Friday, July 10, 2015

Your tenant might be a redneck if…

Every week I am flooded with hundreds of emails.  This is one I received last week that really stands out. 

Hi, Troy
I just rented my home to a couple on August 1, 2008.  I do not want to cause any trouble so early in the rental becuase they seem to be good tenants.
I found out last week that they put up a two-seater tree stand to hunt deer.  I do not want them to hunt on the property.  It does not state in the rental agreement as such because no one has ever hunted deer on the property.

 I called and told them I will not allow any hunting.  They said they would remove the tree stand to the neighbor’s property.  My lot is only 80 feet wide.  Other neighbors do not allow hunting either.

In the State of Ohio, they have to have written permission to hunt which I will not give them.

How can I get this resolved in a legal manner without causing hard feelings?  Also can I revise my rental agreement to state that no hunting is allowed?

Any insight you can give me on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

I think if Jeff Foxworthy read this email, he would say.  If your tenant has a two-seater tree stand in the backyard to hunt deer, he might be a redneck.

All jokes aside, there are three issues to deal with here.
  1. The lease
  2. Safety
  3. Liability
A lease can always be altered and resigned at anytime.  The catch is the tenant must agree to sign a new lease and any new provisions in the lease agreement.

Safety of the tenants and neighbors is always a good landlord’s concern.  I don’t think any of you want someone injured on your property or by one of your tenants.  Landlords need to provide a safe environment for the tenant.

Liability issues have kept thousands of landlords awake at night.  If there is someone injured on your property or by your tenant are you liable?  Very possible.  Our courts and attorneys will ultimately decide on that.

How do you solve the hunting issue?

If gentle persuasion does not work, you need to get tough with the tenant.  Most leases have a clause stating that illegal activities are grounds for eviction.  Hunting without permission is illegal.  You may have to evict the tenant. Contact a local attorney when you feel the tenants are not responding.

Most landlords will never have a hunting issue to deal with.  But the principles here can be applied to any activity that is illegal or threatens the safety of others.

Git-r done,

P.S.  We all need a little laughter in our lives.  I found a funny commercial from X Box 360 on  Don’t click on this if you don’t want a laugh or are offended by redneck humor.  Please remember, this is an advertisement only. It is not reality.

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