Has anyone done this well into a park ownership in a park that likely has other felons? This guy has a pitbull and he’s pulling the emotional support nonsense, but not providing any documentation. I could non renew his lease, but he might claim retaliation. Not sure how to proceed.
I don’t have an answer but is this something you found out sorting through a file( background check ) news publication?
No, but I knew coming in he was one of the problems in the park from speaking with the police, and it’s easy to verify publicly.
Definitely get rid of all the dogs in the park that your Insurance company requires, and also consider tenant discrimination insurance which may come in handy as part of your turnaround.
But whatever activities you perform you should do across all of your tenants - get rid of all the dogs (required by insurance), and make all of them go through a background check prior to renewing their lease. This helps the story around you not being retaliatory and just taking broad strokes to make the park a better place to live. If you’re picking and choosing then the optics are bad for you.
While I believe everything I read on the Internet, you should consult an attorney in your respective state on this too - it will be $500 well spent.
This was a good thread on the dog thing: Dogs...New Rule...Only Dogs Under 30 Pounds...Thanks!
Keep us posted!
Thanks. That’s the point, it’s harder to get rid of dogs with everyone claiming this same BS. And redoing background checks for every tenant you acquire is not really practical in my opinion…
What is your goal. Is it only this one tenant you want to get rid of or all felons and all restricted dogs.
If you are attempting to clean up the community you must apply your community rules universally. All felons and all dogs not in compliance must be evicted.
“redoing background checks for every tenant you acquire is not really practical in my opinion…” If it is necessary then that is what must be done to insure you can be successful.
Be careful with felons. There was a recent HUD ruling that you cannot discriminated against felons. You can find out what his felony is for and if it is a sex crime he will not be permitted around children under 17 years of age. Additionally, I would get a list of the dogs prohibited by your insurance company, ie Dangerous Breeds. We have use the dangerous breed insurance issue in our apartment buildings, it works. All else fails you non-renew the lease for failure to abide by park rules.
Don’t renew his lease and always make sure you have a good landlord/eviction attorney working with you to make sure you do it in the correct manner. Every state is a little different on how they protect tenants so you want to make sure you do it right.
Find out what the felony was for and then do a realistic assessment.
Lots of people make mistakes when they are young. It doesn’t mean a 50 year old who has his life together wont make a good tenant just because he did something dumb when he was 21.
Does he pay his rent on time? Was it a long time ago? Was it a violent offence?
I have a great tenant who has a non violent felony from 15 years ago.
I re-read your post. I would non renew the lease if he doesn’t get rid of the pit-bull or is a terrible tenant in other ways.
If you decide not to get rid of him for the felony you will need to rewrite your community rules to allow for felons. You can not have it both ways, either you allow felons or you do not. If you allow one you must allow them all unless your rules state specific felonies that are not permitted.
@Greg, I’m sorry to say your advice is wrong. Discriminating on the basis of felony conviction alone is indeed a violation of HUD guidelines because it is deemed a proxy for other protected classes i.e. race. It is not “all or nothing” for this factor.
“violation of HUD guidelines”…unfortunate misguided government interference in business.
If evicting is a violation of HUD guidelines then, as I stated, you may not have a reference in your community rules that felons will not be accepted. I would assume you are therefor not permitted to restrict any type of felony offence and it would be necessary to screen them out through some other standard such as credit score. Low credit scores are not specific to any protected class.
The problem then of course for many communities is that the vast majority of applicants will likely have deplorable credit scores. This would prevent the use of low scores to eliminate felons.
I would therefor assume HUD, through their regulations, have turned parks into a haven for felons. Yes ?
I don’t think that being a “felon” is really what’s at issue here – it’s more about the guy hurting the quality of life for his neighbors with the pit bull (and I’m betting some pretty bad home and yard conditions). I would non renew his lease for the simple fact that he’s hurting your community. But I would hire an attorney – as already suggested – because it sounds like it might end up in court and you need a perfect paper trail on the front end.
I think there will be solutions to the whole companion animal (service dogs are awesome and cause no problems) problem and it’s going to come from the airline industry. There was the dog attack of the pit bull on a plane recently and then other lawsuits regarding people trying to bring companion farm animals on flights. One of these cases will eventually get to the Supreme Court and there will then be relief to this obvious abuse of the law.
I have over 75 tenants. I have no written lease and evict immediately if I have any problems. If I get intel that is not good they get a vacate notice for possession. I always have a waiting list as well. Some tenants coming in ask for a lease but we just say no. My park my rules. This has worked for me for years and the community knows the reputation and like how we run things.
except sex offender doesn’t protected by HUD .
True. But Brandon is correct in that if you have a blanket “no felon” rule you invite a Fair Housing claim. Once you’ve got to deal with it, the only question is how much time and money you lose.
Also, I’m hearing very good things from park owners about
You set the rules, and they do all the pet documentation and screening. They charge the tenants $20/animal - the park owner nothing. Using it seems smart to me.