Need advice on tenant refusing to sign a lease!


#1

As some of you know I’m a manager at a small park. This park has a very turbulent past with multiple owners, multiple managers, drugs, severe drinking water and sewer issues resulting in Wisconsin DNR enforcement, forclosure…

Almost all of the tenants have not signed a lease within the past year nor have they paid rent!

So now we bring them leases to sign and tell them it’s time to start paying rent. Almost all of them sign and pay.

One couple has multiple concerns, the biggest one being the water is undrinkable. We test in accordance with the DNR and it is indeed safe to drink although not that desirable. They also say they can’t pay for another month and want us to lower the lot rent. They own their home.

My question is this, do they actually have any right to be on the property? I do not want to evict them at this point but want to show them the position I believe they are in. It seems to me we could legally, in theory, kick them off because we are not bound in any way to provide a place for them to park their home.

What are your thoughts? Is my thinking completely backwards here? Maybe it’s not that easy…


#2

I’m sorry you’re dealing with that kind of BS. I ran into a similar situation as far as not getting new leases signed and I spoke to an attorney about it. He said they don’t have to sign, but that they are on a month to month lease at that point and you can non renew them for any reason. Now this is in the state of Alabama and I’m sure every state is different so I suggest speaking to an attorney in your state.


#3

I’m not familiar with the law in WI however in IN the tenants are bound to the lease terms even if they don’t sign it. No, they don’t have a right to be on the property and you likely have the right to evict them per the terms of your lease.

Their reason (water not being drinkable) isn’t valid given your test results.


#4

First thing you need to do is learn your state landlord tennat regulations. It is not acceptable to operate a business, espically one involving tenants, without having taken the time to learn the law. You should have studied the codes prior to purchasing the community. Do not initiate any actions involving tenantss without the assistance of a lawyer until you know your tenants rights.

You have only two options… You either let them live for free or you serve a non renew/eviction.
You will regret keeping these tenants based on their present attitude and it would be a smart move to boot them out while you have the oportunity.


#5

Thanks guys, I appreciate the input!


#6

Sterling
Take a look at WI ACTP 125.08i: refusal to sign a lease is actually grounds for evictions.