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I live in Southern CA and have been a landlady of a small building for about 15 years.

I am experiencing something I never experienced before.

One of my tenants decided to deduct two pairs of pantyhose from the rent, without my permission, because she snagged them while walking in the apartment. She snagged them on the metal divider between carpet and linoleum.

She complained that a "nail was sticking up". I went up there and there might have been less than a millimeter of the "nail sticking up"...barely anything but I put a hammer to it anyways just to make sure. The divider has been adequate before...nothing outside of standard.

I've also been good with any repairs....done many of them even though they make it difficult to make repairs.

When she gave this to me I immediately told her I do not take "partial payments". I was angry because this tenant has been very manipulative. For example, I had reduced the rent for her and instead of being grateful she ups her complaints and argues for more of a reduction! I was floored...never had someone so demanding, so unappreciative and so complaining.

So I gave her a 3 day notice to pay or quit. She has not paid yet and has until tonight.

This is what gets me. I called two lawyers today for advice and one said I should have accepted her "lowered" rent and then taken out the rest out of her security THEN give her a 30 day! He said a judge may see me as being not flexible enough!

I had read on the net that most landlords *never* take partial payments because it sets a bad precedent. Plus my rental papers say "no partial payments".

I told this to the landlord and it didn't matter. He felt I should have allowed her to deduct for Nordstrom pantyhose.

If she doesn't pay I am not sure what to do. I may offer to give her her money for the hose...even though she totally does not deserve it but to show "good faith" that I tried. If she doesn't pay then, or tries to lower it again, I will take her to court.

Thoughts? Can I give her another chance after a 3-day?

 
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If ya give a mouse a cookie, he is gonna want a glass of milk.....

 
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NO NO NO! You do not reimburse for stupidity! That's like me burning my hand on the stove and sending you the dr bill because the stove was hot.

She does not decide the amount to pay. She can submit a request to be reimbursed, but that's ultimately your decision. Do not bend the rules. Stand by your rules. I do not tolerate manipulators. You are the boss. Stand firm! Dot you i's and cross your t's with this one. Next she'll probably have a slip and fall and the hospital bill and law suit will not be far behind.

Plus, request that she provide the receipt for the nylons as well.Don't forget the late fees! 🙂

 
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Love it Cate! I agree with both posters. The tenant is simply trying to push the envelope and see how far she can manipulate you. If you allow this, she will then start to deduct for every burned out light bulb, every battery for a smoke detector, ... Who knows how far she will take it. Stand your ground. She had no right to deduct for something so stupid.

If you wish to give her a second chance, just let her know the 3 day has expired. You will still allow her to pay the rent, in full, if she wants before you have to file for eviction. Remind her that once an eviction is filed it remains on the record - even if she later wins or it is withdrawn. The record of an eviction filing remains on the court records for all future LLs to see. It will mean she will be denied future housing.l

And NEVER touch a security deposit while the tenant is still in the unit. Every deduction from that is that much less you have to repair damages once they leave. You will never get the tenant to replenish the deposit amount. Deposits are never touched until after a tenant vacates.

 
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