Commission: Landlord didn't stop gay ...

Commission: Landlord didn't stop gay harassment

There are 13 comments on the Kennebec Journal story from Jan 24, 2012, titled Commission: Landlord didn't stop gay harassment. In it, Kennebec Journal reports that:

The Maine Human Rights Commission has ruled that a real estate management company did not do enough to stop the harassment of a gay couple living in a Waldoboro apartment complex it owned.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Kennebec Journal.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#1 Jan 24, 2012
As a landlord, I can tell you that there's very little we can do to reconcile tenants who don't get along. We aren't in loco parentis for our tenants.
Aida Lott

Westwood, NJ

#2 Jan 24, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
As a landlord, I can tell you that there's very little we can do to reconcile tenants who don't get along. We aren't in loco parentis for our tenants.
There's PLENTY you can do.... you just don't want to get sued...
and I don't blame you. But eviction is your option.
Sir Andrew

Ardmore, OK

#3 Jan 24, 2012
This is not merely a matter of tenants not getting along. This is a group of tenants breaking the law and illegally harrassing other tenants. And the IS something a landlord can do about that...and must.

Those creating a hostile living environment in a situation such as this must be removed if they fail to comply with the corrective warnings supplied by the landlord or manager. And, yes, it is within the authority of the landlord to do this. I work for the largest condo management company in the US, and we also manage thousands of apartment units all over the US, Mexico and Canada. The law, and the responsibility of the landlord, are well defined.

It's unfortunate that you see your role as a landlord differently than that. Perhaps you should have a chat with your attorney before you end up with the wrong end of the stick.
Bud G

Elk Grove, CA

#5 Jan 24, 2012
There really isn't much a landlord can do to stop harassment by other tenants unless those tenants threaten violence or harm. Evicting a tenant could mean a wrongful eviction lawsuit.

In some cities, like San Francisco with strong rent control laws, it is almost impossible to evict a tenant unless a tenant is a drug dealer or hasn't paid rent for many months. A friend was harassed by a neighbor and the Rent Board told him he should move.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#7 Jan 24, 2012
Bud G wrote:
There really isn't much a landlord can do to stop harassment by other tenants unless those tenants threaten violence or harm. Evicting a tenant could mean a wrongful eviction lawsuit.
In some cities, like San Francisco with strong rent control laws, it is almost impossible to evict a tenant unless a tenant is a drug dealer or hasn't paid rent for many months. A friend was harassed by a neighbor and the Rent Board told him he should move.
The rent Board was the wrong place to go. The police would be my first choice followed by contacting my landlord and documenting all acts of violence and harassment. I'm not a landlord myself but I've been on good terms with most of mine and know many others.

Those who try to claim how powerless they are in these instances are, IMO, trying to dodge their responsibilities.

A few months ago two neighbors got into it (again) and after 20 minutes and then hearing one threaten the other with a baseball bat I called my landlord. Even though it was past 2:30 A.M. he was here in under 10 minutes and told both of them he would NOT put up with either of them creating a disturbance on his property. He made it clear the next report of problems from other tenants because of either of them would result in him filing charges with the police and them BOTH being carted to jail.

He also thanked me for informing him and letting him decide when to bring in the police.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#8 Jan 24, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
As a landlord, I can tell you that there's very little we can do to reconcile tenants who don't get along. We aren't in loco parentis for our tenants.
Boy talk about a 180. Sure changed your tune from demanding schools prevent bullying but when it comes to your wallet, look at where your priorities went.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#9 Jan 25, 2012
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>Boy talk about a 180. Sure changed your tune from demanding schools prevent bullying but when it comes to your wallet, look at where your priorities went.
Last time I checked, schools act in loco parentis. Frankly, the article doesn't provide a lot of details on the harrassment, the amount of time it occurred over, how many times the landlord was informed, etc. now I give the rent board the benefit of the doubt that they looked into those things. But I'm just saying it he remedies are at best difficult for the landlord. Many have suggested eviction. Do you have any idea how long that process would take? And the unlikelihood of success unless physical assault were involved? In which case you would need police reports.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#11 Jan 25, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
Last time I checked, schools act in loco parentis. Frankly, the article doesn't provide a lot of details on the harrassment, the amount of time it occurred over, how many times the landlord was informed, etc. now I give the rent board the benefit of the doubt that they looked into those things. But I'm just saying it he remedies are at best difficult for the landlord. Many have suggested eviction. Do you have any idea how long that process would take? And the unlikelihood of success unless physical assault were involved? In which case you would need police reports.
Yes Jeff I am bvery aware how long that process can take in some areas.

The fact is if the landlord takes the time to make it clear they will not tolerate this and will press criminal charges, it is better than dodging around like you are doing now.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#12 Jan 25, 2012
Oh and Jeff. In case you didn't notice the C omission made it very clear this IS a landlord's responsibility.

But I see you prefer the easier softer way to cover your azz.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#13 Jan 25, 2012
DNF wrote:
Oh and Jeff. In case you didn't notice the C omission made it very clear this IS a landlord's responsibility.
But I see you prefer the easier softer way to cover your azz.
You know, I never said I disagreed with the commission. I don't have enough information based on this report. I merely commented that a landlord doesn't have very powerful tools at his disposal.

I think you must enjoy making others into ogres.

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#14 Jan 25, 2012
I'm certainly glad that in all my years as a landlord (now thankfully over), I didn't have to deal with a situation like this, but I do know that in cases where one tenant has filed a criminal complaint against another, the landlord has a lot more leeway to do something about the offending party. While here in Kansas it's probably a lot easier to get rid of problem tenants than in other locations where they have more rights, anywhere where the cops have become involved in a dispute between tenants, a landlord can do a lot more than just talking somebody out of bad behavior.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#15 Jan 25, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
You know, I never said I disagreed with the commission. I don't have enough information based on this report. I merely commented that a landlord doesn't have very powerful tools at his disposal.
I think you must enjoy making others into ogres.
actually I don't and wish I didn't have to have such a hard time with you. From previous experience you are usually very insightful.

But in this case I see a gay man trying to claim he is powerless over his tenants. I strongly disagree.

As I tired to show, every landlord I've known has always appreciated tenants reporting problems to them that could cost them money.

In cases like this most appreciate a call from a tenant before the tenant calls the police. The ones who have balls address the problem directly to the people causing problems, be it violence, drug use, or questionable activities that may cause the landlord to face criminal charges etc.

As a former dance teacher I just didn't like your steps or form.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#16 Jan 25, 2012
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>actually I don't and wish I didn't have to have such a hard time with you. From previous experience you are usually very insightful.
But in this case I see a gay man trying to claim he is powerless over his tenants. I strongly disagree.
As I tired to show, every landlord I've known has always appreciated tenants reporting problems to them that could cost them money.
In cases like this most appreciate a call from a tenant before the tenant calls the police. The ones who have balls address the problem directly to the people causing problems, be it violence, drug use, or questionable activities that may cause the landlord to face criminal charges etc.
As a former dance teacher I just didn't like your steps or form.
Again, you have not read what I said. You have colored them.

Did I say I wouldn't intervene when tenants spat? Alas, I have had to. Just last fall, I talked one tenant into moving.

Did I say that the landlord had been treated unfairly by the regulators? No, I don't have enough information from the article.

As I'm sure you know, tenants have strong protections under the law. Any remedy that a landlord might pursue stronger than verbal or written policy statements would take a long time to play out.

You cannot deny that what I say is true.

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