you seem calmer
ME: god, no… unfortunately that town is full of ski bums & stoners
IM BUDDY: that’s good
IM BUDDY: haha
IM BUDDY: to ski
ME: it’s true
IM BUDDY: and to get high
ME: yep
ME: perennial kids
ME: they never grow up
IM BUDDY: weird mentality
ME: yep
ME: spoiled
IM BUDDY: must be nice

August 30, 2005

Counting down to condownership ™

Posted in landlording at 11:36 pm by Marise Phillips

Today we signed the papers. Lots and lots and lots and lots of papers. And because there was nowhere to sit in the UPS Store we met at (for notarization and overnighting the packet back to the title company), we camped out on some funky-ass, red-paint-flecked, pseudo-artsy concrete block nearby and did all the signing alfresco.

Thursday is when the deal officially closes, and money gets wired, etc… And YAY! We own a bit of this:

I can't wait to visit, but ironically we are pretty much now unable to afford flights out there 😉

Gotta think of 20 perfect words for our classified ad! How about:

Prime location 1 blk from Main Street. Pet negotiable, requires extra deposit. Maureen 970-729-XXXX.

July 28, 2005

One Small Step for RiseyP…

Posted in landlording at 10:12 pm by Marise Phillips

We bought a little condo in Telluride!!

Check out more pics!