Suspected Drug Dealers

If you suspect a tenant is dealing drugs because cars come and go throughout the day, but law enforcement does not have evidence, how do you deal with that?

There is usually more to the story. You need to get more information to make a decision.

Ask police to increase patrol for a month or two. Evict for breaking other rules of park.

Install a Street light and a camera right in front of their place.

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I had that situation twice. 1) I asked a few tenants to count the cars in a given hour so I would know what do they mean by “cars are always coming at all hours of the day”. They did and it was 6 and 9 and 7 on the 3 hours that were counted. I figured police could come and observe and solve a big problem for the city. I called an attorney to check on what to do. They said if I know for a fact then I have to report it but if I just suspect then I may be better off not saying anything. What? He said “what do you think will happen if they determine drugs are being sold?” “Come arrest them”. “Yes and possibly breaking down the door and tearing up parts of the home to see if anything was stashed in places. They could cause thousands of dollars in damage depending on how things go. And who do you think needs to pay to fix the house back to livable condition? Not the police.” So he got me sufficiently afraid of getting a huge repair (I already had enough repairs I didn’t need to cause more.) Fortunately I had made only a 3 month lease with these people. So I thought we’ll just have to put up with this till the 3 months are up. Next thing you know both of the adults ended up arrested for probation issues and I had to evict them while they were in jail just to make sure I could legally take ownership back. So I didn’t actually have to deal with the drug issue for them after all.

  1. second time I was smarter, I was making month to month leases so when these other people appeared to be selling drugs and a felon was living there who was not on the lease, I did not have to prove any of those things I just gave them the notice that unfortunately I would not be able to renew their lease at the end of the month. Fortunately they moved w/o incident (I was not sure how that would go but at least for these folks they left nicely.)

Maybe your tenant is breaking some more provable parts of the community rules that you could use to say “you have to fix this or you have to move”. Maybe you will get lucky and they will move?

Thanks for the response.

I like that! They will know they are being watched.

Wow. Maybe I dont want to involve the police.
BTW, are you finding that renting the trailer to be more profitable than just the lot?

@valderson pretty much the opposite, renting the trailer is almost always LESS profitable than renting the lot, over time. I’ll only ever own a trailer briefly and do RTO agreements.

@valderson In my case, years ago the owner requested to put a business on the front portion of the property and city said “yes” BUT they made the whole parcel Commercial. Thus these old homes are sitting on Commercial property and the city says I cannot replace or bring in any home onto Commercial zoning.

While it is more normal for property owners to want Tenant Owned homes I feel I can’t allow the tenants to buy the homes because my big problem would be how do I evict a non paying tenant when I can’t move out “their” home or I’ll lose a rent forever. And yet I can’t take over their home and rent it out to the next person. There may be some legal way around this predicament (“forcing a tenant that is being evicted to sell the home back to me at a reasonable price”) but so far I don’t know how that can be accomplished so I can’t take the risk. And if the person being evicted agreed to sell their home back to me they could say a ridiculous price and I’d be stuck buying it because they know I can’t replace the home.

I don’t think the tenants I have would be good home owners, they don’t seem to be the kind that keep a reserve so the homes would probably get neglected even though they’d be paying less each month. So unless someday (not holding my breath) the city changes the law and allows “legally nonconforming homes” to be replaced I will have to keep owning the homes.

Thanks for your explanation.

Usually those tenants are a nuisance to the whole community and it is obvious that they need to go. Simply evict them for non-payment of rent the next time they are a day late or a buck short. Otherwise do not renew their lease, then file eviction if they overextend the term. There is no need for you to prove drug dealing - the nuisance factor is enough for you. Once they’re gone, the neighbors will thank you.