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alphagranny

Is sending tenant certified mail at work re rental property considered harassment?

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Our tenant's wife is VERY protective of him and highly unstable to boot. They are three months behind in their rent and we are considering evicting them. We would like to be sure husband (whose name is also on the lease) knows what is happening in time for him to correct problems and save their home if he wants to as there is a child involved. We're almost certain he is being negatively manipulated and we don't want to evict unless we have to, but we have experienced significant financial harm and must recoup soon. She guards his phone availability and filters the "news" from us. He works long hours and is often out of town. We are in North Carolina.

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They are three months behind in their rent and we are considering evicting them.

Three months behind and you are just only "considering" eviction. Yikes!

When I owned rentals, one day late and they got a pay or quit notice. And once that deadline past (7 days here in AZ) I was down at the courthouse filing eviction.

If you don't start playing hardball with those deadbeats, you'll be another three months without the rent money.

As for the question in your post title, no, it's not harassment. You get the notice to him in whatever way works. Including going to the house and handing it to him in front of witnesses.

In case you never bothered looking, here's the NC landlord tenant statutes.

http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0042

Study up.

There are rules and procedures you have to follow. Otherwise they stay and don't pay.

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Our tenant's wife is VERY protective of him and highly unstable to boot.

Sounds like both are your tenants.

They are three months behind in their rent and we are considering evicting them.

Three months behind and you're only "considering" evicting them?

We would like to be sure husband (whose name is also on the lease) knows what is happening in time for him to correct problems and save their home if he wants to as there is a child involved.

What would make you think he doesn't know that he hasn't paid the rent in three months?

I guess the question in the subject header of your post is the only question you want answered, but it's not clear what that question means. If you read enough posts on boards like these, you'll see that some folks "consider" some of the silliest things to be "harassment." Certainly, the sending of a single letter is not going to meet any legal definition of the term "harassment."

If you have some reason to believe that the wife has concealed the non-payment of rent from the husband (e.g., if the wife routinely pay the rent from an account that he husband doesn't monitor -- although I'm not sure why you would have reason to know how this family internally handles its finances) and want to communicate directly with the husband, why not visit him in person or stop him while he's entering or leaving the leased premises or call him at work?

That said, the longer you let this go, the less likely you'll recover the unpaid rent or any significant chunk of it. My recommendation would be to start by giving the legally required eviction notice. That oughta get hubby's attention.

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Unfortunately, non-payment of rent and resulting evictions are all-too-common in landlord-tenant relationships. Because landlords frequently encounter these and other legal issues, you may want to consider signing up for a LegalStreet plan. It offers unlimited access to a lawyer to ask questions as they come up and also offers discounted legal representation should you need it.

Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.

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