Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter to my neighbor's landlord

Here is the content of the letter I sent to my "dog rescuing" neighbor's landlord.  Note that after this, the nuisances have been few and far between.  In fact, they have been SO good, sometimes I think they gave up their dog!   The yellow lab indicated in the prior letter is long gone.

Its also noteworthy that I managed to STICK it to this guy via the county tax collector.  A little background:  In my state, owner occupants are allowed to deduct up to $50,000 of their  property's assessed value for tax purposes.  For example, if your property is assessed at $200,000 and you occupy it for at least 6 months out of the year, you need only pay taxes on $150,000.  This is usually referred to as a "homestead deduction".

In any case, as I was "investigating" this issue, I learned that the numbskull landlord was claiming a "homestead deduction" while renting out his property to the rescue nincompoops!  I went to the tax collector's office in person and reported him.  The tax collector investigated, removed the deduction and went after him for some steeeeep fines!   GOTCHA!

Mr. Tax Cheat
9990 whatever Blvd.
Anyplace, FL 32999

RE:  Your property at 9990 whatever Blvd.

November 14, 2011

Dear Sir,

The purpose of this letter is to put you on notice of several disruptive, tortious, and illegal activities being committed on and around your property at 9990 whatever Blvd by the tenants to whom you are supposedly renting.
Over the past 18 months those activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
·         Numerous pet related offenses including frequent loud barking of dogs, dogs at large, depositing of dog feces with subsequent failure to scoop, and destruction of property.   This has resulted in numerous complaints to Animal Control by multiple parties.   The loud animals have disrupted my work, my sleep and my other interests.  Note their doing so is in violation of St. Johns County ordinance 89-62.   I sent your tenants a certified letter a year ago regarding the issue (attached). 
·         Bright lights aimed at my home.
·         Loud music.
·         Inappropriate/unsafe discharging of firearms.  Police were called.
·         Hostile, loud, and belligerent activity aimed at myself.   Your tenants apparently take issue with my reporting their offenses to authorities, something I have a right to do.   Basically, I have been *screamed and cursed at* for merely trying to uphold the law and protect my interests.

Juxtapose the above with the fact that I have broken no laws, committed no torts and have always been outwardly polite to them.   Also consider that I am not the sole party complaining to authorities regarding your tenants.

Therefore it is apparent that:
·         Your tenants are degrading the local environment.
·         Your tenants are committing code violations and torts.
·         Your tenants are disregarding the laws.
·         Your tenants are disregarding the right of others to live in peace.

I believe that the above is of keen interest to you because:
·         Your tenants are exposing you to lawsuits and other legal issues.
·         Your tenants are exposing you to issues with your insurance carrier and your lender.
·         Your tenants are exposing you to loss of property value.

Mr. Tax Cheat, you can be held liable in various ways for the activities of your tenants.  Consider the following:
·         You are enabling the various pet offenses, as you have a right to revoke or modify your tenant’s pet privileges.   If that dog is not vaccinated and/or it bites someone you are facing serious civil liability. 
·         Your insurance carrier will likely take issue with these various activities.   You may face premium increases or loss of coverage.
·         Your lender will likely take issue with any and all activity that degrades the value of the property.  Refer to your mortgage agreement and any relevant laws:  They may have the right to “recall” your loan if they have reason to believe the occupant is degrading the value of the property in any way.
·         The activities outlined above have seriously degraded my quality of life and imposed numerous costs on myself.  I am a computer contractor who works from home.  Your tenants have disrupted my work numerous times.  This is a serious civil liability:  I cannot, and will not, allow that to continue and will take whatever steps necessary to return peace to my work space and my home.  
·         If I am forced to move out over this issue (and it may come to that) then that creates an additional civil liability in 2 ways:
o   The owner of THIS property now has an actionable damage.  She has lost a paying tenant AND she is required by law to disclose any “nuisances” to all prospective buyers and tenants, further aggravating that financial hardship.  Furthermore, another empty house in this neighborhood will further degrade local property values including yours.
o   I would have a right to file for and recover any moving and other costs related to my relocation.
·         You have already suffered negative exposure in this situation.  Your “loss” of your property tax homestead deduction is indirectly related to the problems noted above.   Again, your tenants are drawing significant negative attention that is only going to become more costly for everyone the longer it continues.

Mr. Tax Cheat, I insist that you take whatever steps necessary to cure this problem. 

I also insist that you contact me, at my email address above, with your contact phone number and address.


John Q Public

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