If you gave legal 24 hour notice and was denied entry than go to court. The
court will issue a court order that the police will be able to enforce. If
there is risk of property damage the process can usually be speeded up.
Similar to a 30 day eviction only faster.
Instead of wasting time HERE, I'd do the following *TODAY*.
1) Walk into court office: "The basement of my rental's becoming flooded
because my tenants won't let me and the cops can't help - I need a judge to
do <whatever is necessary> TOMORROW so the cops will accompany me blah blah
blah....". There are certain experiences which get sympathy from all
sentient beings in civilized countries. A flooded basement is one of them.
2) Walk into police station, ask to speak with commanding officer, see if
he/she has a creative idea, or can send an officer who has more experience
with these situations. The law is the law, but there *are* cops who are
pretty creative with words. I've seen it. Finally, ask the CO if he's got
any connections that'll get to a judge faster, so the necessary paperwork
can be obtained. When they need a warrant quickly, they don't wait for
3) Call insurance company NOW and inform agent of what's going on. If there
are angles for dealing messes like this, you need to know about them. If
your agent gives you a blank stare, you need a new agent. If you're going to
continue renting to slimeballs, you may need to explore more options on your
4) Get out the yellow pages and start calling cleaning companies. Not "maid
services", but companies who know how to do major cleanups in houses where
(for instance), people have been arrested after being found to have 84
abused pets and the floors & carpets are atrocious. The police or fire dept
may be able to provide names. When dead bodies are found, especially gunshot
victims, the situation often requires more than your usual carpet cleaning
company. Why do all this? If you turn off the water at the curb, as someone
else suggested, your tenants are probably going to "misbehave". Interview
cleaning services and have a name ready to call. A friend of mine had a
sewer back up into his basement a few years back. He couldn't seem to get it
completely clean. He found a company that had the job done in a couple of
hours. They exist. Fine one NOW.
5) Try and remember who told you it was a good idea to own certain types of
rental properties. Cut off all contact with this idiot.
Think twice before calling the insurance company for advice. At least don't
identify your policy number or address. I have heard (though I cant prove)
that in the past, people's premiums have been increased or policies
cancelled simply for inquiring about certain claims.
Not the Agent, the Company. I agree but I did not make it up.
about half way down the page at the bullet "*Inquire carefully"
That's why I like my agent. I used the auto glass coverage once after 10
years with the same company, and they raised my rates 15%. We switched
companies immediately, and I got a rate that was 5% lower than the original.
Is damage happening to your property, or the possibility of damage? What exactly
do you mean by "water is leaking in the basement"?
In most states, if there is reason to enter to prevent damage, you would have
the right to cut chains, or break down any barriers with or without notice.
Further, you can probably sue the tenants and make them responsible for any
damage caused or exacerbated by their actions. They probably don't have any
money, but they'll have a very hard time ever finding another rental with your
lawsuit as part of their credit report.
More details about the type of rental, the location and the reason the tenants
seem to resist would help. Meanwhile, no one can give you valid legal advice for
your situation in usenet, including lawyers. You probably need to retain a
lawyer at this point. If the rental agreement does not include some of the
things I mentioned, you badly need a lawyer anyway.
Captain Joe Redcloud
Well, yes it appears that YOU do. The alternative, of course is that you can sit
and steam for the next 3-6 months while eviction slowly works it's way along.
Your insurance is not going to pay for any damage caused by the leak unless you
mitigate the damage by fixing the pipe immediately. They don't care one bit what
you have to do to get the repairs done. First thing to do is get the water
turned off at the street, and padlocked.
Captain Joe Redcloud
It depends entirely on WHY you are turning off the water. You can't
turn off water to force someone to leave, but you can turn off water
to prevent damage or a dangerous situation from developing. In this
case, water may be spraying all over wiring in the basement. You can
turn off the water to prevent electrocution and fire.
On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 10:37:22 GMT, Captain Joe Redcloud
After reading more of this thread, I fully agree. If the police will
not assist, you still have to protect you property both from the
standpoint of the property itself, and for your insurance coverage.
If the tenants will not let you enter, you have only one recourse.
SHUT OFF THE WATER AT THE CURB. Not only will that protect the
property from further damage, but will "encourage" the tenants to want
to vacate the property, since they have no water. Be sure to document
everything, including the badge number of the police officer, be sure
to file a legal WRITTEN notice to the police, and if they will not
allow you to use their paperwork, Hand them a typed letter in your own
words, stating the issue. Then have the water company or a plumber
shut off the water at the curb, so it's documented, and if possible
get something in writing. I should also note that here is yet one
more option. Get a few guys together and simply force your way into
the place. The second the tenants lay a hand on you, you have a case
of assault and or battery. Your buddies will serve as witness and
possibly protection too. Once the tenant touches you, you are beyond
the landlord tenant laws, and the police MUST file charges.
PS. If this is a rural property with a well, you must then disable the
well pump. The best way to do this is to pull the electric meter.
I should note that I once had some tenants that sounded a lot like
yours. I gave notices and did all the stuff allowed by law, and still
was not getting anywhere. Legally, I could not disable the electric
power, but I got angry enough that I simply pulled the meter and took
it. Without power, the tenants were screwed. No power, no water
(well water), and they moved real fast. Yes, this was not legal for
me to do, but since the police would not assist, and the tenants were
a threat to the property (just by being there after threatening me), I
did what I had to do to protect the property, knowing that they were
not going to sue me, and if they did, so be it...... I had mopre
against them........ (Note - It was not winter so I did not
physically threaten them from a lack of heat).
Breaking and entering. Home invasion. Very bad idea.
That would be self defense. They could very well shoot you and your
They will, but against the invaders, assuming they're still alive.
The tenants can always claim they didn't know about the leak, didn't get
notice, didn't know who you were, and so forth. They certainly aren't going
to tell the police they wanted to destroy the property out of spite.
Busting into somebody's home (and it IS their home, even if they're not
paying rent) is going to bring nothing but grief, misery, and possibly
Chances are they'll end up owning the home, after sueing the landlord.
On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 13:59:31 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:
This is why he should talk to a property lawyer for a bit. You may be
right, but the tenant will lie about the original problem, and say
that the landlord assaulted him when he and his buddies forced their
way in. In addition, he'd better choose the right buddies who don't
do more than is necessary.
I agree that he has to mitigate damages. He should have already
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Interesting thought. Might be a good idea for the OP to keep detailed
records of everyone he speaks with, especially individual cops and their
badge numbers. Complaints in writing couldn't hurt, either.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.