Tenant texts move out
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Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Aug 11, 2017 2:37 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Moshe [CA]) Aug 11, 2017 4:31 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Barb [MO]) Aug 11, 2017 4:37 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Colin [CO]) Aug 11, 2017 5:00 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Vee [OH]) Aug 11, 2017 5:58 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Aug 11, 2017 6:31 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Still Learning [NH]) Aug 11, 2017 8:41 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by DJ [VA]) Aug 11, 2017 9:10 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Aug 11, 2017 9:48 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by Still Learning [NH]) Aug 12, 2017 4:47 AM
       Tenant texts move out (by Robin [WI]) Aug 12, 2017 10:19 AM
       Tenant texts move out (by TERRY [ID]) Aug 12, 2017 11:25 AM
       Tenant texts move out (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Aug 12, 2017 6:55 PM
       Tenant texts move out (by BillS [CO]) Aug 13, 2017 6:06 AM
       Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Aug 13, 2017 11:33 AM

Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 2:37 PM

Is a text from a tenant enforceable? Here's the background: My 20-something tenant signed a year-long lease, then 3 months later texted saying she'd be leaving "sometime in the next few months." I told her I needed proper notice. So, she texted a 30-day notice - (still not a signed paper copy). I begin advertising her apartment, got an interested tenant and was not able to show her apartment because of the strong pot odor. I salvaged the showing by showing the tenant another similar apartment and alerted Ms. 20-something of the problem. She arrives with her mother - who phones the police. Police don't want to come. Mom escalates her claim saying I was "combative and assaulting." This, of course, was not true. Police arrive and found no combat or assault, but both officers agreed there was pot odor in the apartment. I filed a Notice to Perform - with a bill of $35 for the Notice. (Hand delivered - not texted.) Tenant said she may just not move out now. Said she will consult with an attorney to consider options. Now, I want her to move by her texted date. So, can I enforce a text from a tenant to me with a specific move-out date when the tenant is on a year-long lease?


Tenant texts move out (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 4:31 PM

Maybe, maybe not. After all, you DO have actual notice of her intention.

Check your state lae for specific requirements for serving a notice to terminate tenancy, and get tenant to sign & serve, just to be on the safe side.


Tenant texts move out (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 4:37 PM

Does your lease prohibit smoking of any substance?

If so, get a copy of the police report and just evict for cause. --64.251.xxx.xxx

Tenant texts move out (by Colin [CO]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 5:00 PM

Hope your lease has a no smoking clause and deep cleaning charge.pot odour is hard to get rid of. --66.87.xx.xx

Tenant texts move out (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 5:58 PM

You need a written notice unless you are already sure that your court system allows text or electronic stuff - I think if you knew you would not be jiggling upset about the facts at hand, so you need to re-read your state and local tenant laws to get the timing of notices - most places require a 24hr notice before entry, does your court allow electronic notices? My big city does but you must surrender the devices until the case has settled - most with this knowledge follow the popular paper trail so you can retain your devices and a copy is what they need to hold for reference when the magistrates confer with another judge (exactly what is the wording there), regarding the smoke damage plan to get estimates for seal/prime/refinish to abate the leftovers of smoking - here a 1500 repair is common, so next cycle be sure you have this or more as a damage deposit. Get written notice on the moveout date, after that time you maybe able to charge an additional cost as a holdover rent, your tenant rules will explain this. --76.188.xxx.xx

Tenant texts move out (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 6:31 PM


Short answer: no. You cannot force her to leave unless you evict her. Unpaid rent is the reason you need. I don't picture a judge caring about a smoking issue enough to evict, esp in a state where it is totally legal. I think the judge would frown at you and remember you as petty the next time you appear in court.

Text: MY local court accepts text as written communication. Gotta know YOUR judge.

Did you have an appointment with Ms20 for a showing or did you enter without permission or notice?

When you said you showed another apt did you enter that other apt without notice and without the res present?

NEVER argue with a res (or parent) in person. NEVER. When you back someone into a corner all they can do is fight to save face.

Body cameras woudl be a good thing for LLs.

Notice to Perform what?

I have a feeling you brought this on yourself. Perhaps you feel cheated you spent time on a new applicant or feel this res double crossed you. It does not matter. PRIDE gets LLs in trouble or the insane asylum.

If she stays be happy you have one less turnover.

Remember we were all 20-something at one time and looking back did some things that weren't super responsible.



Tenant texts move out (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 8:41 PM

Rocky Mtn Landlord, You didn't show the apartment because of the strong odor of pot... why? I understand that your lease may say no smoking, but with pot being legal the smell is everywhere out there. Walking down the street, driving on the highway, the last rental car I had took 2 days to air out. The smell is everywhere compared to 10 years ago. I would have used the opportunity to explain to the potential renter that this won't fly and most likely they will forfeit the full security deposit due to the high cost of cleaning and removing the odor. At this point only time will tell if she moves, stays, or sues.

Brad, I haven't read CO LL/tenant law, but all 3 of my son's CO leases give the landlord permission to enter at any time and they have done so without prior notice. 1 lease was the standard City of Boulder lease. My impression in reading his leases is that CO is fairly LL friendly. --24.61.xxx.xx

Tenant texts move out (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 9:10 PM

You do need to know the law in your state. Here, electronic communications are acceptable IF it is agreed to by both parties in the rental agreement, and there is an option to request paper.

In your current situation, not knowing the time-frame, you might want to send a written letter stating the facts of the previous texted notice. State that you acknowledge receipt and accept this notice & move out date and enclose instructions for how to get the full deposit back, etc - just like if you were giving notice to her to move out.

Since it's an early move-out, also remind the tenant in the letter of whatever ELT may be in the lease, or that they are responsible for rent until there is a new tenant (or whatever is in your agreement).

Basically, be professional & matter-of-fact, and document everything clearly.


Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Posted on: Aug 11, 2017 9:48 PM

Thanks to all for the replies so far. As some clarification - I DID give Ms. 20 24-hours notice. She agreed and gave me permission to show it in her absence. Smoking is prohibited in the building - of ANY substance. My problem with showing it was that the smell was VERY bad - enough that, had I been the prospective tenant, I would have turned down the unit. Rather than do that, I opted to show another unit. I did give the second unit 24-hour notice that I might be showing their unit. When I get notice to vacate, post a vacancy sign, take call after call, arrange showings, drive the 3 hours to show the unit, and then have the tenant go soft on their decision to move - it presents a conflict that I would like to avoid. I have accepted texts from tenants before, but on formal notices, I always provide them written out and signed. The younger tenants only use texts. This tenant is now angry and falsifying accusations and she needs to go. I just didn't know if her sending me a text with her intention to move was sufficient, or if I could hold her to it if she changed her mind - especially when she has a term lease that she is breaking to move. --69.130.xxx.xxx

Tenant texts move out (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Aug 12, 2017 4:47 AM

Younger tenants do text and I have accepted text and voice calls before but realize with your situation I need to change that. Often on lease renewals we will text or talk and then I let them know the paperwork will go out the next day and needs to be signed and returned. I send it with an addressed stamped return envelope. I have no problem getting those back. Maybe for future it would work and allow for the 30 days back to the text if it is received back by x date. --24.61.xxx.xx

Tenant texts move out (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Aug 12, 2017 10:19 AM

I understand your frustration. That said...

There is a psychological difference between information shared in a text and information on paper. Electrons are ephemeral. Paper is not. People will text things that they would never write down and sign. In the future, I would text back, "Thanks for letting me know. I'm emailing you a form that needs to be signed and returned to make it official." That removes the "well, I just texted it so I can go back on it" mentality.

Check with your local laws and judge. If they admit texting and you really want her out, move forward. Ignore the pot issue and the showing issue, just remind her that she gave notice and that holdover fees will apply should she remain in the apartment past the stated date. And communicate only in writing (email or paper) from this point out.


Tenant texts move out (by TERRY [ID]) Posted on: Aug 12, 2017 11:25 AM

I had a similar situation with the pot. The police were called by the girlfriend regarding an abuse situation. When the police came into the apartment (escorted by the girlfriend), the boyfriend was doing something at the kitchen table with pot and paraphernalia. Boyfriend saw the cops coming in the front door and he grabbed his pot and ran out the back door.

The officer called me and told me I had grounds to "evict" because the paraphernalia was left behind. Pot and paraphernalia is illegal in Idaho. So I drew up an eviction notice and personally served him at his place of employment and he was out in less than 12 hours. End of story. --75.174.xxx.xx

Tenant texts move out (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Aug 12, 2017 6:55 PM

3 hours!?!

Gotta find a better way. Lockbox, hire the nieghbor, hire a realtor...there are MANY ways to show a home that do not require the LL.

BRAD --68.50.xx.xxx

Tenant texts move out (by BillS [CO]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2017 6:06 AM

A couple thoughts. As it now stands, text related to real estate transactions is not legal notice in Colorado but Email is. You have a lease with this tenant and you will be required to honor it. Their text notice will not likely hold up in court.

Regarding the pot smoke. There is a huge initiative in Denver to offer smoke free apartments so the politics are on your side there and you have the lease clause. The process is as follows: After your current visit, you post a "Notice To Quit" for smoking in the unit. This is a non-substantial lease violation and the tenant has 3 days to correct the situation. If they quit smoking at the property then you have won. If they smoke again after the 3 days have passed you post a 2nd notice to quit for repeated violations. This notice requires them to move or be evicted. You must have proof of both violations. Now if you go this route, get an attorney that specializes in landlord tenant law who represents landlords only. They will know what the local court accepts as proof so that you can win if the tenant fights your eviciton. Follow their advise to a tee. This is going to cost you as well. If it's all worth it to you then go for it.

A couple thoughts on your process. Not busting on you but ideas to head this off in the future. You are three hours away and just allow a tenant to break a lease? You need a lease break clause that requires them to PAY to break the lease. Get a lease termination agreement. That agreement must be signed (they can text you an image of the signed document) and the lease break money paid or the lease is still in full force. No showing, no ads and no nothing until money is in the bank and the termination agreement signed.

I am running about 50-50 with folks actually breaking the lease and moving out vs saying they want to move. I smile either way.


Tenant texts move out (by RockyMtnLL [CO]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2017 11:33 AM

To BillS[CO]: I do have a lease breaking clause. If tenants do not fulfill the promised term, they must pay $50/month RETROACTIVELY to the date of the signed lease AND until a new renter signs a new lease on the unit. I have tenants initial that paragraph separately. Still, when the greener pastures beckon - it's as if they forget ENTIRELY whatever they have signed. Yes, I remind them. It still doesn't yield a happy situation because they want to avoid consequences of their whims. I deduct the up-charge from their deposits when they vacate if necessary. Most of the time, this is not an issue, but of course there is always that one tenant....

To BRAD 20,000 [IN]: I always respect your replies greatly. On this one, I, personally get a great deal of information during the showings. I'm the best salesperson for my units - bar none. I can answer ALL questions, and those little nuances that people convey are usually picked up on by me. This particular tenant was an odd case, and I violated several of my own rules, the biggest one was never to rent to someone in distress (because usually, they bring the distress with them). However, she has paid on time each month and my only problem has been her helicopter mother who delights on power trips with any and all comers. That's why I purposely left the mom OFF the lease - so I could eliminate the need to answer to her if necessary. And yes, it has been necessary. Also, when a unit is occupied, and you are showing it to an incoming prospective tenant, a lockbox, or neighbor would leave me too vulnerable to accusations of misconduct, theft, or misinformation. If it was a vacant unit - maybe. Ordinarily, I don't mind the trip - and I weed out the tire-kickers. But when I screen, screen, screen and come up with a very good candidate, one who will save the outgoing tenant rent by picking up a new lease on the unit she is leaving early - and the tenant blows the deal, then the objective changes. This tenant is paranoid about safety - so allowing her to show strangers her unit would be disastrous. All that aside, I do respect your advice - and I know that I cannot expand if I keep overloading my own duties. If I could get someone who is a keen judge of people, who presents themselves very professionally, to show the units, it would take a big load off of my back.

At Robin [WI] - I like the concept of checking with the local laws and/or judge on accepting texting as legal. Is there a way to find that information out without sitting through an unrelated tenant case at court? Is the best way to get this information by paying my attorney for it? Are there any other opportunities to find that out?

P. S. A neighbor said the tenant is packing boxes and loading them now - so MAYBE I'm going to have this end as it should - without more teeth gnashing! :) --69.130.xxx.xxx

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