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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23395
Experience:  14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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Duplex next to our rental is unsafe due to shooting and possible

Resolved Question:

Duplex next to our rental is unsafe due to shooting and possible drugs. The owner delaying eviction due to his own poor health and finances. Our rent wants to move unless he is evicted. The owner is my brother.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with your brother's tenants.
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What is your legal question that I can help with tonight?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What do I need to do next? We do not want to loose our great renter.
Should we go to the sheriff office tomorrow ? Contact our lawyer...expensive. Unable to talk further with brother.
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Ok, there are a couple things you can try to see if brother will get rid of the tenant.. If you suspect drug activity, then yes, I would report it to the sheriff or police and tell them your concerns. If there is lots of activity at night or cars pull up, people go in, and then leave a short time later, these are all indicators of drug activity. If the window blinds are always closed or blankets or towels are over them, this is yet another indicator. The sheriff or police can then do an investigatory visit to talk to the tenant to see if they get any indication of something going on.
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The other thing you can do, which takes a little longer, is to encourage the tenant to file suit against the tenant or brother for "private nuisance". A private nuisance is an interference with a person's enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.
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If the next door neighbor is causing unreasonable disturbances to your tenant's use and enjoyment of the property, then they can file suit to seek injunctive action against them to stop whatever it is that they are doing. If brother is willfully not taking action despite being made aware of the problem, then he can be joined as a defendant and could potentially be held liable for his tenant's actions.
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But your quickest recourse is to notify law enforcement and encourage the tenant to do the same because the more people complain, the more likely law enforcement is to take action to stop any illegal activities.
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As an aside, I have also been a landlord for over 24 years...
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can you send this last advice to my e-mail address so I can have it readily available. We will go to the sheriff office tomorrow. FYI: there was a shooting at that duplex and is being investigated already for drugs. Was in our paper. Do we need a lawyer to file the "private nuisance" -and.can we do it.
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
I am sorry but as an independent contractor for JustAnswer, I am not allowed to have any contact with customers except through their site. But when I want to save something, I typically will just copy and paste it into a Word document and then save it. That way I have a file that has the entire thread and all information in it saved on my computer...
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As for the private nuisance, you can file it yourself in court, but to be honest, if you aren't familiar with filing lawsuits, it would be better to get your attorney involved to help.
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This is the particular SD statute that applies:
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SD Codified Laws
21-10-9. Persons entitled to maintain civil action against nuisance--


Injunction and damages recoverable. The remedy by civil action against public nuisance may be maintained by any public body or officer authorized thereto by law or official duty, or by any private person if it is specially injurious to himself. Such remedy also may be used by any person whose property is injuriously affected or whose personal enjoyment is lessened by any nuisance public or private. In all such actions the nuisance may be enjoined, or ordered abated, and damages recovered in addition.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
T hank you. We will try going to sheriff and depending on their response will contact our lawyer about the private nuisance file. I may text my brother about this before filing it. Maybe he will do something.
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
You are very welcome. Hopefully he will reconsider his position and realize that if they are dealing or using drugs in the property, that puts his property at risk from both law enforcement as well as from the tenants themselves. Drug people typically don't take very good care of rental property.
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The attorney might even be able to start out with a "cease and desist" letter threatening to sue him if he doesn't take action on his own. Often a letter from an attorney will get someone to take action instead of being dragged into court.
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Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23395
Experience: 14 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
Barrister and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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