Adulthood, Being a Landlord, Breeding, Bullies, Cats, Complaining, Contracts, Craigslist, Dogs, Febreeze, Grooming, Hindsight, Home Business, Idiots, Integrity, Lawyers, Lease, Lease Violations, New Hampshire, Normal Wear and Tear, Pets, Petty People, Puppies, Puppy Mill, Real Estate, Security Deposit, Tenants, WTF, Yard Sales
FYI: One of the other unlisted F-words is apparently footnotes.
Another year, another failed attempt to sell the New Hampshire house. I don’t want to blame it on the tenants, but…
Okay, I totally blame it on the tenants. We put the house back on the market at the beginning of July and they were reasonably* accommodating of people coming to see the house. A few comments filtered back to us that the house kind of smelled like dog and turned buyers off. We were disappointed, but we knew going into it that they had two (2) dogs.** C’est la vie.
Two months went by and interest died down, so we decided we would rent it out again. There are not many single family homes for rent in the area so we knew it would be scooped up quickly, just like last year. I posted an ad on Craigslist*** and, as predicted, got a huge response. I forwarded the showing requests to our real estate agent (REA for short) and waited. Nothing happened. Last year, we had it rented in less than a week. I emailed the REA and he said the tenants weren’t allowing any showings at all, despite their refusal being in violation of the lease agreement.
At the same time, the tenants were having their own hissy fit about the security deposit. They wanted the check in their hands at the walk-through, not mailed later, which is the norm. I acquiesced to their bullying in hopes they would allow some showings (I am not proud of this). After that and the REA’s reminder that they were in violation of the lease, they allowed people to come view on Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. while they sat in the driveway and glared at everyone.
It was at this time that our REA discovered the real reason they were not allowing any showings of the house. There were not two (2) dogs in the house; there were THIRTEEN (13).
Thirteen effing dogs.
Eleven dogs over the allowed amount, in (major!) violation of the lease agreement. Breeding puppies and running a business out of the house, in violation of the lease agreement (I have the online advertisement as evidence). They’re not even allowed to have yard sales without our prior written permission! There may even be a cat living there, in violation of the lease agreement. I’m not positive about that one. Her ad mentioned the puppies were socialized with a cat, but who knows what that means.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
I spoke to our lawyer,**** but we don’t have much recourse. We could theoretically evict them, but there’s no point with them moving out in two weeks. Good riddance. In hindsight, we should have evicted them last winter over the repeated late rent payments. It would have saved us so much trouble!
However, the tenants are not getting their security deposit the day of the walk-through. Our lawyer said that was a supremely stupid idea (she said it much more nicely) but they had no right to it for 30 days after the lease was up, and that there would probably be deductions since 13 dogs would likely have more damage than “normal wear and tear.” I still need to let the tenants know they won’t be getting it the day of the walk-through (they probably thought we’d never find out about the 13(!!!!) dogs), but I’m holding off a few days until we hopefully get a new lease signed, because I’m pretty sure showings will be cut off (in violation of the lease agreement)***** in retaliation.
*It’s all relative. They “allowed” it, but they didn’t make it easy.
** FWIW, we never got that complaint when we were showing it during the first attempt to sell, and we have a large dog and two cats. I wondered, “do they not groom their dogs? Heck, spend $3 on some Febreeze if it’s that bad!”
*** Why did I have to so it? Because when the cat’s away, the mice will play apparently. The REA never posted it for rent as far as I can tell. Last year if you asked me for a recommendation for a SoNH real estate agent, I would have recommended him enthusiastically. This year, not so much.
**** “Our lawyer.” Makes me sound so…adulty.
***** I’ve typed that so much I think it’s lost all meaning. But seriously, these people have absolutely no integrity and their signature isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on.