Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cheap Evictions

During the drug epidemic, every once in a while we'd get a tenant who looked good on paper, but turned out to be something else in real life.

Doorbells would be rung indiscriminately all night long, self-locking doors would be propped open, cigarette butts would be put out on hall carpeting, dirt, noise, and abnormal amounts of "visitors" would come and go all the time.  And I would get complaints from my good tenants, who gave me the heads up, but who also would move if the situation wasn't resolved.

Drug activity is easy to spot, but hard to prove.  And the courts take too long for law-abiding tenants to go without sleep.  So I devised a plan.

I sent a note to all the tenants in the building that we were having a problem with the exterior door  locks and the intercom/doorbell system, so we had to do two things:  disconnect all the doorbells until we could get them "fixed", and change the exterior locks.  Please come to the office for your new key, and I apologize for the inconvenience until we can get the doorbells fixed.  Your guests will have to call ahead so you can meet them outside to let them in until we get the problem solved.

Simultaneously I would send the bad tenant an eviction notice.

Oddly, I sometimes forgot to send the note to the drug tenant.  And they never seemed to call for a new key, or to ask why their building key wasn't working.  Guess they didn't want to come face the landlord. Inevitably, they would just quietly abandon the apartment for greener pastures, and in the meantime, my good tenants would get uninterrupted sleep.

Yes, eventually the doorbells were "fixed".

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