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Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 

Last year, I had a tenant whose boyfriend wanted her to break her lease with me to move in with him. I found this out after the fact. I am fairly lenient if someone wants to break their lease and let them go. However, prior to me learning about my tenant's boyfriend's desire to oust her from my property, the unit began to experience mysterious plumbing problems. The problems were a broken fish tank to a broken shower head etc. I now have new tenants in the unit who lived in the same complex as my ex tenant's boyfriend who now want to break their lease. Guess what? the plumbing problems have started again. I live in a college town and most of my tenants are college students. Do you have any suggestion about what I should do and what action I should take?   

Suspected Sabotage
I have a Victorian rental in a college town. Last year, we had a series of plumbing problems that began to occur when the tenants wanted to break their lease. This year, I am experiencing an identical situation with 2 tenants. The bath tub leaks every time they take a shower and they want to break their lease early too They knew the previous tenants. What type of remedy should I seek for supsected sabotage?

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 3,537
Reply with quote  #2 
If you suspect sabotage by the tenants, call for a reliable, experienced, licensed plumber.  (You want an older plumber who's been around and seen it all, if you understand me.)  Explain the situation to him.  Send him to the unit to "repair" the plumbing.  Don't tell the tenant anything else, just that someone is coming to repair it. 

When he is there, have him look for signs of sabotage.  A good plumber should be able to spot any signs of tenant tampering.  Have him write his findings on the bill itself.  If he finds evidence of this being the tenant's fault, send a copy of the bill to your tenant and have him pay it with the next rent payment.  If he fails to, subtract the amount of the bill from his next rent, and send him a receipt showing that the plumbing bill was paid in full, but not his rent. Then you can give him a pay or quit notice to pay the rest of his rent or move out.

I have found a very good plumber who works well with me.  When I kept getting calls from the same unit for stopped up sinks month after month, I sent this guy there.  He found that the tenant was cutting off all of his beard (he was a big burly guy) in the sink everyday.  All that hair was stopping it up.  They got the bill and stopped doing it as soon as they realized they would have to pay for it.  The key is to develop relationships with a few very good contractors who learn what you want.  Once you find these guys, use them for every repair and recommend them to others.  Have other people call him and mention that you send them to him.  He will be grateful and do an even better job for you.
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