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Ghosting (by S i d [MO]) Jun 5, 2023 8:41 AM
       Ghosting (by David [MI]) Jun 5, 2023 8:56 AM
       Ghosting (by David [MI]) Jun 5, 2023 8:58 AM
       Ghosting (by Jim in O C [CA]) Jun 5, 2023 9:13 AM
       Ghosting (by CJ [FL]) Jun 5, 2023 9:32 AM
       Ghosting (by Ken [NY]) Jun 5, 2023 9:37 AM
       Ghosting (by RB [TN]) Jun 5, 2023 12:24 PM
       Ghosting (by David [MI]) Jun 5, 2023 1:45 PM
       Ghosting (by S i d [MO]) Jun 5, 2023 2:18 PM
       Ghosting (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Jun 5, 2023 2:22 PM
       Ghosting (by Ken [NY]) Jun 5, 2023 2:31 PM
       Ghosting (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Jun 5, 2023 2:48 PM
       Ghosting (by Robin [WI]) Jun 5, 2023 3:05 PM
       Ghosting (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 5, 2023 6:38 PM
       Ghosting (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 5, 2023 6:39 PM
       Ghosting (by zero [IN]) Jun 6, 2023 8:38 AM
       Ghosting (by Sandy [CO]) Jun 7, 2023 9:14 PM

Ghosting (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 8:41 AM

I'm guessing most of us have had tenants / applicants "ghost" us (i.e. stop communicating) when they've decided to move out before the lease is up and/or when they don't pay the rent. Generally, I consider this a poor decision as I'm almost always able to work out something less-suck-tacular for them if they'll just do me the courtesy of staying in touch.

However, there is one time in my own business when I stop communicating for a time: when someone threatens to sue me. The minutes someone says something to the effect of "You'll be hearing from my lawyer" I go silent. No phone calls, no emails, no texts. Nada. The only exception would be if they report a "fire, flood, or blood" level emergency. Anything else and I stay silent. I'm not doing this out of spite: there are possible legal consequences to anything I say going forward, if in fact we do end up in court, so I follow the wise advice of Miranda Rights which don't formally apply here, but are still smart business pratice "Shaddup".

Just had a commercial tenant who has been getting a bit squirrely lately claim I wasn't holding up my end of the bargain, and he dropped the "my attorney will be in touch soon". I responded back, "Give me his name and number, and I'll get in touch with him right now." Never got a name or a number. My guess? Tenant was bluffing.

So now he sends me daily texts about how terrible I am. I'm ignoring them. The latest:

"You didn't mow the lawn. Our lease says you're supposed to do that. I'm billing you for my effort to mow it."

I read his lease, which is a Modified Gross Commercial Lease, meaning the tenant has some duties and responsibilities that might normally be considered landlord's jobs in a Residential Lease. Nothing in there says we're responsible for lawn care. What it does say is commercial tenant is responsible for all property upkeep not specifically identified as part of landlord's work. For those not into commercial, "landlord's work" is either a one time or ongoing obligation, such as lawn care. So that job is on him.

Here's the other interesting thing: the reason our lease doesn't address the lawncare is there actually isn't any grass to mow on this particular property. Our building edge runs right along the property line of the neighbor's land. They're the ones who have been mowing up until now, and I guess they're behind schedule. So he thinks we own him lawn care for a lawn we don't own. *sigh

Anyway, he's now threating to withhold rent for this among his many other gripes, which include things like he doesn't like the next door neighbor, he wants us to redo the sidewalk out front (hasn't changed since he moved in), etc . Fine. Easy eviction. I don't play games with folks who threaten to sue me.

Curious, how do you handle it in your biz once a tenant drops the "I'll sue you" phrase?

Ghosting (by David [MI]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 8:56 AM

If a tenant says they will call their lawyer, I wouldn't want to call that bluff. Maybe they don't have a $500/hr white shoe attorney on retainer, but they could have a friend or relative who is a lawyer and make trouble for you.

I suspect commerical tenants are worse than residential tenants as theyve been around the block with business transactions.

Ghosting (by David [MI]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 8:58 AM

I would pretend not to see the text about lawyer and just communicate as normal with them. Wait until they actually get a lawyer and then hand it off to your lawyer

Ghosting (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 9:13 AM

When a tenant drops the L word I document every single word. Further more communications are reduced to a minimum.

I have a tenant that drove me to make his rent increase 10% not my normal 2 or 2 1/2 %. We are t as talking $320.00 a month.

Ghosting (by CJ [FL]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 9:32 AM

One tenant was mild mannered, the “doesn’t want to ruffle feathers” type. He got a lawyer “friend” to write me a nastygram when I went up on the rent. He was buying a house and wanted to stay there two more months while his house closed. He was on month to month the whole time.

I asked him why he didn’t just call me? He had no answer. Just a meek fellow. I couldn’t fix it except through my lawyer

because he didn’t move or pay the new rent price. Sadly, for him, it cost him an a lot extra because my attorney jacked the rent up to market value and threatened an eviction for holding over. He had to pay my attorney fees. Nice fellow, but he was getting poor advice from relatives with the “landlord is the bad guy” mentality.

Ghosting (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 9:37 AM

I would have asked for his attorney name and number also.I have told people to make sure they have my name and address correct so i get the paperwork because i enjoy going to court --74.77.xx.xx

Ghosting (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 12:24 PM

Ditto, Ken.

Ghosting (by David [MI]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 1:45 PM

LOL, you might enjoy butting heads in front of a judge, but i don't think anyone here likes to wait hours in a courthouse for their case to be called. And i think it was only around 2019 or 2020 that the rules changed in MI to allow regular citizens to have phones inside. Before then you had to wait hours with a book!

Even when my eviction case was on zoom, I still waited 1.5 hours for a hearing that lasted less than 5 mins (I won).

Ghosting (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 2:18 PM

To be clear, I have no intentions of this going to court. So far he's threatened to send me bills for stuff he says I owed him and demands for other upgrades that aren't part of our lease agreement, but hasn't even followed through to that extent yet. No emails, no snail mails, not even any text pictures of a handwritten invoice, nada...

If he actually goes the legal route, we'll likely be able to negotiate it out since everything he's wanting is not part of his contract.

My plan there is to just let him take the ETF and depart.

Ghosting (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 2:22 PM

After returning their entire sec dep thinking I would never hear from them again as they are "moving out of state" I received a nastygram text with mild cursing telling me how dare I keep the welfare clawback amount meant for their new landlord because THEY chose to move out third week of April into the new place. Also that if I didn't return the welfare clawback partial rent amount for April, they would "go after me" for interest on their sec dep (it's a duplex not a multifamily complex).

They went sour shortly after my letter telling them that electric would no longer be included in the rent and it would be going up to market rates as of 7/1. DH thinks they were planning to cash in on the low rent all along, saving up to move b/c before I sent the letter, he went in to do a repair and saw zero furniture. I also received a screenshot of a letter complaining that we never fixed anything (um wrong but believe me repair requests are now in writing and signed by tenant upon completion).

I heard NOTHING about the clawback amount from DSS to this day (that was back in April). Even if I did, I would fight it because THEY decided to move into their new place EARLY.

Screenshot, document, upload, BLOCK.

Ghosting (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 2:31 PM

DSS will not go after you,they paid for a month and they were there,who cares if they left early,that was there choice.Also no interest due in NY on security deposit so dont be concerned about that --74.77.xx.xx

Ghosting (by mapleaf18 [NY]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 2:48 PM

Ken, yep I know. Just shows you how ENTITLED tenants are post COVID.

Ghosting (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 3:05 PM

As soon as a tenant mentions suing or lawyers, I no longer want them as a tenant. I'm pretty reasonable and very prompt about fixing things, so if they have a problem it's THEIR problem.

At that point, I stop having verbal conversations. Text only, and only what is necessary for maintaining the property. What I have found with my few disgruntled tenants is that they bluster but never follow through. Because, after all, it costs MONEY to file a claim. And that's not something they choose to spend money on.

Ghosting (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 6:38 PM

Sid, what would it hurt if you let him know in writing that the yard he is mowing belongs to the neighbor and not the commercial property?

Also, what would it hurt if you emailed him a copy of the lease clauses that prove him wrong?

Ghosting (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 5, 2023 6:39 PM

Is this one of the automotive shops?

Ghosting (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Jun 6, 2023 8:38 AM

I can see not communicating with every little aspect.

Tenant seems upset and picking at anything he can, right or wrong. He should know the lease. He signed it and should have read it front to back.

If you start putting out all these little sparks you can easily find yourself sitting at the desk all day answering every little false complaint that he has.

Legit questions brought on by good communications is another thing. Having constant complaints and threats are not acceptable in my realm.

Maybe the business is not going well for him and he is just lashing out?

Ghosting (by Sandy [CO]) Posted on: Jun 7, 2023 9:14 PM

Yes I was wondering if he's having business trouble...

or marriage trouble, or it's just the heat of summer.

You can't control their attitudes. I just try to deal fairly and offer them the option to move out. It's a bummer for sure I've had my share of these types, never anyone threatening to sue, but plenty hard to handle.

I simply move forward and do my best to be fair and try to appeal to their human side. In this case if it's something you think you can still repair (the relationship) Maybe say, Hey I know we got off on the wrong foot, I want to deal with you fairly. And explain, maybe it wasn't clear when you signed the lease, there was a lot going on, but the area of grass is actually the neighbors. etc...maybe then close by saying I hope we can work together, but if you need to move on I'll let you out of the lease and we can go our separate ways.

I try to point things out with minimal hit to the ego as possible. It's worth a try.

Good Luck --73.229.xx.xx

Subject: RE: Ghosting
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