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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26017
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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I am not sure whether my question is real estate law or criminal

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I am not sure whether my question is real estate law or criminal law. I am sharing an apartment on Oahu with two roommates. When my previous roommate was deployed, the landlord authorized me to select whoever I wanted and I interviewed a couple and the landlord gave me a lease for them to sign. Upon having experts review the lease later, it is not a standard sublet lease but a rental agreement. I am current on a month-to-month tenancy and my landlord has offered me a one-bedroom apartment which is under construction and should be ready shortly. I am trying to keep the peace until I move but the situation has gotten out of hand. To be brief, a few months ago one of their two dogs bit my cat, who had to be rushed to the vet. The guy had to punch the dog in the face so he would release the cat. He offered to pay the vet bills but never did. I brought the cat for a follow-up and x-rays and they said they would only pay for the initial visit, although he insisted that it wasn't necessary for the cat to see a vet at all and that the injuries were not bad. The cat was bleeding all over the house and of course needed medical care.

I had two rooms for rent and they said they said they didn't have much stuff and only needed one room, so we negotiated the rent accordingly. As soon as they moved in, they claimed they needed more space and took over the second room. When I tried to renegotiate the rent, the woman became very verbally abusive and I was so scared and uncomfortable and I checked into a hotel for a few days and my mom had to travel from NY before I would re-enter the house. The woman apologized profusely to my mom and said they would pay extra for the room and would muzzle the dogs, put up gates, keep them leashed in the house and take all safety precautions. We had a few meetings and they made a lot of promises. Before my mom left, they were already recanting and said they would not pay the vet bills or for the extra room. They said the landlord never received the lease or the security deposit, however, the landlord wanted me to handle the arrangements and she did not want any paperwork or deposit and told me to keep it. I was not comfortable with the arrangement but did not have much choice. This is typical in Hawaii. I have a good relationship with my landlord. The roommates went to the landlord and claimed they told her that I couldn't afford the rent but they could. They told my mom that the landlord told them I would be moving out soon. My mom said I had no current plans to move and they assured her that they would make sure everyone got along until I moved out, if I elected to do so. I didn't want to give them too much info about my plans.

They said they no longer needed internet service but I had a cable box installed for them and they never paid the bill. They went on vacation and I had the box removed after telling the landlord. They returned from vacation and are being retaliatory and harrassing me constantly. They are kicking my door, slamming all the doors in the house and letting the dogs run loose. They also set up a huge kennel for the dogs when they moved in right under my bedroom window, although I asked them to put it under their window on the other side of the house. The guy is military and also married to someone else, which is strictly forbidden under military law. He had a problem at his last residence and had to leave quickly. They also object to my security system, which was installed when they moved in. They know that I am a disabled veteran with PTSD and am hypervigilant about safety. They leave the doors unlocked, although I constantly asked them to lock the doors.

Please let me know what my options are. The landlord doesn't want to get involved and I want to maintain a good relationship with her. Is this a police matter? Should I report him to his Command. I am afraid for myself and my cats and do not want to be afraid in my own home. Thank you.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Roger : Is the lease with your roommates between you and them or between the landlord and them?
Roger : Also, is the lease of your roommates month-to-month (as is yours)?
Customer:

Hi Roger. I am inexperienced with real estate law. Lease appears to be between landlord and them. I had lease which expired in the summer and am month-to-month. Their lease actually has no dates whatsoever. I am hoping to move as soon as my landlord has newly-constructed home inspected. I want to keep things low-key with landlord because I want to sign another lease.However, as a veteran with PTSD, I cannot tolerate the bullying. They obviously want to provoke me.

Roger : Sorry for the delay. I had to step away.
Roger : If the lease is between the landlord and the tenants, the best option would be to have your landlord give the tenants a notice of cancellation of the lease, which would require them to vacate within 30 days.
Roger : That would give you the best and easiest option to remove them.
Roger : I understand that your landlord really doesn't want to provoke them, but if the lease is between her and them, then she's the point person.
Roger : Their actions aren't likely criminal.
Customer:

Thank you. I don't think landlord will do that. She apparently offered them a lease once I move. She does not appear to know anything landlord-tenant law. She is a foreigner who works hard and has been building homes with her family and also runs a full-time business. I don't want her to think I'm somehow responsible and want to be sure she gives me a new lease. I am disappointed to hear that I may have no legal recourse. I would think that it is not legal to bully someone. I know they are responsible for their dogs and the dog would be put down if there was another attack. I have been trying to hang in until the new property is ready and it is becoming very difficult.

Roger : Outside of the eviction process, you personally could file criminal harassment charges against these people and seek a restraining order - - but that would be difficult while you're still living together.
Customer:

Thank you for your advice. I am planning to board my cats and move out temporarily and sue them later on. I cannot put my pets at further risk.

Roger : Hopefully, the new place will be ready soon as you can get away from this problem.
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26017
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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