TOPIC: Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter!

Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7931

I am looking for some help or insight here. I have a few VERY sloppy, unclean tenants and I need to write them notices to clean up or get out. I have started writing this notice several times now, but each time I get hung up on whether or not it sounds "professional" enough. I want to include that I will be coming in to conduct an inspection within "x" number of days. Has anyone else encountered this? Two of these people's places are so bad that their neighbors are complaining of roaches and we know they are originating from the "messy" resident. Thanks for any input. Lynne.

Re: Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7934

Hello Lynne, I hope you have something in your leasing contract that covers keeping and maintaining a healthy and clean unit or something to that affect which covers the area you want to write about. You want to ensure that whatever you are writing passes the legal test. The other thing to assist you is go to this link: www.lawdepot.com/contracts/noticelease/ques.php
  • Nate Thomas
  • Nate Thomas's Avatar
  • Posts: 369
  • Thank you received: 16
  • Karma: 12

Re:Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7935

Hello Lynne,

Ask youself this question..."would I live next door to these resident's?"

If not then how can I excpect anyone else to do so.

I have had this situation come up several times over the years. It is never easy to tell grown people "clean your room". However, it is absolutely necessary that you take action, otherwise you will end up losing your good residents.

First I would look at your lease. Our TAA lease states that it is a violation to interfere with the health and comfort of the neighbors. You may also get tips from your pest control provider and attach them or include them in your notice.

I currently inspect each condo every 6 months. I give resident's one week notice so that they are not surprised. I let them know it is a brief walk thru to check the smoke alarms, a/c filters, plumbing for leaks etc. Of course I look at the general condition as well.
I follow up with a letter of commendation for those that take care of their home. Occassionally I have to remind some to keep a fresh battery in the smoke alarm or replace a dirty a/c filter. If a home is dirty or has excessive clutter I remind them that this is a potential pest control problem and schedule another inspection within 1-2 weeks. This can be effective if you follow through. I did have one resident that had a very cluttered place with a dreaded roach infestation (it happens quickly).
Her first lease was about to end. I advised her that if she did not comply we could not renew her lease and she would be asked to move. Rather than clean her place she moved. If you ask someone to move in the middle of a lease documentation is even more vital. (Use your camera!)

Of course if maintenance or the pest control provider notice an issue they let me know so I can notify the resident immediately.

Take Care
Helene

Re:Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7938

I would have your attorney draft a letter that you can use as a violation of 'health and safety' responsibilities.

If your lease has a clause that requires residents to maintain a healthy, clean, and safe environment within their home; the letter should cite the specific clause that the resident is in violation of. You may want to see if you have any nonprofits in the area that you can put residents in touch with to help resolve the issue. If the resident has been with you a while; you may want to approach it with the mindset that you want to replace the carpet or repaint the unit; but cannot send anyone into the unit until the problem is resolved. If it is that bad, I am willing to bet that there are pest control and other maintenance issues to attend to as well. Set a date for a follow up inspection and then another date for an 'open ended work order' to resolve any and all maintenance issues.

I had to evict 2 households for hoarding and they left behind so much stuff; I had to hire a hauling company to remove. It took their crew of 4, 2 days and 6 trips to the dump to clear 4 units. 2 trips were for one unit alone and my units were all 1 bedrooms.

Re:Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7941

Lynne, I think most managers have encountered this issue one time or another! First, check your lease as others have stated; find out what your letter needs to state: Perhaps you can issue a 30-Day Notice to Quit or Cure? That way, the Residents know they have 30 days to clean up their act or you will start an eviction. I would definitely have the exterminator visit the units and treat as necessary. The exterminator will leave you a work order and on it, they will list the condition of the apartment treated and what needs to occur to prevent infestation. If their unit is already infested and this has spread to other units in the building, the exterminator will state this as well. At the end of the 30-day period, it is common for Residents to actually comply with your Notice and prevent eviction.
  • Mindy Sharp
  • Mindy Sharp's Avatar
  • Posts: 382
  • Thank you received: 33
  • Karma: 34

Re: Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7942

Thanks for the input! Helen and Nate, we do have in our lease that "Tenants shall be responsible for maintaining premises in a clean, healthy and attractive manner...", so I'm definitely covered on that point. And I definitely know that I want and need to address this situation.

I hadn't considered seeing if there are any non-profits in the area that may be willing to help provide some basic housekeeping "clinics", but that would definitely be appropriate with at least one of these residents! Thanks Johnny.

This is on the top of my list for tomorrow, although I'm always open to additional input on how anyone else may have addressed similar situations. ;)
  • Lynne
  • Lynne's Avatar

Re: Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7943

You may also consider seeing if there are any young people that may be into scouting (boy/girl) and may be in need of a community service project to actually do the work; this may be appropriate if the resident is disabled in some way.

If you have a pest control issue that involves bedbugs and you do a treatment; the cleanliness of the unit(s) infested does affect the effectiveness of the treatment and can lead to failure. I speak from unfortunate experience on this. My last property had a bedbug infestation that affected the entire property and cost nearly 50k to resolve. All because a small infestation went unreported and there were residents that had these issues with housekeeping.

Re: Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7944

I cannot imagine someone asking a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop to go into someone's filthy apartment and clean it and remove trash. This is not the same as raking some neighbor's yard full of leaves. That is inappropriate, in my opinion. What would you do to protect these children? What if they got hurt, even in a minor way, in the apartment on your property?
  • Mindy Sharp
  • Mindy Sharp's Avatar
  • Posts: 382
  • Thank you received: 33
  • Karma: 34
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chuck Mallory, Amanda Selwitschka

Re:Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7945

That was MY Eagle Scout project...... back in the day; with adult supervision, and a vehicle to take stuff to the dump.

Re:Dirty, sloppy, unclean tenants- I need a letter! 2 years 7 months ago #7947

Most states have have Health & Safety Hazard Notice that you can give to the resident. It usually gives them 7 days to 'fix' the issues or leave. Call your local Landlord/Tenant Court.
  • Gerry Hunt
  • Gerry Hunt's Avatar
  • Posts: 137
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 11

Multifamily Discussions

More Topics »