No Lease Question
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No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Mar 13, 2018 4:31 PM
       No Lease Question (by Deanna [TX]) Mar 13, 2018 4:54 PM
       No Lease Question (by Ken [NY]) Mar 13, 2018 5:38 PM
       No Lease Question (by Amy [MO]) Mar 13, 2018 5:46 PM
       No Lease Question (by plenty [MO]) Mar 13, 2018 6:33 PM
       No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Mar 14, 2018 8:11 AM
       No Lease Question (by myob [GA]) Mar 14, 2018 8:56 AM
       No Lease Question (by Lynda [TX]) Mar 14, 2018 9:21 AM
       No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Mar 14, 2018 10:04 AM
       No Lease Question (by myob [GA]) Mar 14, 2018 12:30 PM

No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 4:31 PM

Hi Gang,

Wanted opinions on a situation I find myself in. For a long term assignment in PHX AZ I have rented a home. I am there typically 2 weeks each month. As many of you know I have rental units, predominantly SFHs in 2 different states already, TX and MO. I'm now up over 50 units. So I think I have a decent handle on how to be a LL.

I do not have a lease agreement or rental agreement on the home I rent in PHX. I have keys, I pay the agreed amount as scheduled directly into the owner's bank account each month, and I keep receipts to show that I am paid current.

The house is a SFH in an HOA community where the HOA apparently has not granted the owners permission to rent out the property (the owners informed me I was going to be classified as a "guest" as far as the HOA is concerned. That is fine with me, that's between the owners and the HOA)...and the owners use the home a few times a year when they come to AZ for holiday (it's their 3rd home.)

The house is fully furnished down to the spoons, has a pool, the rent is half what I would otherwise pay in a similar community, is safe, quiet, and comfortable. It includes all bills. I have been in this arrangement for over a year. Up to now it's been great, although the owner's wife is a busy body, and the neighbors are nosy.

I keep the place immaculate and take care of it as though it were my own.

The discount in the rent is such because I accommodate the visits of the owners when they come into town several times a year. I schedule my work obligations around them, I park my car at another address (a friend's) so it's not in the driveway when they are in town, and I pack my clothes into Rubbermaid containers so they can use the guest suite (where I usually sleep) for their house guests when they are visiting. Up until this week no issues whatsoever.

This past weekend the owners had their cleaning lady in the house to retrieve her check (with about 30 minutes notice), and I happened to be out to dinner with a family member, who was in for a weekend visit. My family member was sleeping in the master bedroom rather than sharing a bed with me. The master bed was unmade and I guess the housekeeper informed the wife about the unmade bed, which generated a terse text message about

"We have an arrangement that you use the guest room - blah blah blah." I simply responded that I had a family member in town over the weekend who has a bad hip and that the other beds were too high for her to sleep in (true.)

But the bigger issue it seems to me is that I have an out of state owner who doesn't know the AZ laws about notice and/or use of premises. Her husband is an attorney, so I presume that once he takes a look at AZ LL/Tenant statutes he's going to see that nothing I'm doing is unreasonable (whether I use their room or not), nothing is in writing, so it's considered and oral agreement backed up by them granting access and me showing history of rent payments...and hopefully the wife will simmer down. I'm well within my rights as a tenant, HOA or none.

Without a written agreement I expect the rental agreement defaults to a month-to-month oral agreement where state statute governs. I was going to get some consensus on the board as to what the possible downsides are.

The LL can't dictate to me who I can and cannot have over (my kids are coming out to visit this weekend as well as their father), and frankly I could smoke (I don't) or have a pet (I don't) as well. I do have a boyfriend, who a couple of the neighbors have met, and he does stay over at times. Nothing out of the ordinary there. When he snores I do sometimes sleep in another room, but I am not renting a room, I am renting an entire home, as such I have use of the entire home and nothing is held in reserve since there is not a written agreement.

I just want my privacy respected, and the LL to give me the reasonable notice if they are planning on entering the premises (48 hours per AZ statute.) Worst case they could always decide to give me a 30-day notice to vacate...which would mean I need to find another residence by May 1, but I thought it was odd them freaking out about the unmade bed when I keep the place in immaculate condition, have a very light footprint in the property and as a LL myself understand well the advantages and disadvantages of what I am doing seems really silly to me.

I figure worst case scenario I may call the husband (the attorney) and have a conversation directly with him. I think the wife is being unreasonable and if necessary a conversation with the lawyer husband may help him educate the wife about what is and is not reasonable in this case.


No Lease Question (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 4:54 PM

I'd probably solve it with a phone call to the husband. Rather than talking about statutes and law and all that good stuff, I'd probably say, "Hey, there. I know it upset your wife when I had a family member over, who had to sleep in the master bed due to medical issues. I wanted to check and make sure we're cool. All good?"

And take the conversation from there.

It's easier to communicate verbally than it is over text. I have people I'm very fond of, and who are fond of me, who have a very terse manner of texting, and always sound angry. :) So I wouldn't be reading any nonverbal cues from a text situation.

Also, a lot of times, people like to be agreeable in conversation. That doesn't really apply to attorneys, because they're trained... but with most other people, when you talk to them directly, they'll mirror the attitude you bring to the conversation. So if you're amicable, they'll be amicable; if you're aggressive, they'll either posture back, or respond to aggression however their nature dictates, and so on.

No Lease Question (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 5:38 PM

I say call the husband also and hash it out with him,if you offer to leave I bet he almost begs you to stay.Anybody who owns 3 personal houses and needs to keep it rented is up to his neck in debt and needs you to stay.

No Lease Question (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 5:46 PM

Deanna has the right idea.

Perhaps the wife had an off day or enjoys being angry and stressing about everything. If you're as good as you say, they'd be foolish to do anything to you simply because of their poor timing.

No Lease Question (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 6:33 PM

Can't tell a lawyer anything. Go with the program. Id say nothing more.

No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 8:11 AM

Appreciate the responses. I agree an amicable conversation should put this to bed.

I've simply stayed silent since the wife mentioned anything - other than to explain why the bed was unmade...and so without further communication I expect the whole thing should blow over.

I doubt they would find anyone as meticulous about the property as I am who is as responsible and willing to be displaced several times a year.

But we will see I suppose.


No Lease Question (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 8:56 AM

you're not going to like my take on this. First your a tenant with no lease and paying rent. State law controls the contract. Stop hiding the payments -- document paying.

Second your LL (the smuck) is using you in case you haven't figured that out. They stay there when they come to town? Really get a hotel. NO WAY. You move your stuff into bins?? AND park off site? You have violated nothing. You must feel like a criminal?

Who in their right mind would allow anyone in their home without some notice and I mean minimum 24 hrs. Cleaning lady to retrieve check -- BULL. She was there to spy on you for the idiot owner. Her checks can be mailed!

Third-- your LL is in violation of the HOA guidelines of "no rental". I would make it foggy as to what you will do if he keeps harassing you -- cause that's what he's doing.

You are very experienced as a LL no question but you are a terrible Tenant.

Since when, as a tenant, do you explain or have to explain to anyone why a bed was not made? Who the heck are these people?

PLEASE let me call this guy for you it would be my Client Eastwood moment: make my day!!!!

No Lease Question (by Lynda [TX]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 9:21 AM

Katherine (and others), you are making too much of this--it is an "anthill into a mountain" situation. The wife over reacted. It was the first time anything happened out of the usual program, and it surprised her, and she over reacted. The husband has probably already had a 'discussion' with her. Both you and the owners are sensitive because you both know about the HOA rule. BUT LET IT BLOW OVER.

The owners KNOW you are the best thing that ever happened to them and they will NEVER get anyone like you again! You know that you will have to pay full price any where else. Give it time. Neither of you have to do anything except let your heightened sensitivities settle down.

You got chewed out for something you didn't deserve. Unless something else is forthcoming from their side--let it slide. Everything will quietly go back to the way it was. No harm, no foul. Don't sweat the small stuff!

No Lease Question (by Katherine [TX]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 10:04 AM

Thanks for the perspective MYOB. I'm an excellent tenant (which is the whole reason this is a head scratcher) at the PHX house. I am well aware that I am legally in the clear and 100% within my rights etc., but I also know these people could choose to give me a 30-day for any reason whatsoever.

Obviously they are out of line over the line - but I don't see how fighting about it benefits me in the long term. I'm getting a great place in a great area for less than half of market rent when you consider that all bills (including internet) are included...but yes the busy body wife is a pain.

I've rented without a rental agreement in the past in TX for years with no issues so this is not something that's new to me, and I know that state statute defines the terms (and is silent on all sorts of stuff.) I find this is to my advantage actually. I can move elsewhere at any time too, so I'm not tied into a lease if my assignment suddenly changes as sometimes happens in my professional field.

I concur 100% with Linda. I feel certain the wife will have gone over her tizzy with the lawyer husband and once they look at the statute they can easily see the state laws.

So my stance for now has been to do nothing and proceed as though everything is just fine. This all happened this past Sunday & I got the text on Monday so the more time goes by the situation (I expect) will simmer down.

It is an advantageous deal for me and for the owners. The wife is just one of these busy body people who doesn't know where her domain ends because her vacation home is involved.

Thanks all for the feedback.

No Lease Question (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 12:30 PM

Katherine I know what set me off on your post. Hope you will understand.

When I was in the Navy and totally naive about things. we were moving ( I had been discharged after 4 years) my wife and I loaded up our trailer and said goodbye to an elder neighbor who had befriended us. (elder they were maybe 60) we were 22.

They told us that they didn't want to lose us so they never told us what was happening. When we would leave the house the Landlords (husband and wife) would enter our home "snoop" and leave. They also told us the LL would also sit in the car down the street spying on us.

Your story just brought all that back to mind.

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