MOLD * The "NEW" get out of lease CARD

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/reports/lung_disorders/2012-1.html

I just had one of my VERY FEW eviction cases go to trial a few weeks ago.  The tenants have a lease through November at $1595 per month...his mother is ill in WVa and he wanted out of his lease early so they could relocate to care for her.   He advised me he wanted out of his lease for this reason and I offered him the options outlined in his Resident Handbook - locate his own replacement residents and pay me $400 to re-write the lease paperwork OR hire me to find replacement residents and pay me my one-half of one month's leasing commission and he is responsible for the lease, yard maintenance and utiity costs until new residents move in.

He did not like either option so he did not pay his July rent.  Since I knew he was leaving the area mid-August, I proceeded to file an eviction suit for July, 2008 rent AND a companion Small Claims court case for the VA max of $5,000 for the accelerated rent through the balance of their lease....SURPRISE!!! 

When my process server served the court paperwork, the tenant advised him that I had "tried to kill him and his wife".  When I heard this, I had NO CLUE what he was referring to.  I had just had a working HVAC system replaced to be more efficient.  The home was completely rennovated prior to their moving in last fall....new paint, professionally cleaned INCLUDING the windows inside and out.  The attorney/professor owners had left for SoCal and want to retain the property as an investment.  NOBODY WAS TRYING TO KILL THEN.

At the "return" court date in August, he mentioned mold at the property.  I talked to the HVAC service firm that replaced thei equipment and checked the photos of the old equipment that was removed - no MOLD.

Since he wanted a "trial" I prepped my attorney for the "mold" issue being raised at the property the hearing.  Luckily, the judge has heard this before....he wanted copies of the residents' medical reports - the tenant said they did not have money to go to the doctor * completely ignoring the fact that they had not paid rent for 2 months - $3,000 would buy a lot of doctor visits.  The residents had no evidence of communication with me regarding mold nor did they have any third-party inspection evidence of mold at the property. 

Long story short, I won and the tenant has vowed to appeal his loss which has not happened. 

In anticipation of this "defense in court" I had printed a copy of the Johns Hopkins Health Alert 9 Common Mold Myths and had it in my "court" folder.  Anyone anticipating or involved in a "mold issue" should have this publication in their file.

 

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  1. Jane Nicastro-Disch 12/08/2009 08:28 AM
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Topic:
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Tags:
mold
eviction
proprty management
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Comments 10 New Comment

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Rainmaker
251,689
Robert Machado
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management - Sacramento Area
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC

Mold is one of the many methods tenants use to avoid paying rent.  It is a good one if they can come up with an inspector to back them up.  Otherwise this defense is not so good.

September 28, 2008 02:37 AM
Rainmaker
309,951
Leslie Prest
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ

Yeah, we hear this occasionally. We once had a tenant calling dirt mold. It was on the outside of a wall IN DIRECT SUNSHINE.

September 28, 2008 12:53 PM
Rainer
9,479
Pat Mulligan
RE/MAX Peninsula

Thanks for info on JH report, Wallace.  I think I might be dealing with this soon. 

pat

 

October 03, 2008 08:00 AM
Rainmaker
156,550
Stella Barbour
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland
NoVa Brokers LLC

this happened to my cousin with her rental.  After the tenants couldn't afford the rent they cried mold and lost their case too and they had to pay my cousin's legal fees.

October 07, 2008 08:37 PM
Rainmaker
450,572
Ritu Desai
Northern Virginia Realtor - Fairfax/Loudoun/PW - 7
Samson Properties

WOW thanks for sharing. I did not know tenants were abusing this to get out of the lease.

October 10, 2008 01:37 PM
Rainmaker
56,100
Carol Judd
Vernal Utah Real Estate
Patriot Real Estate

I hate mold but renters can be a problem also.

October 10, 2008 07:42 PM
Rainer
19,166
Josh Holt
Southern Maine and NH Real Estate - Your Source of Info on the Berwicks
RE/MAX Coast To Coast~ Dedicated to You!

Great info. How did you keep the pictures? Hard copies in a folder, or a database?

January 13, 2009 07:53 PM
Rainmaker
1,075,919
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
LandlordWhisperer
Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Josh - I keep CURRENT PROPERTY (properties I still manage them) on 8G travel/jump drive with archive for year 2006, 2007, etc. on my office laptop hard drive.  I have redundant system on my home laptop so I can copy/paste from the current travel drive.

I'll print for court, deposit return documentation, etc. otherwise, I don't keep hard copies as they take up too much space in files.

January 14, 2009 06:14 AM
Rainer
19,166
Josh Holt
Southern Maine and NH Real Estate - Your Source of Info on the Berwicks
RE/MAX Coast To Coast~ Dedicated to You!

Thanks. I thought I read it in one of your posts, but what do you use for software. I'm just starting to collect some units, and would rather copy from your success than through my own trial and error. Thanks again for the blog, this stuff is great!

January 14, 2009 11:57 AM
Rainmaker
1,075,919
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
LandlordWhisperer
Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Josh - PROMAS www.promas.com

January 14, 2009 12:02 PM
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Rainmaker
1,075,919

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM

LandlordWhisperer
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