mtschetter

About Mark Tschetter

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So far Mark Tschetter has created 15 blog entries.

Assessing Whether Tenant Threats Qualify For Eviction

September 6th, 2012|

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One reason a landlord can serve a Notice to Quit for Substantial Violation is when a tenant’s conduct “endangers the person of another”.  The short definition of a substantial violation is any act that occurs on or near the property and endangers either a person or property.  Endangerment does not necessarily require actual physical harm.  The threat of physical harm (whether it be verbal or by gesture) can sometimes be enough.  For example, a tenant that genuinely makes a manager or other resident afraid for their safety has committed a statutory substantial violation and can be served with a 3-day Notice to Quit.  If a tenant doesn’t cause physical harm and the manager, staff, or resident is not actually threatened; you can serve a notice to quit for a substantial violation but may not (probably will not) prevail in court if the tenant contests the eviction.  Even if a tenant’s behavior is not sufficiently serious to satisfy the statutory requirement for a “substantial violation”, the behavior may meet your lease requirements if you have crime free language (addendum in most cases), and almost always will support serving a three-day demand for compliance or possession.  Any unlawful behavior is a violation of most leases and most unlawful behavior (and police response to it) represents an unreasonable disturbance of neighbors.

Collecting Money After You Take Over

August 29th, 2012|

A man looking at files using a magnifying glass

After running a property for several years, it’s easy to know if a tenant owes you money.  However, often the situation is not as clear when you take over a property.  You aren’t familiar with the prior management company or owner’s lease documents, so this may result in incorrect SODAs, overcharges and other problems.  In addition, if the tenant fights any collection lawsuit, you have to be prepared to prove your case.  After taking over a property, this may be difficult.  Specifically, many of the key witness may be gone or moved on to other properties or even left the city.  The bottom line - after you’ve taken over a property, you should carefully examine every file that you are turning over for collection for potential problems.

Service Animal Behavior

August 8th, 2012|

Seeing eye dog with master

Just because the tenant is disabled and is housing a service animal does not necessarily excuse the animal from abiding by normal behavioral rules.  There may be situations where the tenant's disability prevents the tenant from causing the dog to behave well (a blind tenant cannot pick up after the dog - a deaf tenant may not be able to hear the dog barking) and reasonable accommodations may have to be made.  However, absent those types of accommodations, a service animal can be fully expected to comply with normal pet rules at your property.

Don’t Limit Your Options-Promptly Evaluate And Respond To Tenant Security Deposit Demand Letters

July 4th, 2012|

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Under Colorado landlord tenant law, the landlord has to account for a tenant's security deposit when the tenant moves out. In apartment world, landlord's accounting is commonly referred to as a SODA (statement of deposit account).  If the tenant disagrees, a tenant has a right to dispute landlord's SODA and sue the landlord for three times the amount of the deposit (treble damages) that the tenant contends landlord wrongfully withheld.  However, before a court will award a tenant treble damages in a security deposit lawsuit, the tenant has to give the landlord one last chance to return the deposit within seven days.

Tenants frequently send landlords seven day security deposit demand letters.  Upon receipt of a tenant security deposit demand letter, landlords should immediately evaluate the landlord's legal options prior to the expiration of the seven-day demand.  If a landlord fails to promptly evaluate options after receiving a tenant security deposit demand, the landlord has severely limited his options and given the tenant significantly more leverage in the dispute. Because liability for treble damages and attorneys fees kicks in after the expiration of the seven-day demand letter, difficult tenants can now hold the landlord's feet to the fire for three times the amount of the deposit.

Eviction Confusion Can Cost Time & Money

April 23rd, 2012|

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Evictions are not always cut and dry. Almost every eviction has to be supported by either a contractual or statutory notices. Unfortunately, failure to analyze when and what type of notice needs to be served can cost you time and money.  For example, if you are required to give a thirty-day notice, serving a defective notice will cost you an additional thirty days at minimum.  If you have extremely bad timing, serving an arguably defective thirty-day notice may cost you nearly ninety days.  Just like poker, we can only play the hand you deal us.  When clients come to us with problematic notices, clients have to choose between two less than ideal alternatives. Clients can decide to risk going all in on a problematic notice, or clients can take the safest route and reserve an air-tight notice.  Going all in on a problematic notice means getting the tenant out much quicker if you win, but it also means the tenant gets much more time if you lose.  If you lose, the tenant always gets more time than you would have given them by re-serving a questionable notice.  Fortunately, THS clients don't have to be put between a rock and a hard place.  All existing THS clients know that we are always available to evaluate eviction notices and scenarios for existing clients at no charge.