Bad Eviction Advice Given by Landlords on the Web
If you’re a reader of this blog, then you’ve become well aware of the importance of remaining compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Housing laws. This time instead of talking about how to be compliant, we’ll explore what landlords should NOT do with their tenants. Landlords seem to enjoy sharing their favorite methods of evicting a tenant on landlord forums.
Just to be clear, SELF-HELP EVICTIONS ARE COMPLETELY ILLEGAL. There are no ifs, ands, or buts on that. Apparently the word has not gotten out to these landlords. There are entire sections in online landlord forums that are devoted to self-help eviction ideas. They are all equally unlawful and terrible advice to give to landlords. Below are some favorites.
The following are real statements made by landlords on forums on the web.
“I don’t know but I heard it gets hot here in Florida. Most won’t wait too long for the A/C to get fixed.” - Anonymous Landlord
2: Being Obnoxious
“1. Parked a roll back dumpster across the front porch, almost blocking the front door.
2. Began tearing off the roof 0700 Saturday morning while they were still inside. Also running the big mower in the yard.
They were gone Sunday night. They even filled the dumpster with their stuff before leaving. At least they filled it with the first load.” - Obnoxious Landlord
“We noticed that one of our car keys fit the tenant’s car. Ford. So, my helper was paid to go for a joy ride. I never asked where the car was left..I figured it could not have been too far if the helper walked back.” - Mr. Grand Theft Auto
“We don’t need self-help evictions in AZ. We have a desert and a shovel. 😉 You guys were waiting for that I know. LOL :-)” - That Guy from the Bates Motel
While this landlord was joking on the forum, this is the wrong kind of attitude that landlords should be holding about their tenants.
“Most self-help doesn’t work these days.
A friend of mine had a tenant who was several month late in rent. The tenant’s house was adjoining the owner’s house and shared a well. In the well pit there were valves to turn off the water to each house.
The owner turned the water off to the tenant’s house. Around midnight the owner was awoken by the state police requesting the owner to turn the water back on. And the request was not optional. The owner got dressed, climbed down in the well pit and turned the water on. The police also told him not to do that again if he didn’t want to get arrested.” - Mr. Lesson Learned
When evicting a tenant, legal action must be sought through the court of law. Even after winning a case, the Landlord is not allowed to force the tenant out. After receiving the ability to evict through the courts, proper authorities must be relied upon to physically remove the tenant. Read up on local, state, and federal law for proper procedures. Do not ever attempt to evict a tenant by your own means or you may suffer legal and financial consequences.
** Always be sure to follow all proper procedures when handling a tenant. Please be sure that any metric you use in review of an application must be applied to all applications to rent. A comprehensive view of F.C.R.A. law and procedures can be found here. Also be sure to follow all fair housing laws and not to discriminate based on race, gender, minority group, etc. Please also observe local ordinances, which may supersede some federal laws. **