Hi: I am having a HUGE problem with my tenants. Are there any other STX landlords out there that can give me some advice? I also need the name of lawyers on STX that handle Landlord Tenant law. Has anyone seen Pacific Heights? HELP!!!
To give you advice you need to tell us your story....many, including myself are landlords, and or have a great deal or real estate or property management experience. As beachy said I really really hope you have a good lease, but there is no quick way to evict anyone in almost any state.
I hope the independent landlords will network - there should be a DNR (do not rent) on some folks, they give the good guys a bad name.....landlords HAVE to protect themselves against property damage and I can see where rent can get jacked up strictly on that factor. What a shame...I am ever amazed at how some people do not care one whit about anyone else's property.
And yet another reason it's almost impossible to rent from off island - as Cody's post points out, this deal is sealed....people want to actually look at you and talk to you before offering their most valuable possession up to someone else. Sometimes a landlord will get fooled, we all do - but sometimes a real live person says a lot without saying a word. Considering the landlords on island may be renting out part of their HOME, they have a right to be picky and choosy.
A note to future renters....we DID rent our first place sight unseen and the landlords could not have been better to us. Part of why we were attractive to them, though, even though we brought down a herd of dogs, was that my husband had a job, a very good job, before we ever got there. It's just easier if you are employed and the landlord knows you'll have the income to pay the bill. Many landlords live on site and are hardworking people just like you and appreciate the fact that you have had a good work history and appear to be upstanding, employed, and not someone living off savings and chasing a dream....at least, that was our experience. Through a horrible comedy of errors we ended up leaving our first rental and we never found landlords or potential landlords like those folks again. Just as a good tenant is worth their weight in gold, so is a good landlord!
Cody~ Sometimes a case of beer, a couple bottles of Rum, a "gift" of 300-500 cash (or whatever) , an offer of a truck to help move IF the tenant can be out by such and such a date can be more effective and ultimately less expensive than an attorney. There are also sites online that have the 3 and 5 day pay up or quit notice and the 30 day eviction notice : http://www.landlord.com/landforms_main.htm and http://www.landlord.com/ are two I came across. Advice can be found at the landlord.com site, too. I don't know if they will be useful here in the VI, but it's a start. Good luck.
Dnr is a good idea but maybe a more attainable idea would be for private landlords to have apllicants fill out applications and actually check all their employment, rental and personal references. Most employers do not even check references here. People are a little too trusting here and the islands are becoming too litigious for that. Stateside problems are catching up with the islands and you cant trust someone anymore because you shook their hands.
Also look in to rental insurance with whomever you have do your property insurance I'm not sure if it covers evictions or not but I think it does.
It's very difficult to check employment references since just about all anyone can say without problems is if they'd hire that person again or not. Personal references would be friends & who knows if the previous rental references aren't relatives of the person applying if they're stateside?
Trade, I think I know what Betty is saying - make sure they ARE employed. It's very easy to re-make yourself sometimes, knowing that people probably won't check up on what you provide as fact. I think it's easier to be someone you aren't, at least for a short time, in the islands. No one knows you...you can say you're anything you've always wanted to be! Personal references get more tricky, since what are you gonna do? List your arch enemy as a reference??? lol! And yes, of course, previous rental history could be a quagmire, too.....a lot of time it's gut instinct and who is to say if you're right or wrong....but it's almost impossible to listen to your gut if all you're hearing is a disconnected voice over a telephone line....even face to face it's hard to sort out the facts sometimes. But the island is a very small place when you boil it all down - the Kevin Bacon syndrome - asking questions about someone who has lived or worked on island for any length of time may serve you well.
Back to the OP - I can see where it would be nice for those whose properties are not managed by a realty company to network or form some sort of landlord group....but if a realty company is managing my property and has no clue on how to get someone out of my residence or who to call, I'd be having a small fit! Good luck to Cody - and please keep everyone posted on what you find out - it may help someone down the line.
Not sure if this is what you need, or if he still does this kind of work, but this firm represented a Christiansted hotel in successfully evicting a well known restaurant from the premises a few years back: http://darwincarr.com/