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What do you guys do if a tenant threatened you?

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  • What do you guys do if a tenant threatened you?

    Hi everyone:

    This virus thing must be making everyone crazy. I swear.

    Little backstory. This guy rented from us twice. This time he's been here for about a year. No late fees, pays on time.

    So yesterday he tries to code in and doesn't remember his code. We have an intercom in the keypad, so I tell him to park outside, come in the office and show his ID & I'd give him the code. Instead he just follows someone in. OK. He then walks in the office, all upset. I ask him for his ID. (I should probably point out that he is 68 and has some sort of disability where he has to talk thru a hole at the base of his neck.) So as soon as I ask him to see his ID, he just barks at me, something like "I don't have to do this" and walks out and drives to his unit.

    Then a few minutes in, he can't get out, and runs back into our office and just starts yelling at me. F-words, all kinds of nasty things. I tell him that I will call police if he doesn't calm down, which has an opposite effect of making him even more angry ... Then he starts pacing around, saying something like, "come on, let's go outside, c'mon...". Then while yelling at me he also jerks back and forth as if trying to jump over our small dutch half-door that separates the counter.

    Now I'm a guy, much younger than him, plus we have two more people in the office: our maintenance guy, and another manager lady.

    So eventually he throws his ID at me and I give him the code. He probably realizes what he was messing up and storms out and leaves. The whole incident maybe takes 2-3 minutes at max. And, if it's not already obvious, I want to point out that the whole encounter was very uncomfortable for all 3 of us in the office.

    After that happened, I talked to another manager lady and it turns out that he yelled at her on the phone before because she couldn't understand him well when he was trying to pay over the phone with a credit card. And it sounds like they might have been letting him in and out through the gate just "by knowing him". (We have two ladies that work in the office besides me.)

    So, just to let you know, I will send him an eviction notice. And even though this is my only bad encounter with this guy, it's a huge safety risk having him on site. I can only imagine what he would do if there was just a single woman in the office instead of three of us.

    My question to you though, what else would you do to prevent this from escalating any further? Honestly I don't want to see him ever again, or have him do anything stupid over all this.

    PS. We're in the Washington state, if it matters.

  • #2
    I think until he's gone, you'll have to watch him closely. The only other thing you might do is set him up for access only during office hours so that you can keep an eye on him around other customers.
    MamaDuke

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    • #3
      Our fill in person called me down when she had an issue with a guy. His attitude changed really quick when I walked in and from the look on our girls face I could tell things were very bad. I asked him to leave and he got upset at which time I told her to go in the back and call the troopers.

      He has mental issues and just got very verbally abusive and my only words were you need to leave NOW, the troopers are on their way (I must have said it a dozen times) he threatened my life as he walked outside. He actually sat there and waited for the troopers, it took them ~15 minutes to drive 2 miles (roll eyes and praise the 2 amendment) and they carted him off.

      I asked where they were taking him and they said the next storage place down the road - I quickly called them to fill them in on the situation

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      • #4
        Call the Sheriff or appropriate law enforcement body for your area, and while your waiting print out the non-renewal form or whatever will get him/her gone the quickest. Getting upset is one thing, threatening is an entirely different matter.

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        • #5
          If they are going off for any reason I just let them talk and get it out. Then I ask if they are done. Then I tell them that if they talk like that again or threaten me again, they are gone and locked out unless I am there and if they persist I tell them I will call the police. I also tell them that the security camera is recording them and is recording their voice. It isn't doing that but I tell them anyway. Or I will pull out my cell and start a video recording.

          I must tell you though that I have only ever been threatened over the phone. In person, I am 6'4" tall and walk around just over 300 pounds. I am a 2nd amendment lover and do not take threats lightly. I have never had to get physical with a tenant or my customers when I ran auto shops for 35+ years. My size and bass voice gets my point across. Be careful out there.
          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone. I'm not that big physically to be intimidating as you describe. I bet it helps though, hah. I am a believer in the second amendment as well. Although I hope it wouldn't come to it. It is really a no-issue that I would like to resolve otherwise. That's why I'm asking here, how you'd handle it. This site has proven itself really helpful in the past since we all have to deal with a pretty much similar day-to-day stuff.

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            • #7
              Speaking of 2nd amendment, do you see all the new gun sales and ammo sales because of the virus! I learned a long time ago to "HOARD" ammo.
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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              • #8
                You will have to know the state statutes regarding eviction. Also, check the lease wording. We have a 30 day, a 7 day (health and safety) and an immediate (like 1 day - for criminal/drugs/etc) available to us. Since a police report wasn't filed - he could probably fight you on a one day. You could probably terminate him and use the 7 day if your state allows. If you do not have a terminate/non-renewal form already, you can scour the internet for a few and see how they are worded, etc - please note, most you will find are for home/apt evictions but the wording is pretty close. You should send one certified mail, return receipt requested to any address you have for him (personal info may have a different address than drivers license) and also tape one to the door of his unit. From now on - no one can talk to him alone - there must always be two employees present, as a witness and for safety.

                Due to the pandemic just be sure you are still allowed by law (that there has not be a special emergency bill/law/statute enacted or used) to evict him.

                In my non-renewal the tenant still has to pay the pro-rated rent for any partial month before they vacate. You will have to decide (or the GM) what to do about any pro-rated rent monies. You may decide to not collect anything else from him (be careful, sometimes a partial payment can be construed as a continuance of the lease). We usually limit them to office hours and business days, since most non-renewal/terminate lease actions are contentious. Our gate software has pre-set gate times, so we tell them that in the letter, and just pick the closest time frame to the office hours.

                To have him flip out over something so mundane, obviously means there is a lot of something else going on and without a doubt he should not have taken it out on you. Just be prepared for him to come in the office and ask to stay. In this case, I would not waver, be gracious, accept any apology (even if you don't want to) and tell him, unfortunately when can not have tenants act in this manner and reiterate the move out date.

                I hope everything works out for you!!

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                • #9
                  I would send a rent raise to MAKE him want to leave. If he got violent over that then eviction or police or depending if If I am being threatened physically he may not need to worry about a rent raise. That of course would be an extraordinary step up of violence toward me or any of my family.
                  Joe Krezdorn
                  DAK Self Storage
                  Leesport, PA 19533
                  www.dakselfstorage.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                    Speaking of 2nd amendment, do you see all the new gun sales and ammo sales because of the virus! I learned a long time ago to "HOARD" ammo.
                    I found out I'm an Ammo Sexual

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                    • #11
                      Yes, I was considering locking him out of the gate like you suggested. The problem is that he didn't care about it before and just followed somebody in (see my initial post.) So my concern is that he will not hesitate to do it again and will then get stuck inside (after-hours), which will result in more escalation for myself (as a live-in manager) or for some customer.

                      I'm wondering, having read all the eviction warnings posted here, anyone from the WA state here -- do we have the right to kick someone out for this kind of behavior? Or non-renewal type letter would be needed instead? Our lease states 14-day written notice. So I'm OK with waiting.

                      I was thinking to also include this line in the letter to him. Something to the effect, "I do not want to see you in my office ever again. If you come in, I will call police."

                      PS. pacnwstorage yes, people hoard everything now. I can't even buy a liquid hand soap refill for the bathroom. And I bet all of you saw the toilet paper aisles in the grocery stores. So yes, I agree, ammo is a much better investment than the toilet paper. Although I don't wanna waste any of it on this guy. Thanks again everyone!

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                      • #12
                        Stay firm and consistent and make him move out.

                        Years ago I built a wall and payment window at our office.
                        Best thing I ever did. Now I take my dog to work, feel safer, and even added temporary Plexiglas as a "COVID blocker".
                        Makes changes before something happens, not after.

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                        • #13
                          Something to keep in mind is people are really stressed and scared right now, so I anticipate seeing some angry people in the upcoming couple of months most of whom would never dream of yelling at someone. I also anticipate a lot of breakdowns and crying (besides the normal crocodile tears stories). I've already had 3 customers who've lost their job because of the virus. For a lot of people their world has been turned upside down and they are just trying to feel like they have some control over the situation or just want someone to listen. We see this a lot day to day anyway with people who can't pay their bills, but now it's just going to be ramped up.

                          When I did disaster relief I got yelled at all the time, not because I was doing anything in particular, but more because I was there. They weren't bad people and a lot of times they apologized after we worked out a solution. Took me a while to figure it out because I was young when I started, but most of the time you shouldn't take it personally.

                          That being said, there is definitely a line between letting off steam and being threatened. If this was his behavior before all the Covid-19 craziness, it's most likely going to get worse and best to cut him now.

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                          • #14
                            U Rent It Ohio hey, that's a really nice setup you got over there with the plexiglass. I wish we had it here too. Will definitely help with the virus.

                            T_Champeau yes, I see people being tearful, upset and worried too. I had multiple calls from people that told me that they lost their jobs. Heck, just last hour I had a lady that called me to say that Danny's had laid her off for indefinite time. And yes, she was upset and I could clearly hear it in her voice.

                            Having said this, the guy I described above was not like that. His account is paid up alright. He was simply angry at me for making him come to the office to show his ID & that I didn't just let him in. That is it. Maybe it is somehow connected to him losing his job or anything else tied to the virus, I don't know. But that alone doesn't excuse someone to behave like he did. (I won't repeat myself. Read my first message.)

                            And yes, it was threatening. I don't know if he would deliver on his threats or not. (He looked like I can punch him out with a left hand, but still.) That is definitely how it looked & sounded like.

                            Unfortunately though, this quarantine announced in this state, and our office running in limited capacity, had delayed removing him from our facility. Our managers have to work limited hours, without too much overlap. So I didn't even have time to address it any further. I am planning though to send all the paperwork to him when all this craziness with the virus is over and when the legal quarantine is lifted. I am not going to let it go.

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                            • #15
                              Based off of what some have said about having to defend themselves, maybe, then you should be aware of the best way if it gets physical. You never want a physical altercation to last longer than a minute. More than that is when stuff gets stupid and very real and can be life threatening. I live by one thing about a physical fight and have for years. My dad taught me. I have also not been in a physical fight in over 12 years. I look for the opening and I strike hard and fast with a THROAT PUNCH. Done right, it stops the fight immediately. I never want to have to do it and I know you don't either but about 2-3 years ago there was a manager at another facility that was physically attacked and she was on her back and the guy was pummeling her. She clawed his eyes and got away but it was a life threatening situation. She was terrified. I know her and when she had calmed down we got together and I talked to her about this. I taught her about the throat punch. She feels safer now and said she will practice practice. She weighs all of 120 pounds but she can do the damage if needed. Stay safe.
                              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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