Issue with tenant
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Jan 14, 2021 5:30 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Jkj [MA]) Jan 14, 2021 5:44 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Ken [NY]) Jan 14, 2021 6:48 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Jan 14, 2021 6:55 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Jan 14, 2021 6:58 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Frank [NJ]) Jan 14, 2021 7:38 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Still Learning [NH]) Jan 14, 2021 7:44 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Nicole [PA]) Jan 14, 2021 8:32 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jan 14, 2021 8:46 PM
       Issue with tenant (by RentsDue [MA]) Jan 14, 2021 9:31 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Lana [IN]) Jan 14, 2021 11:02 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 15, 2021 8:34 AM
       Issue with tenant (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Jan 15, 2021 8:40 AM
       Issue with tenant (by Robin [WI]) Jan 15, 2021 10:16 AM
       Issue with tenant (by myob [GA]) Jan 15, 2021 10:16 AM
       Issue with tenant (by CJ [MO]) Jan 15, 2021 2:57 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Jkj [MA]) Jan 15, 2021 10:23 PM
       Issue with tenant (by Nellie [ME]) Jan 15, 2021 10:59 PM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 5:30 PM

I need to figure out a plan for a tenant that seems a little off. This is just kind of bizarre.

I have a tenant that has been with me a couple years. Admitted upfront to me that he has had many many brain surgeries and has told others as well. There is something bizarre I will mentioned later in this post, once I give some background.

He sent a text today that said he was going to start looking for another place. I was somewhat blindsided as to why, so I asked him. He always pays rent early and other than initially being a big complainer, he has stopped doing that for the most part.

When I sent a text asking him why he was wanting to move, he said he didn't want to but he has not been able to sleep because he thinks someone has been trying to break in. I drive over and look at the door area near the doorknob and it does look like someone maybe tried to use something to whittle away a little of the wood. I have not had this issue before. He does have two of the chain locks (one on each door) to lock when he is inside. I told him to keep those both locked. He says he always does but can't sleep because he is afraid someone will come in.

As mentioned in another post, I had thought I had another LL whole lockset doorknob to replace his but didn't. Ordering more in a few minutes but having issues with the locks lately. Changing out the cylinder just made the cylinder not lock in and putting the old one he had back in, made the unit lock and it won't unlock.

So a possible break-in and locks needing changed, sounds plausible but then he keeps talking. He also says he heard someone in the basement which is right below his bed, at 4 am this morning, talking about opening up the furnace and using something that sounded like a saw, so I go down there and he follows me. I do have a tenant in the building that from time to time, checks the basement for me as I have had back up sewer issues in the past. He is not up during that time. I try to check weekly as well when I am over there. I don't believe this tenant would even be up or be in the basement and the open up the furnace and using something that sounds like a saw is not something this tenant would be doing. This tenant is quite helpful and volunteers to take care of weed trimming, and seems to get along with everyone except this tenant.

This is where it gets bizarre. He tells me that he heard the upper tenant living above him, talking to someone yesterday, saying that he (this downstairs tenant) has two boxes on macaroni and cheese in his cabinet that looked like he had had them for years. Downstairs tenant does have 2 boxes of macaroni in his cabinet that he said is quite old. I can only possibly explain that, as to maybe the lower tenant had been talking to his sister that got him those and the upper tenant overheard it.

He then goes on to say that the tenant upstairs told someone that he crushed up some caffeine pills and put it in his coffee so he can't sleep because of all the caffeine in his system. He said he also overheard the tenant say that he put toilet water in all his medications so now they are ruined and he can't take them.

Knowing the tenant upstairs who tries to get along with everyone, is not the confrontation type, and that this tenant does seem to be a little off the wall sometimes, I am concerned about him maybe hurting the upper tenant, with these strange thoughts. I don't believe them and tried to maybe suggest it was a dream but he didn't bite on that. I told him that I would check into it, but not sure what I can do. Since I am changing the locks once I get them in, he now says he guesses he can stay. Sometimes I wished I would have just said ok to his moving. Lower tenant is about twice the body size of the upper tenant.

Issue with tenant (by Jkj [MA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 5:44 PM

Based solely on your thoughts that the upstairs tenant isn’t doing this and your comments about his behavior being “off” as well as the numerous brain surgeries I’d say he’s coming unglued. Any chance he would be receptive to getting some help, like from a social worker?

Issue with tenant (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 6:48 PM

Time to send the nutcase down the road

Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 6:55 PM

I am not sure, but doubt he would be willing to get help. I do not know what medication he is supposed to be taking but he says he isn't, because he thinks it is tainted with toilet water. He has had a lot of physical issues so may be for that but also may be for his brain issues.

I feel trapped between keeping tenant privacy issues and possibly not doing something for him, if it turns out later I should have done something.

I did tell him I would check into it so I did talk to the other tenant. He was shocked which I knew he would be. He also said that the lower tenant keeps telling him about having all those brain surgeries as well and he tries to just stay out of his way. I do know that the lower tenant does not like the upper one and has complainted about him in the past, having too many rummage sales, and other trivia things. I told the upper tenant that I would let the downstairs tenant know that I did take him seriously and talked to the upper tenant and that he was shocked and swears he did not or would not do that. I believe him. Now to convince the lower tenant that his medicine is not tainted and he needs to keep up with his medications. He has a full jar of coffee and says he won't drink any because it is tainted with crushed caffeine pills. Something is just off.

Issue with tenant (by Cat [WI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 6:58 PM

At this point Ken, I am not sure how I would be able to just send him down the road. He pays rent early and is not normally a problem.

I have to follow landlord laws and not get him out just because of possible mental issues. That would be a huge fine on top of other issues if I tried.

Issue with tenant (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 7:38 PM

Start keeping a log of all interactions with this one. He may be having a 'meltdown'.

You may want to keep the leash tight.

Issue with tenant (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 7:44 PM

Tell him to call the police if someone is breaking in or taking a saw to the furnace. This will create police reports and help you build a case to evict for either concern for your safety, quiet enjoyment and safety for upstairs tenant. Be careful. I wouldn’t want to be in a basement with someone that seems mentally unstable.

Issue with tenant (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 8:32 PM

I agree that he needs to go.

Is your lease month to month? If so, just give notice.

I could care less about privacy - if he's older, contact someone.... here it would be the county office of aging.

Issue with tenant (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 8:46 PM

The guy sounds nice enough.

But maybe he is off his meds.

As LL we can't be social workers

Issue with tenant (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 9:31 PM

Please proceed carefully here. I had a similar situation. My tenant thought the other tenants were talking about him. Soon he thought they were conspiring against him. I ended the tenancy and things went violently bad , and quick. The apartment was destroyed and the DA put a restraining order on the tenant. My advice would be to call the police to do a well being check or ask for assistance. They are better equipped to provide the resources this tenant needs. You are not a social worker or a mental health worker and you need to protect yourself , your tenants and your property.

Issue with tenant (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2021 11:02 PM

Numerous brain surgeries? If it was repeated resections of a brain tumor, maybe the tumor is back and has turned aggressive. Brain tumors cause bizarre symptoms.

Issue with tenant (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 8:34 AM

That's an issue, it's a problem.

Issue with tenant (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 8:40 AM

He is thinking about moving. You want to encourage him to do that, as soon as possible.

Issue with tenant (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 10:16 AM

Those are schizophrenia-type symptoms. It's a vicious cycle: they develop paranoia so they stop taking their medication so the paranoia gets worse.

Does he have a case manager that you could talk to? Does he have known mental health issues? These are clear warning signs, and yes, he could do major damage to the property in a short period of time, thinking that he's "protecting" himself.

A ruthless landlord could get him out in short order by playing along. "George, I think you're right. This isn't a safe place for you any more. Where can you go that you'll be safe?" But you're just pushing the problem onto someone else and ignoring the need of another human being.

A compassionate landlord would try to get him help. And the "welfare checks" that the police do are pretty worthless. If the person won't let them in, they just go away.

And yes, I have first-hand experience with this....

Issue with tenant (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 10:16 AM

change his locks. Install a good slide lock (not the cheapo one) Have him get an arlo.

Issue with tenant (by CJ [MO]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 2:57 PM

We had three weird tenants like that. I was very confused by them. After talking to their relatives, I found out all have mental problem.

No way any landlord can deal with this type of tenant. They need to stay with family memebers.

Can you suggest him to install security system? That will not stop him doing something to other tenants.

Issue with tenant (by Jkj [MA]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 10:23 PM

At this point you’ve done all you can do with the exception of installing a new lock as MYOB stated. If it were me, I would encourage him to move, he already told you he wants to. This has the very good possibility of becoming a BIG problem, other than calling social services on him if he gets really out of pocket I would stay out of it. Unless you haven’t told us something, you are not trained or equipped to even attempt to try reason with him to get back on his meds. I mean no disrespect to you, but you probably have no idea what his true mental status is, how to talk to individuals that are having the type of mental health crisis he’s is experiencing, or what to do should he become agitated with you when you try to “convince” him to take his meds. I’ve seen individuals go from being calm and fairly lucid to completely out of control, having to be sedated and restrained before being loaded into the ambulance. It’s not our job as a LL’s to help tenants having a mental health crisis.

Issue with tenant (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2021 10:59 PM

Schizophrenia can show its first symptoms at a later age than the typical 20’s. My father was diagnosed in his mid 50’s, as was my grandfather. My great grandfather had some issues that developed later in life also.

Also, a brain tumor would be a consideration.

Do you have a contact name on the application that you could possibly call? The police wellness check with a mental health worker might be a possibility, too.

I tend to think this is a change in physical or mental health and if it is possible to get family, friends, or healthcare people involved that would be good. Of course, there is that privacy thing, so my first call would probably be for a wellness check.

Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster

Subject: RE: Issue with tenant
Your Name:
Your State:

Issue with tenant
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: