What a stressful week it has been. The Chuck’s alone, based on previous posts, are trying to kill me. They could have clinched the playoff spot on Sunday, but decided to wait until the last game on Monday. They could have clinched the division title last night, but are going to have to do that tonight in do-or die fashion again. And then the whole ticket fiasco….
The Chucks are not the only drama in my life. I have a couple of tenant situations which are quickly coming to a head. Although I teach classes on smart property management, I break most of my own rules and I have been dealing with a number of problem tenants who should have been evicted long ago. Although most realize the effort I am making to work with them, and therefore make an effort to work with me, there are a few who are clearly taking advantage of my “Mr. Nice Guy” nature. I refuse to be taken advantage of, so I have no less than 5 units who are at some point in the eviction process. Add with the entire day on Tuesday spent on lawn mowing duties, and you can see how a week can get away from me.
Thursday has really snuck up on me this week, I didn’t even fully realize what day it was until I heard the garbage truck coming down the hill this morning. But Thursday it is, and time for another installment of the Dr. Rent Show on WNRB-LP, 93.3 FM, from 5PM to 6PM.
This show is going to be another show entirely devoted to questions. A tenant on a verbal month-to-month agreement moved out in mid-July and here it is mid-August. They don’t have their security deposit back yet, what is their next step in collecting it? A tenant is being charged to replace the carpet, but the tenant was there for five years and the carpet was not new when they moved in, can the landlord do this? Also, we had a question about wear and tear on a carpet, what type of things can effect wear and tear? Does a tenant being in a wheelchair cause more wear? Finally, a year-to-year lease ended in March, but the landlord is charging the tenant for April rent, can they do that?
Last week’s main topic of Wausau’s Housing Task Force was talked about in last Thursday’s blog post, so no need to re-hash that here. The questions we covered last week were actually pretty easy ones.
First, a call from a tenant who is late in the rent and the landlord is telling them they need to leave, how long must the landlord give them to leave. If the rent is late, depending on the type of rental agreement, the landlord can either give the tenant notice that the rent needs to be paid within 5 days or they need to leave; or the landlord can give the tenant notice they need to leave within 14 days. These notices have to be in writing and the statutes are very specific in how these notices are to be delivered. Once the end dates of those notices have come and gone, the landlord cannot force you out. Only the sheriff can force you out, and they need a court order to do so. So, after those notices end, the landlord would need to file an eviction action. From the date of filing to the date of hearing, about 3 weeks will pass. If there is no good defense for the rent not being paid, an eviction order will be granted and once this is given to the sheriff, then it is in their hands. The Sheriff only has 10 days to execute the writ. I have seen the Sheriff give someone the weekend to move, I have also seen them tell the tenant they have 5 minutes.
In a different question, the landlord wants to show a tenant’s rental property to a prospective renter, they called in the morning wanting to show it that afternoon. Can they do that? Under normal circumstances, no. In residential rentals, a landlord can enter the unit to show it to a new tenant. They don’t need the current tenant’s “permission”, they only need to give proper notice. That proper notice is 12 hours. However, check your lease. If there was a properly executed Non-Standard Rental Provision that allowed for different advance notice, then the notice provisions in the Lease would trump the statutes.
Finally, my favorite question was not a question asked of me. I was talking to another person who handles a large volume of landlord-tenant calls and shared a recent call that they had. A tenant wanted to plant a flower garden in their yard, and the landlord was saying no. How can the tenant make the landlord say yes? (The landlord inferred at lease signing they could do this.) Inferred? Any promises made by the landlord need to be in writing. Without written permission, there is nothing that can be done to force the landlord to allow for a tenant to have a garden. And, there are good reasons for this. I do allow this in some of my rentals (duplexes and homes where the tenant does the lawn care), but it has to be well managed. The tenant needs to replant the lawn when they vacate, and most importantly, they have to show me where this is going and they must call diggers hotline first. I don’t need them digging up the electrical, cable or gas service, or the septic field in properties with wells.
Two other quick items of note… WNRB-LP is having a fund-raiser this weekend. As most know, we are a volunteer station. Our operating funds come from grants (when we can find them) and donations. This is our highest-profile fund-raiser to date: We are sponsoring a concert. The concert will be this Saturday, August 21st, 2010 at Dale’s Weston Lanes. The concert is scheduled to start at 7 PM with doors opening at 6. After a couple of warm-up bands, our headliner is scheduled to take the stage around 11-ish. Headlining our concert is a Chicago group called Losing Scarlet. Tickets are $10 in advance (at the WNRB station at 1109 6th Street, at the County Market at 18th Avenue, and at Trigs on 17th Avenue). They are also available to purchase at the door at Dales for $12. In addition to the concert, the radio station is hosting a “Meet and Greet” with Losing Scarlet at the WNRB studio on Saturday afternoon at 3:30.
For one last little bit of self-promotion, the class schedule for the UWMC fall continuing education series will be coming out soon. I will be offering four classes as part of the fall session. I will post a little more information as the dates get closer, but if you were interested, put on your calendar now the following dates:
Top Ten Mistakes Landlords Make, a 90 minute class being offered on September 21st.
Debt Collection Strategies, a 90 minute class being offered on September 28th
How To class on Evictions, a 90 minute class being offered on October 5th.
And, my favorite class, Landlord-Tenant Law in Wisconsin. This class is 6 hours, we do 90 minute classes once a night for four weeks, the class runs from October 12th to November 2nd.
Until I see you on the radio, HAPPY RENTING!