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Do we really live in a society where child-molesting financial deadbeats have more rights (and get more respect) than landlords?

My friend Nicki has been dealing for months with tenants from hell in a house she owns. Their shenanigans (coupled with other financial setbacks; you know how bad things always come in bunches) have driven Nicki and her family near financial ruin.

She’s been keeping quiet about it, hoping to resolve the mess peaceably. Hoping to get the deadbeat tenants to be responsible or just quietly go away. Or at least find a way to have them evicted. But today she got the setback of setbacks. A real heartbreaker from a judge. She finally went public on her blog — and asked her friends to boost the signal. I hope she doesn’t have cause to regret going public.

Some language NSFW.

ADDED: Nicki’s further thoughts. Good luck, Nicki. I can’t imagine going through this.


  1. Nicki
    Nicki April 23, 2015 1:42 pm

    Claire, thanks so much.

    I have no regrets. Nothing I have said is false, and that is necessary to prove libel. Nothing I have said can be disputed. Yes, they’re living there without paying rent. Yes, they’ve been late numerous times, and I have witnesses who will testify to it. Yes, he’s a sex offender.

    So…. no regrets. I have no other options. None.

  2. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner April 23, 2015 1:46 pm

    I had a slumlord coworker years back with some creative techniques for getting people to move, but they probably aren’t legal and in any event it would be silly to post them in a forum that might fall under some attorney’s eye. I hope this works out well in the end.

  3. Claire
    Claire April 23, 2015 1:53 pm

    Nicki — Those people just sound so bad and so self-righteous about their behavior that I can envision them making a lot more trouble for you, even if you are 100% in the right. Still, in your shoes I’d probably do the exact same thing you just did. Good luck. And I hope somebody secretly whispers some of RustyGunner’s landlord tips in your ear.

  4. Nicki
    Nicki April 23, 2015 2:08 pm

    LOL! I’d be in more trouble if I employed some of those techniques, I’m sure. I’ve pretty much given up on any hope of getting justice. The “American Dream” doesn’t exist. At all.

    I keep writing stuff down just to vent… to get some kind of closure in my own mind on all this. I can’t.

    I guess I’ll just keep writing. Not much more I can do.

  5. Pat
    Pat April 23, 2015 2:16 pm

    Given prior notice by a certain date, couldn’t they be locked out of the house – locks changed – or their possessions put out on the street? (Assuming both of them ever leave the house together.)

  6. Pat
    Pat April 23, 2015 2:33 pm

    Additionally: they’ve been given ample warning, the tenants have “agreed” to leave but didn’t, and they’re not paying rent. This would seem to break all contracts. Furthermore, anything said between owner and tenant should be openly recorded – from this point on, at least – so the tenants’ attitude and words can be tracked, and they know the owner is getting serious.

  7. Matt, another
    Matt, another April 23, 2015 2:36 pm

    My parents had a similar problem many years ago. Even wound up with a judgement against them for not paying the water bill and letting the water company shut the water off. It seems it wasn’t the tenants responsibility to pay for water. So, my parents waited a few months. Got a mortgage on the property. Made a couple of payments, then went into default and let the bank have the property. The deadbeats were evicted right smartly by the sherriffs office shortly after that.

  8. jed
    jed April 23, 2015 3:38 pm

    Sad state of affairs. The rise of the “tenants’ rights” concept is rooted in the progressive dismissal of property rights, and the elevation of “human” rights to such things as a “living wage” and housing. I’d be surprised to hear of any US state which does not have some sort of tenant rights laws. The worst I’ve heard of is in California, where I guy I worked with (remotely, mostly) got royally screwed over — original tenant moved in some friends, then moved out himself. With no legally binding lease agreement in place at all, it took months for this guy to get them out. Worst part? He was renting out the bottom floor of the house he lived in. One of his tenants re-built a Harley in the living room.

    The only thing I can think of, which I assume isn’t going to help, would be any laws prohibiting sex offenders from living within a certain distance of a school, etc. Presumably, that condition is satisfied in the location, which is whey they rented there to start with, and one reason why they can’t find someplace else.

    Sadly, this seems to be a tough-it-out situation. Nicki might eventually end up with a judgement against them, but collecting on such will be a non-starter.

    @Pat, in short, no. It’s the tenants’ rights laws which make that a non-option. Even if unstated, there’s an implicit “rule of law” for housing rental and lease contracts, requiring enforcement under terms of the existing state law. The judge in this case was likely doing nothing other than parroting the provisions of such law.

    I’m sorry, Nicki, that you’re having to go through this.

  9. Nicki
    Nicki April 23, 2015 6:26 pm

    It is correct that they have violated every contract possible. But today’s hearing was not about that. Today’s hearing was to determine whether a trial is in order. And even though they were given notice, said verbally they would be out, violated the lease in numerous ways, etc., the judge still saw it fit to set a trial date – one that’s two months in the future, and didn’t even order them to pay rent!

  10. Nicki
    Nicki April 23, 2015 6:28 pm

    And Jed is right. After all the BS and the legal proceedings, I may eventually get my house back. MAY. By that time they will have destroyed it, and I won’t be able to get any money collected. Blood from a stone and all that.

  11. clarence
    clarence April 24, 2015 12:18 am

    Given that you are already heavily involved in the.”just us” system, most states require sex offenders to be on parole or probation. This means that certain behavior violates the terms of their release. Finding out who the parole officer this individual reports to may be possible and a direct word or two may have the state remove at least this one tenant. I know and have used other legal avenues to help a friend evict deadbeats. Find a better lawyer to help you. (I am not a lawyer and do not play one on tv.)

  12. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau April 24, 2015 8:34 am

    In today’s America, it makes no sense to be a landlord, with one exception: if you are a slumlord with trash housing that you don’t care about, and you are plugged into the system and thus able to deal with whores and drug addicts (I have a friend who ended up this way, and even he is getting tired of dealing with it).

    Unless you have a huge amount of equity in the place, it might make sense to just walk away. The government has stolen its value from you, but how is that any different from what they do anyway? Taxation is theft. Inflation is theft. Government is a looting operation, and the middle class are their victims.

    It’s unproductive to get mad at the renters; they are just responding to incentives, like everybody else does. They are just looking out for their own interests, just like everybody else does. The system is your real enemy, for creating those incentives. In a more decent system, these incentives would not have existed and your renters would not have acted this way.

  13. Ellendra
    Ellendra April 24, 2015 8:46 am

    “Do we really live in a society where child-molesting financial deadbeats have more rights (and get more respect) than landlords?”

    Sorry to say it, but, yes. We do.

    Each area has it’s own rules, but in most places it is d@mn near impossible to evict somebody after they’ve lived in a place for a certain length of time. I once considered going in with someone to buy a rental property, but after doing some homework and reading too many horror stories, I backed out. I even knew someone in college who let someone crash on her sofa for a while, and as soon as he’d been there 31 days he started trashing the place because he knew he couldn’t be kicked out without eviction procedures.

    My best advice would be to keep track of how much it’s costing to get these people out, including all damages and other costs. After they’re gone, sue them for it. You probably won’t get a penny from them, but after winning the lawsuit you can sell the debt they owe you on the notes market. You’d get at least part of the money back, and they’d have to deal with someone meaner than you coming after them to collect. You can’t get blood from a stone, but sometimes you can sell the stone 🙂

  14. just waiting
    just waiting April 24, 2015 9:36 am

    So sorry to hear about your plight Nicki, but thank you for sharing it. I was on the fence between renting and selling until I read your tale, you’ve made the decision an easy one for me now.

    I heard a story once about a similar situation. In that case, since the tenants had broken the lease, and landlord had a letter from deadbeats with vacancy date, the landlord re-rented the house to another “family”.

    The new family was some rather large and very unfriendly folks, the kind who don’t mind physical confrontation (read: love to fight) and have no fear of arrest. They appeared at the house the Friday after the first of the next month at 5pm and moved in. Yup, right on top of the other people. Deadbeats freaked out and called the cops. By the time the cops arrived, the new family had already dumped the deadbeats possessions on the front lawn and were cooking up the food they found in the fridge.

    Deadbeats claimed it was their house, and had the right to be there. New family claimed it was their house, and pulled out their lease, plus letter from deadbeat to landlord saying house would be vacant by xx date.

    New family also had something deadbeats didn’t have, a receipt for rent for that month.

    Friday night, courts are closed. Cops had no way of deciding who could be there, other than that new family had receipt for that month, so cops told deadbeats they could stay if they felt they had the right to, but that they (cops) were not going to put new family out of the home, and they’d have to find a way to live together until Monday when they could go to court.

    The deadbeats gathered their stuff and left shortly after the cops did, right around the time when the new family suggested bonfire and marshmallows on the front lawn.

    They never contacted the court on Monday, and landlord never heard from them again.

  15. emdfl
    emdfl April 24, 2015 10:18 am

    There are certain situations that just call for testing of suppressed weapons, heh, heh, heh…

  16. Nicki
    Nicki April 24, 2015 11:23 am

    Through all this, I made the decision that I will never ever own property in the United States again. This cemented the feeling very strongly. Being victimized by people like this – and I use the term “people” very loosely – has taught me a valuable lesson.

    Thank you all for the emotional support. That really was what I was hoping for – as well as raising awareness about the issue and the lack of justice in this whole thing.

  17. Felinenation
    Felinenation April 24, 2015 12:14 pm

    I have in the past considered renting a out a room in my house for extra income, but have not out of fear of opening myself up to landlord-tenant issues. The law is so skewed in favor of the tenants (who may be from hell) that it’s not worth it.

  18. John1945
    John1945 April 24, 2015 12:38 pm

    Nicki Says:
    April 24th, 2015

    ===Through all this, I made the decision that I will never ever own property in the United States again.===
    ===Being victimized by people like this===

    Some people are natural born victims.It is in their DNA I guess.And many of them enjoy being victimized-to the point of getting off.Legal concept of “standing ground” means nothing to them.Maybe they should move to Europe.

    In a more vibrant areas of Chicago like Pilsen,Kenwood or Humboldt Park landlords handle it w/o verbal acrobatics or long soliloquies about human rights.

    A vibrant car emitting rap music at 160dB drives by,somebody shoots in the window,police is utterly not interested-they dismiss it as a “stray bullet”. It makes no sense to investigate-locals in those areas wear handkerchiefs on their faces.BGD(black),Crips(blue),Bloods(red),Mighty Latin Kings(yellow)-they have no personalities,just a group identity.No police department can arrest and incarcerate 55000 Bloods.

    Non-paying deadbeats close the hole in the window with a pillow then quietly move out within a week.No exceptions.

    This method is used also to pacify noisy non-working welfare leeches who like to party at 3 a.m.

    So Nicki-what is your favorite color?

    Don’t you feel s-o-o-o-o-o helpless and un-affiliated?

    BTW-I am the last caucasian hold-out in a 70/30 black/hispanic area.And I am fine and my rights are protected.Because I intend to die where I was born.

  19. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty April 24, 2015 12:52 pm

    My husband and I managed some rental property in the mid 1960s, and it was a nightmare even then. It was almost impossible to get people evicted if they were on welfare or had children, no matter WHAT they did or how long it had been since they paid any rent. So I can’t imagine wanting to rent out my property now. I also can’t imagine wanting to rent from someone else. It’s a two edged sword and so often a lose/lose proposition.

    Something else to think about is the potential troubles one might encounter trying to “share” a house, rental or owned. I have been giving some thought to the time when I will no longer be able to live alone, and that time isn’t actually that far in the future. There are no family members who would be willing or able to come live with me, so I’d have to rely on someone I could hire locally.

    Looks like a no win situation so far. You either just let them move in and take your chances, or you go the whole “hired help” route with all the taxes and insurance costs added to their salary. I don’t see any way to make it work, since I don’t have that kind of money. With an informal deal, the live in could do all kinds of damage, both physical and financial, and there might not be much of a way to get rid of them.

  20. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau April 24, 2015 5:39 pm

    What an interesting collection of responses.

    Speaking of rights, I bet people would be less likely to get themselves into a bind like this, if they didn’t imagine they had any. It’s immensely helpful to understand and take into account how the world actually works, rather than how we wish it would work.

    John1945’s response also shows the utility of gangs, AKA tribes. It’s nice to think that police “help” does not work in at least some American communities, and that other paths for dispute resolution are possible. What could be simpler and cheaper than a bullet through the window?

  21. John1945
    John1945 April 24, 2015 9:01 pm

    My good man Paul Bonneau;

    It all started with one especially vicious British gang (Chief of this gang was Major General Robert Ross). On August 24,1814 they not only put many,many bullets thru the White House windows but eventually burned down the whole place.

    This gang was so brazen and shameless that they did not even bother to cover their faces with hankies.

    Deadbeat James Madison was dodging the bullets but somehow managed to escape.When he returned he immediately signed the check and mailed it with a next ship to the mortgage holder-The Bank of England.

  22. John1945
    John1945 April 25, 2015 11:03 am

    ===made a poster===

    Don’t put your hopes in modern Brits though.At this moment all they care about is what kind of underwear (if any) Kardashian sisters are wearing.My personal policy toward Washington D.C. is as follows:

    Talking (and voting) is overrated as a means of resolving disputes.
    Last time I voted was in presidential elections of 2008.I don’t vote anymore.And I never will.I just ceased to care.Whomever they choose to appoint next time-probably black retarded lesbian paraplegic in a wheelchair born in Zanzibar-I don’t give a flying f…I am boycotting the elections.I expect this number to go from 1 (me) to 100% of registered voters.

    Just imagine-nobody votes worldwide.All the government offices stand totally empty.Like tired land that lays fallow recuperating.No Congress,no MP’s,no Prime Minister,no President,no Cabinet…Even Queen Elizabeth II decides to take long vacation-I mean REALLY long vacation…Legal vacuum ensues.And since Nature abhors Vacuum-Power temporarily reverts to the People.YAY!!!

    My electoral boycott is-“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”

  23. Eric Oppen
    Eric Oppen April 25, 2015 9:27 pm

    I was an unhappy, unwilling landlord for nearly twenty years. I would never go near the rental real estate business again. Even though I am hurting badly for employment, when I went to a job fair, my response to some well-meaning folks who suggested that I look at apartment-management positions was “No apartments! NO APARTMENTS! NO NO NO NO! Never again!”

    If I had the money I am rightfully owed, plus the monies owed to my late parents, I could buy myself a much better house than the shack I live in and still have a good deal of cash left over for Sasquan so I could vote the straight Puppies ticket.

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