Unwanted people in my park invited in by the tenants


#1

Hello everyone,

I purchased my park in Belfast, ME about 2 years ago. I evicted all the problem tenants and have a good bunch now who are all quiet and pay rent on time. The problem I have now is that the people who were evicted and other unsavory people are invited in by the tenants (family members in most cases). These people start fights and cause trouble around the park. My lawyer has had them served with no trespassing notices but the local police will not enforce them since the people were “invited” there by my tenants. Now it’s progressed to the point today I had one of them try to shake me down for damages he thinks are owed to him for a broken wrist he got while fighting one of my tenant’s kids in my park…a fight that the police reported that he started. Obviously a frivolous claim but I want these people out.

Have any of you had this issue and what can be done about it? I’ve contacted the county sheriff and the state police but they only refer me back to the local cops who maintain they can’t enforce no trespassing notices because they are a civil matter.

Thanks,
Mike O.


#2

Residents are solely responsible for the behavior of their guests - if their guests misbehave the resident who invited them is as responsible as if the resident had misbehaved directly.

I would document transgressions, issue a warning, followed up by a fine if it happens again, followed up by eviction if it keeps on happening.

In general the police are correct that you can’t issue no trespass warnings on people invited by residents. However, you may want to consult with an attorney if that person has been previously evicted, in that case you could have grounds to bar them from the premises.


#3

Thank you for the response. You make a good point…time to start holding the tenants accountable for who they invite in.

Mike


#4

In my experience, the police often do nothing because it is always “a civil matter.”


#5

I hear that a lot and it seems to be the way of things. What I don’t get is if I trespass I get arrested. It’s a lot harder when you’re dealing with folks who have nothing to lose and don’t care.


#6

Once a no trespass has been issued prevention someone from entering your property your tenants do not have authority to over ride the order. As soon as the individual sets foot on your property they are in violation of the no trespass order and the police are obligated to inforce the order. Remind the police the no trespass order is for your property in it’s entirety not the rented lot of your tenants.
You have two options, either serve notice to evict the tenants inviting them on to the property or have your lawyer sit down and explain the law to the police.
A polite threat to file suite against the police for failure to do their job and there by place others in your community in jeopardy may be in order.
I would prefer to serve eviction notices and clear out the entire family.


#7

I had the same problem, and since there were several of the same family in my Park, the previously evicted tenant would move around. He was a Drug Dealer and attracted LOTS of undesirables into the Park. It took several evictions and the only thing that finally got him out was he died. Then for over a year I still had users driving through the park looking for him.
Cost my A LOT of $$. and still have several empty spaces.


#8

Wow, sounds like he really impacted the park. In hindsight, were there any things that might have helped you learning on the front end in diligence that would have made this more of a known issue? Ie , did you see a lot of the same family name on the rent roll? Lots of traffic going in and out when you were on a site visit?


#9

@MikeO, as per your post:

  • “I evicted all the problem tenants…”
  • “The problem I have now is that the people who were evicted and other unsavory people are invited in by the tenants (family members in most cases).”
  • “My lawyer has had them served with no trespassing notices but the local police will not enforce them since the people were ‘invited’ there by my tenants.”

If I were in this situation, I would do the following:
1.) Leases - Month-To-Month: All Tenants on Month-To-Month Leases
2.) Letter - 1 Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested & 1 Regular Mail: Mail Letter to All Tenants stating that:

  • Any Individual 18 years old or older who stays more than x nights (in one year) at that residence needs to fill out an Application to live in the MHP and needs to be approved to live in the MHP
    3.) Watch - Respond With Lease Terminations For Current Tenants - Who Allow ‘Unapproved Individuals’ Into Their Homes: If your Current Tenants continue to allow ‘No Trespassing People’ & ‘Unsavory People" to stay at their residence, you need to Non-Renew those Current Tenants’ Leases. Do NOT give any reason for the Non-Renewal of their Lease.

My Husband and I own 2 MHPs in South Carolina.

In one of the MHPs we rented a just remodeled POH to a Single Mom with a child. The only ‘Approved Applicant’ 18 years old or older was the Single Mom.

Approximately 2 weeks after renting the POH my Husband sees a vase of flowers on the outside stairs of the Mobile Home. This vase of flowers stayed outside getting wilted and old.

The next thing we know the Single Mom is calling and telling us that she needs her New, Exterior Door Locks changed, because she was concerned about her Boyfriend (who had a Key to the Mobile Home).

Boyfriend? (we never processed an Application for a Boyfriend) and Key? (we only gave the Approved Applicant a Key to the Mobile Home). Please note that we had just installed New, Exterior Door Locks about 2 weeks prior (when she moved in).

The day before the Single Mom called us about her Exterior Door Locks that needed to be changed there had just been a murder (Domestic Violence…by Boyfriend) of a Single Mom in a MHP in a neighboring City.

Because we were concerned for the Single Mom’s safety and because she was the only ‘Approved Applicant’ for this Mobile Home, we selected to install New, Exterior Door Locks.

The next day after the New, Exterior Door Locks were installed we received a video of the Boyfriend at the Mobile Home standing next to a City Police Officer asking the City Police Officer’s Permission to break our window so that he could enter the Mobile Home. The City Police Officer said that “Yes” the Boyfriend had permission to break the window.

When we viewed the video, we could not believe that it was a real City Police Officer. Unfortunately, indeed it was a real City Police Officer.

When we called the City Police Department and told them about the video, the City Police Department said that since our Tenant had ‘invited’ the Boyfriend into the Mobile Home that the Boyfriend had the right to get back inside the Mobile Home to get ‘his stuff’.

The City Police Department said that any person who leaves ‘their stuff’ inside a residence has the ‘right’ to get it out.

We wish you the very best!


#10

The rest of the family were fine, he did not look like a drug dealer. About 1/3 of my Park is related.
I tried getting the cops involved with the drug problem, had the perfect place to set up camera’s, They told me it was my problem and refused to help. He was on a list for a transplant, but when he failed the required drug tests he was removed from the list and thankfully finally died, other wise he would probably still be there. I no longer allow the manager to rent out spaces. We screen very carefully now, unfortunately we have a 99% rejection record, but the park is nice, quiet and clean now. There is no shortage of low lives who have learned to use the system. The Courts favor the tenant and provide them with free legal advise and sometimes attorney’s. Evictions are very costly and can take up to 4 months in Ca. While all the time I have to pay their utilities. People bounce from Park to Park and actually pay for only 3 month out of a year. It is starting to catch up to them as more and more Park owners have learned their lesson.


#11

My first attempt at resolving this issue was to have my lawyer write a letter to the tenants who invited them onto the property. It politely but forcefully stated that the people have been served a no trespassing notice and by inviting them onto the property they are facing eviction.

My next attempt if this doesn’t work will be to let the police know that if a trespasser comes onto the property and steals or starts an altercation with a tenant that I’ll be holding the department responsible for not enforcing the no trespassing order. I think you’re right about this approach…it will be the most effective. I’ll keep you guys updated if it comes to that.


#12

I had the exact same issue last year. I finally got rid of the drug dealers and users. Most were evicted and one overdosed on the property. Now I just have a couple undesirables who think they own the place even though I kicked them out and repossessed their house. I’ll know in a few days if the letter from my attorney scared the tenants in question to stop inviting the people to come on the property.


#13

Interesting you ask that…lots of traffic in and out all hours of the day and night. And it turned out that 90% of the park tenants are related. Different last names but all cousins, uncles, brothers, aunts, etc.

It took about 6 evictions to end the constant traffic in the park and the “family” is now only 2-3 lots.


#14

I have thought about month to month leases. They seem to give the landlord more freedom to get tenants out at will. Plus it’s something to hold over their heads if they are a constant problem for the park (e. g. Messy yards, rule violations, etc) I might be wrong about this and intend to do more research but I think next March when the leases expire I will go to a month to month for everyone.

The story about the officer letting the boyfriend break in the window sounds like something that would happen up here too. It almost unbelievable but I know that’s how it goes.


#15

I took the same approach, after my last eviction in April, I haven’t accepted a single new person in the park. Very high standards but at least everyone pays and the park is generally quiet. I basically just have this one problem now with the trespassers. I expect this will be taken care of soon. I appreciate all the advice from you guys.