“A PERSON’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ENDS WHERE ANOTHER PERSON’S SAME CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS BEGIN”
(this simply means that you should not violate other people’s constitutional rights while enjoying your own)
This is an on-going issue that if handled in a civil manner can be easily resolved, even though it can sometimes be time-consuming.
Although there are times you will be confronted with unruly tenants or tenants that you want to kick off your property, there are limits to what you can do without placing yourself in a criminal offense situation. Remember, once someone rents or is allowed to move onto your property, they retain similar rights to you. The following are just some basic guidelines that will possibly help you prevent disturbances between you and your tenant.
Always leave a notice 24-48 hours in advance to let a tenant know you will be entering the residence for maintenance work.
Ensure the habitation you are renting is according to health and safety code standards and that all appliances/utilities are in working order.
If you have a problem with a tenant performing criminal activities, call local law enforcement. It is best that you don’t confront them as those situations can usually end up in violent situations.
If you need to get a tenant off your property, you need to file an eviction. This is important as many times landlords think they can just walk into a tenant’s apartment or home and remove the tenant’s property. This can lead the landlord into getting in trouble for criminal trespass, theft, criminal mischief, etc.
If you are having problems with people trespassing on your property, feel free to post signs on your property stipulating that trespassing is not allowed. You can also place a letter on file with your local law enforcement requesting assistance with trespassing issues. If you want to get specifics on signs/placards for your property, feel free to contact your local law enforcement agency.
Remember, although you “pay” for the habitation you are living in you can always be evicted if you don’t comply with your lease agreements. Ensure you have read them thoroughly. Some of the following examples are just simple things that create big problems between landlords and tenants.
Parking – some locations have designated parking for both tenants and visitors. If there is assigned parking (usually vehicle stickers are provided), ensure you inform your guests where the visitor parking is located so that they can park their vehicle’s properly so they don’t get towed away. Many properties have contracts with wrecker services allowing the wreckers to tow vehicles that are parked in parking spaces without the sticker displayed or if the vehicle is improperly parked (i.e.: vehicle is backed into the space rather than parked with the front end of the vehicle pulled in first)
Loud Music – loud noise (music, television, voices, etc) is considered a disturbance of the peace. If your music can be heard outside your vehicle or outside your home (even through the walls as apartment walls are thin), you can be both cited/arrested by law enforcement and evicted by your landlord if they receive enough complaints and wish to evict you. Most of the time when it comes to music it is because the BASS (the thump, thump, thump your music creates), not necessarily the volume.
Trash – ensure your trash is properly placed in the trash receptacle that is provided (either the trash can you get with your water/sewage or one provided by the property)
Get permission from your landlord before you let people move in with you. This avoids numerous problems. First, most landlords stipulate that you can only have “guests” for a short term or else they have to be placed on the lease. If you don’t notify them, they can possibly evict you for violating your lease agreement. Secondly, allowing people to move in with you can create problems for you if they damage property, as you can be held responsible for it. And last but not least, if something happens that you need to get the person out of your residence, you may not be able to without filing an eviction yourself (this happens a lot when a person let’s a significant other or family member move in and things don’t work out).