Making Victims of Domestic Violence a Protected Class

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/MAX Kai Lani

It appears as though the Hawaii State House of Representatives and Senate are  moving forward in tandem with bills that would make the victims of domestic violence a Protected Class.   If a Property Manager has a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence living in a property he or she  manages, the PM will have to let him or her  break their lease.   Then, if the tenant's lease expires, or there is no formal rental agreement in place, the Property Manager or Landlord would have to let the tenant stay in the unit as long as they pay their rent.   It appears as though rents could not be increased for an indefinite period.   And there is no provision for eviction if the tenant is terrorizing the neighborhood or tearing up the property.    Property Managers, pay attention!   Remember those of you who are not living in Hawaii, bills like this, once passed, have a tendency to move from one state to another.   Take a look at the bill on the following links.  

While all of us have a ton of compassion for victims of domestic violence, these efforts to accommodate the victims at the expense of the landlord and Property Manager instead of the abusing family member, need to be evaluated in terms of fairness to all concerned.  

S.B. 2208 passed unamended.

H.B. 2762 passed with amendments.

Jerry Bangerter, RA - Property Manager, RE/MAX Kai Lani, 25 Kaneohe Bay Drive, #109; Kailua, HI 96734  --  808-237-5333   

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Rainer
118,799
» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator
» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator - Fort Myers, FL

Jerry:

This is crazy.  Where are the landlord rights?

Feb 09, 2008 09:36 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,251,153
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

Jerry - I actually submitted the article a few years ago to NARPM Residenial Resource about this issue...an EXCELLENT resource is Legal Momentum * http://legalmomentum.org.  Several states actually have this legislation/GET OUT OF LEASE provision already HOWEVER the victim MUST provide a copy of a restraining order in the majority of these cases in order to have the protection and provide evidence to their landlord that they are moving without recourse. 

It is imperative that landlords ASK for a copy of the TRO and if they don't receive it, they need to proceed accordingly.

Feb 09, 2008 12:06 PM #2
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI

Bill, Seems as though I remember a radio program, or was it a TV program? Anyway, it comes from the fog of the past and from a thousand decades ago, "The World Turns".  The title seems apropos!  Boy, seems as though America just ploughs ahead breaking unchartered ground, regardless of the law or tradition or the Constitution, or the will of the people!   Hmmmmm!   Jerry

Wallace, I was looking forward to your comment on this, and you didn't disappoint me.   Great link incidentally.   But, I am not sure that our not being alone in this "experiment" makes me feel a lot better about it.   Guess your council to just live with it and manage it, is the way for us to go.   Thanks for your thoughts.   Jerry  

Feb 09, 2008 01:04 PM #3
Rainer
118,799
» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator
» Bill Burress Nationwide Mortgage Originator - Fort Myers, FL

Jerry:

That was a soap opera, "As the world turns."  I have dubbed it, "As the Stomache Turns."

When will we get enough of this liberal fascism?  We need a conservative revolution.  A real one this time.  We need to take back Washington and take back the State and Local governments as well.

 

Feb 09, 2008 11:09 PM #4
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI

Bill!   Glad you were able to scope this out for me.   Don't think I have ever seen a whole soap thru!   Thus, I would never have figured it out!  

Back to reality!   OK, let's go!   . . . . . . . . . aggghhhh,  as long as our electorate chooses to permit Washington to engage them in this class warfare stuff, not sure if we will get there from here, but I keep trying.    Jerry

Feb 11, 2008 07:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,251,153
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer
I'm a Young and Restless and General Hospital fan....
Feb 13, 2008 11:34 AM #6
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI
Wallace,  Is there anything you haven't done?   What a life!   What a great life!    Jerry
Feb 13, 2008 03:49 PM #7
Rainmaker
510,171
Ann Heitland
Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties - Flagstaff, AZ
Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales
The requirement of a TRO limits the number of these incidents (lease-breaking) substantially. Nonetheless, I agree that a single landlord should not end of bearing the financial burden of a societal problem. Either help the victims or not, but don't redistribute wealth in this irrational way. As far as tearing up the neighborhood -- that's the tenant that will be barred from the property, not the one who wants to break the lease to get away.
Feb 19, 2008 01:16 AM #8
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI
Ann,  You give wise counsel.   Your comment about the inequity of wealth redistribution seems right on!  Actually, I suspect that professional property managers will be able to mitigate a lot of the problem arising out of this kind of a situation, but I still don't think the law is appropriate.   I am in favor of helping the victims of abuse.  I am big time in favor of helping victims of abuse!  These folks don't get much help from our state government so this is where I direct a big chunk of my personal charity dollar.  Jerry
Feb 19, 2008 10:08 AM #9
Anonymous
Victim

As a victim of domestic violence, I am appauled at some of these responses.  I moved out of an apartment complex (after living there for less than one month), due to an assault by my husband.  I packed up whatever I could throw into a suitcase and I left with my 4 children (and I was pregnant with #5).  Up until this point, I had been a stay at home mom and had no income.  The next day, I obtained a restraining order and immediately notified the apartment complex that I had moved out. My now ex husband continued to stay there.  I am now being SUED for over $2400 for breaking my lease and bills that were acquired AFTER I left! 

Why?  All I asked for was to be let out of my lease.  Why is that so difficult?   Don't victimize the victims all over again. 

Feb 17, 2009 12:37 AM #10
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI

Victim; I have complete empathy for your situation and your need to leaave the relationship.   I applaud you for doing so.   Too many abused spouses don't.   I cannot tell you the contempt in which I hold the perpetretrator of this heinous attack or attacks.   But there are two sides to the story, and I don't think we can be the judge in this instance without more information.   For example, can we assume that you were living with your husband in the property?   Or, was this a break in by your X?   Who signed the lease?  When something like this happens, there are a lot of related circumstances.  From a property management perspective, the owner's rights need to be respected and the owner should not be victimized by the perpetrating abuser either.   The point is, let's hold the perpetretrator of the violence responsible, not the abused spouse, or the ower of the property.    Jerry

Feb 17, 2009 04:16 AM #11
Anonymous
Victim

Jerry,

In my case, my husband and I were both living in the apartment with our 4 children (while I was pregnant with #5).  By my state's laws, I was required to sign the lease, even though I had no income or means to pay the rent, simply because I was over the age of 18.  When the assault occured, the children and I left in the middle of the night under police protection.  I immediately obtained a restraining order against my husband and notified the apartment complex that I had moved out and why.  I gave them a copy of the restraining order.  My husband continued to live there.  Now, the apartment complex is coming after me for money owed (over $2400) saying I didn't give them a 30 day written notice before I left and therefore was not legally released from my lease.  I am not trying to take anything away from the property owners, I siply wanted to be released from a lease since I could no longer live there.   

The reason most victims stay is becasue they have no where else to go nor the means to get there.  Where I live, when I left, there was not a single opening in a women's shelter that accepted children within 100 miles of where I lived.  So, where do I go?  How do I get there?  How do my kids get to and from school?  These are all things that we have to think of.  Do you also know that most homicides occur while the victim is attempting to leave? 

I know I was one of the lucky ones.  My children and I did escape.  I have gone on to obtain sole legal and physical custody of my children, have my now ex husband convicted of assault, and buy my own home.  I have had to fight hard for what I have.  But two years later, I am still being victimized by that apartment complex that I want nothing more than to forget.  The apartment where I could have died.  They are threatening to sue me in court to recover the money they say I owe from an apartment that I could not even live in.  So, the perpetrator gets away while the victim gets victimized again and again. 

Feb 18, 2009 04:49 AM #12
Rainer
17,201
Jerry Bangerter
RE/MAX Kai Lani - Honolulu, HI

First off, I cannot tell you of the compassion I have for you, or for the respect I have for you for leaving.   There are far too many abused wives and mothers in the world and way too many of them who feel so stuck that they can't leave.  

That said, I am astounded that they woulld come after you since your husband continued to live there.    The rent seems clearly to be the responsibility of the remaining tenant in this situation, but seeing as how I am only a Property Manager and not a lawyer, I am in no position in this instance to offer legal advice.   I hope you are getting competent legal help.

Good luck and good for you.      

Feb 18, 2009 03:37 PM #13
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