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Legal Question about renter and alcohol???

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posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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I am not sure this is a political issue, and it is not much of a conspiracy, so MODS please feel free to move this thread anywhere appropriate.

It is a serious question bothering my wife and I. We rent out the upstairs to our home to a student. For the past couple of years it was a grad student that was 25 years old. No problems.

Tonight a cute little 18 year old girl is moving in. She already has her associates degree and is on pace to start medical school by age 21!! She is a good studier, comes from a good family, etc., etc.

Here is my problem. We have a frig full of beer on our deck by the pool. We have a wine rack full of wine on the landing to the staircase leading to her room. We have hard liquor in the kitchen cabinets. We have frequent parties around the pool. We even have a dance floor, dj booth, and disco lighting on the deck.

This very intelligent girl is also very naive and protected. She barely knew how to fill out her rent check. She has begun calling my wife and I and asking permission to have visitors or stay out late?
Even though I am only 37, she is treating us like her parents. No problem, just a little odd.

NOW HERE IS MY QUESTION and CONCERN!!

What do I do about our alcohol? If she was renting an apartment, and she bought some beer and drank it, no big deal. BUT, if she or an equally underaged friend taps into my alcohol, and then gets into trouble, am I liable? I didn't buy it for her. I didn't give her permission to drink it (although I don't really care if she does). If this were a typical Jr in college out partying every night, I wouldn't worry. But this is a very naive girl, and I don't want her going buck wild and then blaming it on my alcohol. I don't want to be legally liable, financially liable, or have to explain anything to her parents. On the other hand, I don't want to padlock my deck frig and move my large wine rack?

She is a legal renter in my upstairs. I feel like if she is old enough to sign a lease, I shouldn't have to worry. BUT I have known of plenty of crazier scenarios getting people into a pickle?

Suggestons? Legal Advice? Help me ATS?




posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Having owned rental property, I feel your pain.

I suggest an indepth explanation of the lease, expectations and rights of the renters and the property owners, and an explanation of boundries.

I would get everything signed and in writing, and explain that there will be consequences if your property is trespassed. Do ASAP. Notorized and witnessed.

Definitely consult a real estate lawyer as soon as possible and get his/her advice. And follow up with the renters about any changes or revisions, and get it in writing.

Set your rights in stone now... this gives them the chance to agree or move out, no matter how draconian your demands may be. And be prepared to deal with it if they decide to move out...

This will costs you about 500-1000 dollars depending on where you live, but it is worth every bit of peace of mine. Trust me.

And yes, still lock the fridge and wine rack... they may have friends that enjoy freebies. Avoid the "willful neglect" argument. Put the burden of proof and neglect on them.

Don't let your house become their house. No handshakes and gentlemen's agreements here. None.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready

NOW HERE IS MY QUESTION and CONCERN!!

What do I do about our alcohol? If she was renting an apartment, and she bought some beer and drank it, no big deal. BUT, if she or an equally underaged friend taps into my alcohol, and then gets into trouble, am I liable? I didn't buy it for her. I didn't give her permission to drink it (although I don't really care if she does). If this were a typical Jr in college out partying every night, I wouldn't worry. But this is a very naive girl, and I don't want her going buck wild and then blaming it on my alcohol. I don't want to be legally liable, financially liable, or have to explain anything to her parents. On the other hand, I don't want to padlock my deck frig and move my large wine rack?

She is a legal renter in my upstairs. I feel like if she is old enough to sign a lease, I shouldn't have to worry. BUT I have known of plenty of crazier scenarios getting people into a pickle?

Suggestons? Legal Advice? Help me ATS?


I am pretty sure you are liable for any alcohol you buy, make, and/OR have on your property.

I have a friend who had a party when his parents were out of town and someone slipped by the pool and was rushed to the hospital. The parents were sued out of their house and lifestyle, and were charged with someting like "neglegence when hosting a minor" or housing, or something like that.

The best thing to do is talk to her about it and maybe have her sign something saying that she knows she is illegal, relieving you of any responsibility (she IS 18 and can rent, so a written & signed statement is contractually binding). IDK really.

Or maybe a letter from the parent.

But definately have a talk with her.


(BTW, 18yo smart & wild girl under your roof... l u c k y devil)

The Temp

Edit to add:

It is your responsibility to keep alcohol, firearms, and illicit content out of reach of minors while renting. I'm a RE agent in FL, but I have yet to manage any rentals, just my own experience.

[edit on 31-7-2010 by Tempest333]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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If you can prove you didn't supply it and she took it you're fine. This is a common scenario with parents and teenagers.

Just a suggestion, maybe tell her about all the alcohol and that you keep track of all of it, and that she needs to make sure her friends don't attempt to steal/drink any.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


Dam. I was thinking the same thing, but I didn't want to believe it. Your post is not what I wanted to here, lol!

I think you are probably right, but in the past, we have just done the "gentlemen's" lease on a month to month basis, and we have never had any problems.

I foresee problems here. She is so cute though (a problem in and of itself!), and she wants to stay here a few months while her parents buy her a house here in town.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by Tempest333
 



(BTW, 18yo smart & wild girl under your roof... l u c k y devil)


Yes! AND she looks great in a bikini by the pool, she loves my kids and my dog, and the wife gets along with her!!

I am either the luckiest guy in town, or the dumbbest about to be sucker in town.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I had a friend in college that was the most brilliant I had ever met in the mathematics fields. His work in thermodynamics made me feel like a moron. I was not shabby in math either. BUT, he had the brains of a 5 year old when it came to most things memory wise or social wise. He would always forget things like his keys and such normal day to day things. Use to nickname him Einy, short for Einstein. Anyway.

Renting to someone does not legally obligate you to anything, I think. Of course with the way our justice system works, anyone can be victim to the court systems and the priests of the sacred order of BAR.


Possibly a contract. Simply put forth as an addendum to your rental agreement. Now, the problem is that may not give you any protection whatsoever. Being that rental agreements and the like have to follow certain rules and conditions.

I guess this is where a priest of the sacred order of BAR comes into play. They can chant some mystical incantations and provide you with protection from the overlords of the court system.

I would say you are in a quandary.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
I am not sure this is a political issue, and it is not much of a conspiracy, so MODS please feel free to move this thread anywhere appropriate.

It is a serious question bothering my wife and I. We rent out the upstairs to our home to a student. For the past couple of years it was a grad student that was 25 years old. No problems.

Tonight a cute little 18 year old girl is moving in. She already has her associates degree and is on pace to start medical school by age 21!! She is a good studier, comes from a good family, etc., etc.

Here is my problem. We have a frig full of beer on our deck by the pool. We have a wine rack full of wine on the landing to the staircase leading to her room. We have hard liquor in the kitchen cabinets. We have frequent parties around the pool. We even have a dance floor, dj booth, and disco lighting on the deck.

This very intelligent girl is also very naive and protected. She barely knew how to fill out her rent check. She has begun calling my wife and I and asking permission to have visitors or stay out late?
Even though I am only 37, she is treating us like her parents. No problem, just a little odd.

NOW HERE IS MY QUESTION and CONCERN!!

What do I do about our alcohol? If she was renting an apartment, and she bought some beer and drank it, no big deal. BUT, if she or an equally underaged friend taps into my alcohol, and then gets into trouble, am I liable? I didn't buy it for her. I didn't give her permission to drink it (although I don't really care if she does). If this were a typical Jr in college out partying every night, I wouldn't worry. But this is a very naive girl, and I don't want her going buck wild and then blaming it on my alcohol. I don't want to be legally liable, financially liable, or have to explain anything to her parents. On the other hand, I don't want to padlock my deck frig and move my large wine rack?

She is a legal renter in my upstairs. I feel like if she is old enough to sign a lease, I shouldn't have to worry. BUT I have known of plenty of crazier scenarios getting people into a pickle?

Suggestons? Legal Advice? Help me ATS?



Here is what one might suggest to a person similar to your problem.

1. Put it in writing that the alcohol is off limits and forbidden.

2. In the document, state that you are not responsible for any violation of taking alcohol that is forbidden.

3. State in the document that any violation will result in her being evicted.

4. Have her sign the document, then you sign the document. Include the date as well.


That's what one might say. I am not telling you to do this. The decision must be yours alone.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


After describing all that alcohol...

Can I come with you?

I'm 21, and not a wild drunk...



But I kind of laughed at her calling to stay out late.

I was still thinking like that after I turned 18.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


It is sad, but business is business. Everything in writing.

If you have no contract, nothing in writing...was there ever an exchange of money? Renters? or are they sharing the home with you? And if they are sharing the home, can you kick them out?

Not so quick, some states say you can NOT.

If there is no proof of rental, who is responsible for damages when they occurr?

Nope...get things in writing... use a legal template for rentals...ie legalzoom.com comes to mind.

Better yet, ask around and build a good relationship with a local hometown lawyer... someone that is good, not pricey, consistant...and familiar with many general areas of the law...as life goes on, they will prove to be a valuable resource. Send 'em a Xmas gift, a dinner coupon, stop by and say Hi...then when you call them up for a question or some quick advice, favors are returned. Comprende' ?

Then, when your kid gets a speeding ticket... you got a resource. Fender bender...got a resource. Rental question...you got a resource.

Plus, they know the who's and how's. In a jam, can come in handy...plus, might open some doors for investment opportunities... plus, may get invited to a function and get to meet commissioners, real estate folks, building inspectors...thats handy.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 

Speaking as an LEO, and I don't really think it's going to matter what state you live in, I am positive that you can be held liable. It is the responsibility of the adult to secure the alcohol from the under aged drinker. Like you said, if she gets her own and drinks it in the apartment, not your problem. But, once she steps out of that apartment she is on your property and you are liable for what happens to her. If she gets drunk and injured, raped, whatever, I'm sure that a DA will come after you with criminal neglect charges. Don't forget it's an election year and they will be making examples out of people to show how tough on crime they are.
I hope it works out for you.
Seeashrink



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:03 PM
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OK, so I just stopped her on the way through to welcome her to the house, give her the password for the wireless, and tell her that she was welcome to anything in the kitchen.

You guys responded just in time, I took the opportunity to make it clear that the alcohol was off limits, and she thought it was funny, and said that she doesn't drink anyway. (That is what all the new girls here at FSU say, but by the end of their third year, 60% have an STD
.)

Thank you for all the advice, I believe I will draw up the agreement you guys suggested, have it reviewed and edited by an attorney (hopefully for free, I know a few) and then have her sign off along with my wife and I.

I think that is a good step in the right direction, but I am not sure it would actually protect me in a worst-case scenario.

Thanks for everyone's support and suggestions!!



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:11 PM
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Did I read your reply right...she's 18, looks good in a bikini, and gets along with the wife and kids?

You better take a serious look at your setup...you are asking for a truck load of problems.

Never, never, never ever be alone with this girl... your word versus hers...

what a better way to get a free rental than possibly set you up... rape? a breif indiscretion? balckmail? maybe just sexual harrassment if you're lucky.... you know the routine...I won't tell your wife or the authorities if you let us stay here for free... I see RED FLAGS everywhere...

be careful... she's so innocent...yeah right. Have you ever played a paying game of pool with someone that "doesn't know how" to play pool?



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


Yep. Very, very attractive. Blackmail won't work, because if I did do anything, I would have to brag about it anyway! Wife would not be surprised. BUT, all the other stuff you mention is a good thing to consider. Chances are I will never be at home alone with her. My wife is a stay at home mom, so she is always here, when I am here. I don't think harassment applies, because she could always just leave. BUT rape, and alcohol are my main concerns. I certainly do not plan to rape anybody, nor do I plan to sleep with even a cute, willing tenant. I would love to have slept with her prior to moving in here, but not now! I do not mix business and pleasure. I don't do it at work, or with my tenants. I don't even talk to a women alone at work. NEVER, NEVER!! And still I get rumors sometimes?

I am familiar with the hustle, LOL! I can't say I am immune to it but I am pretty savvy. Not my first rodeo. Still, in a situation like this, usually an accusation is enough to do permanent damage, so this may be a mistake? I hope not!



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


My rules for renting...I have been in this business for over 12 years.

Rule 1.NEVER get personal or allow them to get personal.
You broke that rule already I think but thats just my opinion.

2.Don't try to make logical sence into their behavior...people are sometimes idiots beyond logical comprehension.

3.Don't assume they will do the right thing...move your booze to a secure area.

4.The lease agreement is just for the worse case scenario...get it in writing as was suggested but always be reasonable first before resorting to the courts.

5.NEVER get personal in any way shape or form...its business and should be treated with a business mind,not a personal one.

Don't allow yourself to be her go to person...it only brings trouble when your advice is wrong or when it is not what she was hoping for or expecting...it is then your fault.

Treat her like a little bird...toss her in the air and see if she flies or falls.
She has a Daddy to call and you have yer own family.
Life is tough and she will have to figure that out sooner or later.

A young 18 year old hottie isn't naive...she knows whats up.
She doesn't sound naive to me...she just sounds insecure and that is not for you to sort out...its her job.

Omegalogos style disclaimer.
I have done my job many years and no matter the lingerie or the blatent offers to have sex...I have NEVER gotten personal with any of my tenants in any of my buildings.

Rules 1 and 5...stick to it or else you will invite something into your life that might just be a burden.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:56 PM
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Probably best to check the laws in your state.

en.wikipedia.org...

I think since it's a private residence, she can drink if she wants to while inside the house. If she gets hammered and wanders out, you could be held responsible.


TheAssoc.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 08:21 PM
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I'm not a lawyer but I do play one on TV. Really! Ever watch "In Plain Sight"

What you have on your rental property ex. booze, pool etc.
is described as an attractive nuisance and if anyone get's hurt you do shoulder some of the responsibility. Most rental agreements aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

Be sure and have an LLC established for your rental, for at least some protection of your personal finances.
That's what I have done for my rentals. All my businesses actually. But if a mad dog lawyer wants to sue and thinks they can win; be prepared with your own attorney. I'm still involved in some nightmare litigation. I can't stress enough, having qualified legal representation.

law.suite101.com...
en.wikipedia.org...





[edit on 1-8-2010 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by whaaa
 


I'm curious about "asset protection." I have wanted to create a spiderweb network of LLC, S-Corp, and Irrevocable Trusts that is impossible to navigate and would be tax free and litigation proof.

I got the idea from somebody that my department at work leases from. He is either an illegal immigrant, or some kind of drug king pin that owns half of Miami. Anyhow, it is our state's policy that we get the signature of the primary property owner. For this particular party, we kept getting graphs and flow charts instead of signatures. It was ridiculous and impossible to navigate. The property was already occupied, and we could not move without a large expense, so after about 6 months, the state's lawyers gave up and we accepted the flowchart as proof of ownership!

I want one of those! If anybody ever tries to sue me, and they have to navigate pages and pages of ownership flowcharts, and some of the entities are LLC's and Irrevocable trusts, then I would be entirely bullet proof to litigation. Some yearly maintenance fees to keep everything current, and voila!

BTW, care to give some character initials? I have In Plain Sight on demand, and would love to go looking for your character.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready


BTW, care to give some character initials? I have In Plain Sight on demand, and would love to go looking for your character.


I don't think you will see my name in the credits. I've been in that series at least 12 times but always background; As a lawyer, juror, homeless person, driver, man in the street etc. I keep hoping to get taft-hartlied but not so far.
Also worked in "Crash" "Breaking Bad" "Easy Money" "Scoundrels" and a bunch of movies shot here in Tamalewood.

I'm the guy that's balding, long gray hair and beard.





[edit on 1-8-2010 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:19 PM
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Wow, not an attorney and don't have the legal answers for you but - do you feel it necessary to rent out the upstairs to your home to a person that is pretty much a stranger? I wouldn't do that for anything, you never know who you might get, the naive could be an act for all you know. Better to rent to someone you know or family if you have to - be careful, a lot to consider here.



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