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walta

join:2001-05-22
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2

Should we let the tenant move back in after the fire?

She piled her laundry on top of the floor furnace and went out for the day.

Luckily someone saw the smoke and call the fire department.

She wants to move back in after the damage is repaired.

The sad part is that she can’t see that she might as well have put a match to the place.

The hard part is now everything will have to be brought up to today’s codes.

Good bye floor furnace.
Good bye 60 amp electric service.
Good bye fuse box.
Good bye ungrounded outlets.

Walta


ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1

She needs to be held responsible for the costs of the repairs and upgrades if she moves back in or not.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to walta

Absolutely not if it is legally possible to remove her according to the lease. With the extensive repairs you are talking about the unit is not now habitable. That would be a condition to end the lease under leases I have used here in Texas.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to walta

Doesn't your insurance have the codes rider? In case of a loss the policy will pay to bring everything up to meet current codes.



joe40

join:2005-11-26
Danbury, CT
reply to walta

they are not careful on what they do.
it would have been something else,
like having floor water from that bathroom going down that floor heater.
just say this repairs will take longer and right now there is no money to start.
let them find another place


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to walta

said by walta:

Good bye floor furnace.
Good bye 60 amp electric service.
Good bye fuse box.
Good bye ungrounded outlets.

Hello rent increase!

walta

join:2001-05-22
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to Jack_in_VA

Sadly no rider for code costs.
No replacement cost so they want to depreciate most everything.

Walta



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to walta

I wouldn't have any compulsion in letting them know they aren't welcome back. Especially, when they can't see they were the direct cause of the fire.

It's fortunate it wasn't a total loss, and that no one was injured or killed.
--
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." ~ Albert Einstein



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to walta

You will want to speak to a lawyer versed in LL/tenant law in your state/county before you decide one way or the other... You may find it far more expensive to evict her; and if you're not paying for her alternative accommodations now, you may find yourself on the hook after the fact.

I totally get your position of not wanting her back - but the law may say different... An accident isn't the same as negligence, and that isn't the same as a criminal act.



linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink
reply to walta

As a former owner who owned rental property, I agree 1000% with LazMan. Rental law changes from county to city and state to state.

There is an old carpentry axiom that applies nicely to problem tenants, police and lawyers. Check thrice; cut once. You cannot be too careful before you evict -- especially if children are involved. .

You may need to write common sense rules into the contract and have the potential renter read and sign it before they get a key.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to walta

Definitely get legal advice and tread lightly until then. The vast majority of the modern generation has probably never seen a floor furnace which may very well complicate proving negligence on the part of the tenant. The correct attorney could end up turning this accident around, thereby placing you at the defendant's table. Case in point; a friend of mine owns two small rental houses that had floor furnaces. The tenant's toddler was severely burned when crawling across the thing. The PI settlement makes the damage repairs shown in your picture look like a bargain.
--
Zach



Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Reviews:
·Champion Broadba..

1 edit
reply to walta

Your decision on whether or not to continue to rent to them. No one here can help you on that decision.

Presumably you have some type rental agreement with them. If you decide that you do not want to continue to rent to them you have to follow the terms of the rental agreement as far as notice if you have that in the agreement.

Generally speaking without further information from you or what the rental agreement says you have to let them back in even if you don't want to rent to them and then give them the 30 days notice or whatever the "notice" if any, is in the rental agreement. There may be little or no provision for notice to stop renting to them. The latter is highly possible. The only latitude to you may be if they are literally willfully and knowingly "destroying" the place. Another potential way to get them out is jack the rent up within the prescribed notice of the rental agreement.

If there Then you pray they will honor the agreement and move within the prescribed time of the agreement. If not then it is time to start the eviction process. Generally speaking it can pretty difficult to get someone out that doesn't want to go--even if they stop paying rent and the eviction process can be a BIG hassle especially if you don't know the ends and outs of the provisions and procedures for your state.

Generally speaking the law is usually written, rightfully so, to protect people from being tossed from their "home" and "out on to the street."



unavailable

@tds.net
reply to walta

Wow, I've never seen or heard of a "floor furnace" before. So, it's very much like a "floor barbecue", huh? Bizarre.

I agree with LazMan also. A lawyer can answer your question a lot more reliably than a bunch of strangers on an internet forum.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Zach1

said by Zach1:

Definitely get legal advice and tread lightly until then. The vast majority of the modern generation has probably never seen a floor furnace which may very well complicate proving negligence on the part of the tenant. The correct attorney could end up turning this accident around, thereby placing you at the defendant's table. Case in point; a friend of mine owns two small rental houses that had floor furnaces. The tenant's toddler was severely burned when crawling across the thing. The PI settlement makes the damage repairs shown in your picture look like a bargain.

Floor furnaces (Heaters) were common in new homes in Richmond in the late 40's when I was small. Gravity flow kerosene with no electrical except a thermostat which energized a heat coil on a bi-metal strip on the carburetor allowing the flame to go from pilot to hi or whatever setting it was set for.

My dad changed ours out to a gun fired with fan to blow out the hot air. Now that was quite a unit. For some reason women would stand on it in winter.

By early 1960's here they had moved it from the floor to a wall installation but it was the same set-up. A lot of house trailers also had basically the same thing.

These gave way by 1970 to all electric heat with baseboard units until the oil embargo. Then it was wood stoves and heat pumps which here are still the main heating/cooling units.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to walta

said by walta:

She piled her laundry on top of the floor furnace and went out for the day.

With the furnace on/running that is 100% negligence and shows a complete lack of common sense That would be a hell no, she isn't welcome as a tenant anymore.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to walta

Not only do I think you cannot evict her for the reason you stated, I think if push comes to shove, you're on the hook for her living expenses 'til she is able to move back in. I would tread very, very lightly before I make any kind of statements about eviction to/about her.

This may fall under the same rationale as "Remove contents from box before placing in oven" cautions that we all know are the result of significant lawsuits, based almost entirely on the stupidity of people. She may be dumb... but a decent lawyer will be able to prove she's not stupid... or liable for damages. I see no sign, that says: "Do not put flammable material on furnace grating!!!"
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
reply to walta

The tenant screwed up. Except for this what kind of tenant was she? At least with her you know what to expect and they will likely be more careful in the future. A new tenant may be better or worse.

/tom



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to walta

City or County?
Either way, you'll soon find out that it would have been better if it burned to the ground (provided everyone was out). Especially since you don't have code upgrade. You might call Ug ("we buy ugly houses") and cut your losses.

Did the renter have any insurance that may cover part of your loss. Sometimes they do and don't even know it!

No way in hell I'd let them move back in.
Of course if it's Section 8, the next tenant probably wont be any better.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to walta

How Does A Fire Affect Landlords and Tenants?

Article that may be of use, on the subject-
How Does A Fire Affect Landlords and Tenants?
»articles.realtown.com/2007/04/18···tenants/

One for California
»www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/ca···r-a-fire

As an Adjuster years ago, most tenants moved on after a fire w/o intervention of the Owner. Most did not have Renter's Insurance. Cannot recall any that had any assets, they had burned up or were damaged in the fire or other events. State/s were Wash and Oregon, and cannot recall the laws applicable at the time.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Pacrat

I don't understand why eviction is an issue. From what the the OP posted, the dwelling is red tagged and has to be upgraded to obtain a certificate of occupancy. At least around here that would allow terminating the lease.


MrIcehouse

join:2006-02-07
Saint Petersburg, FL

1 recommendation

reply to walta

Good bye floor furnace.
Good bye 60 amp electric service.
Good bye fuse box.
Good bye ungrounded outlets.

Sorry, but you should be ashamed renting that place out, all of that is out of code and wouldn't pass here. Do you still have knob and tube with the ungrounded outlets?


MrIcehouse

join:2006-02-07
Saint Petersburg, FL
reply to robbin

Good bye floor furnace.
Good bye 60 amp electric service.
Good bye fuse box.
Good bye ungrounded outlets.

That unit shouldn't have been rented in the first place.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
reply to walta

So... the tenant caused the fire through an act of negligence.

Wouldn't that make the tenant liable for the cost of repairs?

Hopefully the tenant has insurance.



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to MrIcehouse

said by MrIcehouse:

Sorry, but you should be ashamed renting that place out, all of that is out of code and wouldn't pass here. Do you still have knob and tube with the ungrounded outlets?

Just because those things are 'out of code' in your area doens't make them out of code in the OPs area.

Climb down off your high-horse...


TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..
·WesTex Connect

1 recommendation

reply to walta

said by walta:

She piled her laundry on top of the floor furnace and went out for the day.

Good bye floor furnace.
Good bye 60 amp electric service.
Good bye fuse box.
Good bye ungrounded outlets.

Walta

I'm assuming if the place only has 60amp service that there is no electric clothes dryer, so if there is also no gas clothes dryer then I must wonder...where these clothes wet and left on the heater purposely to dry them?
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I have a rent house that has 60 amp service with both electric dryer and stove. Hasn't been a problem for the last 18 years.



TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..
·WesTex Connect

said by robbin:

I have a rent house that has 60 amp service with both electric dryer and stove. Hasn't been a problem for the last 18 years.

Electric Dryer 30amps + Electric Stove 50amps = 80amps

Hope no one is ever using all 4 burners and the oven to cook a thanksgiving dinner and doing laundry at the same time.

Is the water heater electric too?
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

Probably more like electric dryer is 4.5 kW and electric stove is 10 kW = 60A

Still not wise to have those items on a 60A service.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


microphone
Premium
join:2009-04-29
Parkville, MD
reply to walta

If you have had the tenant for several years and she always paid her rent on time, you may want to reconsider given what you might get from a new renter such as not paying the rent on time, boiling chicken in grease unattended, having 5 kids run up and down stairs late at night disturbing the rest of the neighbors, not properly disposing of trash, etc.

I think appropriate warnings to tenants about not placing stuff on these heaters is in order.



TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..
·WesTex Connect

I think it should be common sense to not place clothes on top of a heater, it's got to be one of three things:

1. The person was trying to dry wet clothes.

2. The person was purposely trying to burn the place down placing clothes on top of the heater.

3. The person has no common sense what-so-ever and needs to live in a monitored assisted living environment for their own protection.
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified