When I bought my first properties, I filled in beautiful EXCEL sheets, where the rents quietly compensated for the monthly loan payments over 25 years. Financially, I had anticipated everything: works, property taxes, taxes on property income, inflation...
But I still had no idea that in addition to rental income, I was mainly “acquiring” rare personalities. There is a category of tenants who not only have the power to make others leave, but almost also, I feel, to push the owner to sell. Some of my "good" deals may be explained by the former owner's fed up with managing complex human cases.
I had already written an article on my worst tenants. I did not include this person because they are not fully responsible for their actions. However, it seemed edifying to me to relate the situation that I was able to experience.
A psychiatric neighborhood disorder
We are in 2012. One of my apartments has just become available in BREST. Immediately, I put an ad on Le Bon Coin and I start the visits. While I'm waiting for the first visitor, the tenants on the ground floor come to talk to me.
- " Excuse me for disturbing you, but the person opposite is screaming at 7am; and also during the day. We tried to discuss it with him, without result." page (in French).
The tenant at the origin of the trouble comes out of his apartment at this time… I try to start a dialogue.
- " Hello, apparently you make a little noise in the morning?«
- " Oh sorry. But that's because I'm being attacked. I was tortured, there was butchery on me“(annoyed, he starts biting his fingertips).
- " Mhh… you are followed by the ATP I believe? Are you seeing a doctor?«
- " No, but I'm not crazy. She's a lady who does things to me » (by nibbling his fingers, the blood begins to flow on his clothes and on the ground).
- " Alright, but it will be nice to tell someone about it instead of shouting in the building" page (in French).
He then begins to walk down the hallway, getting blood on the walls as well. The tenant opposite comes back with some paper towel and tries to calm him down. no one wants to hurt you here" page (in French).
I offer him to go home to sit down and calm down but he refuses. (It's a bit normal if a bad lady is waiting for him there. But maybe it's easier to move at that time…).
That's when the young girl on the date arrives to visit the charming apartment on the first floor.
Strangely, with a madman in the stairwell and his fresh blood everywhere, I temporarily lose my positive spirit.
We go up to the apartment. As soon as the door is closed, she asks me " is it quiet here?" page (in French).
I'm torn between nervous giggles and tears. She saw the weird guy, the worried neighbor and the blood on the landing, the stairs and the walls.
I am tempted to answer “yes, when XXX takes his medication”. The young girl leaves and will not follow up (haha really?).
I call the ATP, its supervisory body. The person following the troubled tenant is on vacation, we should call back next week. I explain the situation in detail. The ATP promises to contact the hospital to see if they can take care of it. Apparently, it has already happened following an intervention by the police; he returned a few days later.
From an accounting point of view, he is a good tenant since the rent has been paid without fail for years. On a human level, it is difficult to bear for the other tenants of the building.
What should the landlord do in the event of neighborhood disturbances?
Nature of the disorders
I had the chance to experience a beautiful spectrum of troubles in my career as a landlord:
Animals wandering in the common areas and doing their business
Various nocturnal noises (screams, music, frolics with the bed banging against the adjoining wall of the neighbour, not at all amused to be single during confinement, etc.).
Deal point and squat with police intervention.
Deposit of personal items in the common areas, which became the annex of the apartment (bicycles, box spring and mattress, furniture, etc.).
Establish regulations for the single-ownership building
If you are the owner of a property in co-ownership, there is quite certainly already a copro regulation, managed by the trustee.
If the building belongs entirely to you, I advise you to draft your building regulations as soon as possible. It will make it possible to set a framework for the occupation of the premises:
Tenants who are victims of an unscrupulous neighbor can take shelter behind to ensure their peace of mind.
You can do the same, orally, then by post / email and thus keep track of your action.
The ideal, in addition to displaying it in the common areas, is to have the by-law initialed and signed at the same time as the lease.
The responsibility of the owner in case of trouble
The first person responsible for the disturbance is the tenant at fault.
But the responsibility of the owner can be sought if:
He has been warned of the disorder (formal notice with A/R for perfect proof but any means of proof would undoubtedly be studied by a judge; so even if you are warned by simple SMS or email, ACT).