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Flash points

Anytime you read the word REASONABLE you know there could be a conflict

There are some portions of the Landlord Tenant and Fair Housing laws that call upon landlords  & tenants to be "reasonable". 

There are some issues that are not addressed by the law at all. 

where landlords and tenants (and neighbors) can use common sense to resolve disputes.

What can tenants do about flash point issues?
  • Know your rights before you make a complaint.
  • Don't be stupid.  eg. don't pretend you're a guest and then make complaints as if you're a resident
  • Offer to conciliate, negotiate, or mediate disputes or charges
  • Find a non legal solution.

What is "non legal"?
The RHINO's mentor, Robert "Woody" Widrow trained us to understand three kinds of strategies to resolve disputes: 

  • legal:  you have a right and someone else has a duty.  where there's a dispute it's resolved by lawyers and judges.
  • illegal:  you are acting outside the law to make a point (civil disobedience) or you are breaking the law.
  • non legal:  there is no 'bright line' law so parties in a dispute need to find a reasonable solution that meets both their needs.
Example of Non  Legal Tactics
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Persuasion
  • petitions (the weight of 'public opinion'
  • consumer action: 
  • boycott (the threat to affect business)
  • secondary boycott (ask others to affect business in support of your position)

What are flash point issues?
Animals, Support animals, pets
  • guest parking
  • guest v. resident (don't act like a tenant if you're a guest)
  • tenant responsibility for damages & guest misbehavior (esp in common areas).
  • banned lists
  • guests required to show ID when entering the building
  • Hoarding
  • Household chores: carpet, cleaning appliances, changing light bulbs, furnace filters, smoke detector batteries
  • Reasonable wear and tear.
House rules in HUD housing

Neighbor to Neighbor disputes
  • peaceful enjoyment
  • criminal or drug activity
  • damage to tenant belongings

Political signs
  • who "owns" the yard? who has access?
  • no window signs?
Snow removal
  • landlord's duty
  • reasonable accommodation and Federally funded housing
  • using consumer power to shape management practice

 Notes & Links