PDA

View Full Version : Need help with a rental tenant/business owner



Nomnomsmom
07-26-2018, 01:35 PM
Hi! I need help please. We inherited my grandma's house in Aruba and fixed it up. When we were in Aruba in March we interviewed multiple property managers and settled with a company called Island Aruba Realty. My mom did not contact the correct people and long story short once we were off the island the "owner" of this company moved himself into the apartment on our property, he did not even make us aware of doing this the neighbors did. He did this without a lease from us and when we asked him to leave he claimed his rights as a "property manager" to sign his own lease and refuses to leave. He says he doesn't want to live there but he has no where to go and according to Dutch law he has a right to be there...he has not paid us rent and is using the main house on the property for electricity and water (they are in our name so he doesn't pay that bill). We have hired a lawyer already and are starting the process but I was wondering if anyone has any tips or help for us?!

Also the company is Island Aruba N.V. which is not registered with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce. I have heard that this might an illegal business does anyone have any tips on how I can possibly get the owner prosecuted?

I don't know if this will help but this is the business in question...

https://www.islandarubarealty.com/contact

I just received a message asking me to clarify the issues here...

1. there is no part of our property management contract that allowed him to live on the property rent free OR with payment of rent...he used his "signing power" as property manager to sign his own lease after we told him we did not want him living there

2. he refuses to pay rent or utilities and also refuses to leave because he has a right to be there (his own words)

3. I cannot find the business as a registered N.V. with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce

4. even as a property manger we had issues with the one and only rental he did book...he was unable to let the person in and the renter left a terrible review because he was rude and had the place filthy

5. he took a contract entered into for property management and in good faith for him managing the property and used it for his own benefit

So ultimately I am looking for any tips or help to get this man and his family out of our apartment and house, off our property and payment for the time he has lived there, used the utilities and the portion of money that is due to us from the one and only renter he did book.

act1966
07-26-2018, 01:52 PM
1) Change the locks. If he breaks in, call the police... B&E, trespassing etc.
2) Turn off the utilities.
3) No lease was signed by you (the property owner) - he can't enact a lease on his own behalf.

Given that there was no lease signed, he doesn't have a leg to stand on - the reference that Andrea makes below was a case of a lease being in place and the tenant refusing to leave. Your situation is simply a case of someone trying to squat. Should be a slam dunk.

That being said, if you signed a property management agreement with them, I'm assuming you've stopped paying the monthly...?

lucky
07-26-2018, 02:12 PM
Absolutely ridiculous,i know what i would do and it wouldn’t be healthy for him

Andrea J.
07-26-2018, 02:24 PM
welcome to the forum.

I am sorry to read of your situation with this "squatter".

in the. "property owners" category, look for postings from former forum member Lizzardo.
she and her husband had a problem with what started out as a legitimate tenant, but then he became a squatter refusing to leave the property. it took 2+. years to get his sorry bum off the premises.
it cost Liz and her husband thousands of $$ in legal fees.

from what she had posted it seems that the "bad guy" has more rights than the owner.

good luck
Hi! I need help please. We inherited my grandma's house in Aruba and fixed it up. When we were in Aruba in March we interviewed multiple property managers and settled with a company called Island Aruba Realty. My mom did not contact the correct people and long story short once we were off the island the "owner" of this company moved himself into the apartment on our property, he did not even make us aware of doing this the neighbors did. He did this without a lease from us and when we asked him to leave he claimed his rights as a "property manager" to sign his own lease and refuses to leave. He says he doesn't want to live there but he has no where to go and according to Dutch law he has a right to be there...he has not paid us rent and is using the main house on the property for electricity and water (they are in our name so he doesn't pay that bill). We have hired a lawyer already and are starting the process but I was wondering if anyone has any tips or help for us?!

Also the company is Island Aruba N.V. which is not registered with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce. I have heard that this might an illegal business does anyone have any tips on how I can possibly get the owner prosecuted?

I don't know if this will help but this is the business in question...

https://www.islandarubarealty.com/contact

Andrea J.
07-26-2018, 02:27 PM
check out this thread. http://www.aruba.com/forum/f44/property-ownership-aruba-illegal-squatters-63412/
and this
http://www.aruba.com/forum/f44/problems-our-long-term-rental-we-owners-60433/

Jacki
07-26-2018, 02:36 PM
Welcome to the Aruba.com Community Forum. Good luck and I hope somehow this works out in your favor!

Great suggestions from act1966 but do you have a contract with this property management company? If so read that really well to see first if they do in fact have the right to enact the lease.

Nomnomsmom
07-26-2018, 03:17 PM
1) Change the locks. If he breaks in, call the police... B&E, trespassing etc.
2) Turn off the utilities.
3) No lease was signed by you (the property owner) - he can't enact a lease on his own behalf.

Given that there was no lease signed, he doesn't have a leg to stand on - the reference that Andrea makes below was a case of a lease being in place and the tenant refusing to leave. Your situation is simply a case of someone trying to squat. Should be a slam dunk.

That being said, if you signed a property management agreement with them, I'm assuming you've stopped paying the monthly...?

The police have been there and have said he has a right to stay. The lawyer said we can turn off utilities to the main house only because he isn't supposed to be living in the house but a judge will see us as cruel for stopping water/electric to his living place. Squatters have rights in Dutch law too from what we have learned.

Nomnomsmom
07-26-2018, 03:19 PM
Welcome to the Aruba.com Community Forum. Good luck and I hope somehow this works out in your favor!

Great suggestions from act1966 but do you have a contract with this property management company? If so read that really well to see first if they do in fact have the right to enact the lease.

Yes we have read and Hurrcomissie said that it wasn't legal but he does have rights to "live" there unfortunately.

lucky
07-26-2018, 04:05 PM
For those of us who were thinking of buying in aruba who knew we can just walk into any house for rent and take over without paying any bills,definitely the cheaper way.

Nomnomsmom
07-26-2018, 06:03 PM
For those of us who were thinking of buying in aruba who knew we can just walk into any house for rent and take over without paying any bills,definitely the cheaper way.

If you're Aruban or Dutch...yeah it's the way to go! LOL

act1966
07-26-2018, 06:21 PM
Yes we have read and Hurrcomissie said that it wasn't legal but he does have rights to "live" there unfortunately.

Just to be clear: there's language in the signed property management agreement/contract that states the company/individual can live in the property?

act1966
07-26-2018, 06:22 PM
For those of us who were thinking of buying in aruba who knew we can just walk into any house for rent and take over without paying any bills,definitely the cheaper way.

I know it's a joke but, just in case, squatting in owned/maintained property is not legal in Dutch law.

Andrea J.
07-26-2018, 06:28 PM
was there anything in the contract that you signed retaining the management company, that allowed for or mentioned that this person to be living in an "out building/apartment" on the property?

lucky
07-26-2018, 06:41 PM
I know it's a joke but, just in case, squatting in owned/maintained property is not legal in Dutch law.

Everything just seems upside down,i just feel like Rod Serling going to come out and say you just entered the twilight zone,lol

Mohair
07-27-2018, 02:35 AM
As a property owner myself I am very concerned for you and sorry that this has happened. I would search for a good lawyer. I would not get involved with the police. Their default mode, in my opinion, is to do nothing. Please keep us informed about this. This may happen to one of us someday.

gaby
07-27-2018, 08:10 AM
Didn't something like this happen to another member? The lesson here is if you buy, do not rent it out. I agree with Mohair that the police's default mode is to do nothing. I will continue to rent.

Andrea J.
07-27-2018, 08:39 AM
yes check out #5.

the big difference is that Lizarddo had a lease with the tenant......when the lease expired, the tenant refused to move. he continued to pay rent. Liz and her husband wanted to sell the house but could not while the tenant was still in it. they paid many thousands $$ try to evict, but the courts ruled in the tenant's favor allowing him to stay for an additional 2 yrs after the lease expired.

I know the posting by Nomnomsmomm is very different as there is no lease.........but I do think folks need to be aware that having a long term tenant in Aruba becomes incredibly difficult if he/she needs to be evicted.


Didn't something like this happen to another member? The lesson here is if you buy, do not rent it out. I agree with Mohair that the police's default mode is to do nothing. I will continue to rent.

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 11:31 AM
Just to be clear: there's language in the signed property management agreement/contract that states the company/individual can live in the property?

There is NO language in the property agreement that allows him to live on the property. We found out from neighbors shortly after we left the island that he had moved in with his wife and their child. When we asked him what was going on he asked if we minded him living there and he sent us a proposed lease. When we did not sign the lease he said tough cookies, I am the property manager so I will sign my own lease and I have a right to live here per Dutch law.

He is "living" in the apartment and using the main house utilities (which we pay for) and he refuses to leave. He is not paying for any utilities and has not paid rent either.

Our property management contract was intended for him to manage the property not live there. There is no language in the contract which states he can live on the property he is using his property management "power" to sign his own lease.

Andrea J.
07-27-2018, 11:42 AM
well that answered a question.
the original contract with the company allowed him to create a lease and sign as a tenant and as a lessor.
There is NO language in the property agreement that allows him to live on the property. We found out from neighbors shortly after we left the island that he had moved in with his wife and their child. When we asked him what was going on he asked if we minded him living there and he sent us a proposed lease. When we did not sign the lease he said tough cookies, I am the property manager so I will sign my own lease and I have a right to live here per Dutch law.

He is "living" in the apartment and using the main house utilities (which we pay for) and he refuses to leave. He is not paying for any utilities and has not paid rent either.

Our property management contract was intended for him to manage the property not live there. There is no language in the contract which states he can live on the property he is using his property management "power" to sign his own lease.

Andrea J.
07-27-2018, 11:43 AM
please all go back and read posting #1

it has been updated per my request.

thanks!

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 11:44 AM
I just received a message asking me to clarify the issues here...

1. there is no part of our property management contract that allowed him to live on the property rent free OR with payment of rent...he used his "signing power" as property manager to sign his own lease after we told him we did not want him living there

2. he refuses to pay rent or utilities and also refuses to leave because he has a right to be there (his own words)

3. I cannot find the business as a registered N.V. with the Aruba Chamber of Commerce

4. even as a property manger we had issues with the one and only rental he did book...he was unable to let the person in and the renter left a terrible review because he was rude and had the place filthy

5. he took a contract entered into for property management and in good faith for him managing the property and used it for his own benefit

So ultimately I am looking for any tips or help to get this man and his family out of our apartment and house, off our property and payment for the time he has lived there, used the utilities and the portion of money that is due to us from the one and only renter he did book.

act1966
07-27-2018, 12:02 PM
There is NO language in the property agreement that allows him to live on the property. We found out from neighbors shortly after we left the island that he had moved in with his wife and their child. When we asked him what was going on he asked if we minded him living there and he sent us a proposed lease. When we did not sign the lease he said tough cookies, I am the property manager so I will sign my own lease and I have a right to live here per Dutch law.

He is "living" in the apartment and using the main house utilities (which we pay for) and he refuses to leave. He is not paying for any utilities and has not paid rent either.

Our property management contract was intended for him to manage the property not live there. There is no language in the contract which states he can live on the property he is using his property management "power" to sign his own lease.



He's feeding you a line.

He does not have the right to live there under Dutch law - squatting applies to abandoned properties. He's trespassing. We discussed this, at length, with our notary and lawyer before purchasing in Aruba.

He cannot sign leases on your behalf unless he has power of attorney. If all you have is the property management agreement with him, there's no power of attorney.

Cut off the utilities and change the locks - he has no right to domain under Dutch law and will not be able to make it stand up in court... and it won't even get that far. It sounds like he has no money so there's no way he'll have a lawyer on retainer.

I'd recommend getting a new, reputable property manager to handle this for you if you can't be on island to do it yourself. There have been a few recommendations made on this forum if you search "property manager".

Good luck!

lucky
07-27-2018, 12:10 PM
You should tell him you’re renting it to a family member and he needs to vacate and his fee’s are in the mail:rolleyes:

gaby
07-27-2018, 12:15 PM
if the utilities are in your name, cut them off. hire someone to watch when they leave, change the locks and have that person, preferably a bouncer type, answer the door if they come and say sorry, but i am now taking over. I will never buy property in Aruba. I use to say I wanted to but its not worth it.

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 12:43 PM
He claims he has a POA but we do not have a copy of that in all of the paperwork (and we saved a copy of all paperwork signed with him) so I am not sure if he forged one or he was able to sneak in a paper that we were unaware of (but we read everything before we sign so that is unlikely).


He's feeding you a line.

He does not have the right to live there under Dutch law - squatting applies to abandoned properties. He's trespassing. We discussed this, at length, with our notary and lawyer before purchasing in Aruba.

He cannot sign leases on your behalf unless he has power of attorney. If all you have is the property management agreement with him, there's no power of attorney.

Cut off the utilities and change the locks - he has no right to domain under Dutch law and will not be able to make it stand up in court... and it won't even get that far. It sounds like he has no money so there's no way he'll have a lawyer on retainer.

I'd recommend getting a new, reputable property manager to handle this for you if you can't be on island to do it yourself. There have been a few recommendations made on this forum if you search "property manager".

Good luck!

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 12:44 PM
if the utilities are in your name, cut them off. hire someone to watch when they leave, change the locks and have that person, preferably a bouncer type, answer the door if they come and say sorry, but i am now taking over. I will never buy property in Aruba. I use to say I wanted to but its not worth it.

I cut off water to the main house but the lawyer we hired said a judge might see cutting off things to the apt as cruel and take pity on him.

act1966
07-27-2018, 12:56 PM
He claims he has a POA but we do not have a copy of that in all of the paperwork (and we saved a copy of all paperwork signed with him) so I am not sure if he forged one or he was able to sneak in a paper that we were unaware of (but we read everything before we sign so that is unlikely).

You can now add fraud to any legal action. The last thing this guy will want is this going anywhere near a judge.

brady bear
07-27-2018, 01:08 PM
Great advice...
tell him if he don't move out he will have a perm. resident at the prison where he belongs.

robin
07-27-2018, 01:55 PM
I wish you the best of luck getting this resolved.

Try contacting a legit property management company. They may be able to lead you in the right direction. We use Prestige Reality for our condo. Maybe they can help.

aquaman
07-27-2018, 01:55 PM
There seems to be some misconception here. The law in Aruba is Aruban law....not Dutch. Aruban law is derived from Dutch law and is essentially duplicate except for issues related specifically to Aruba and its governance. After 15 years of renting both long term and vacation rentals I have encountered some issues that required use of lawyers and assistance from the Aruba Rent Commission. Based on my experience I will say that in issues like this the use of a paralegal is pointless. A good lawyer (and there are only a few on the island) should be able to get this matter in front of the Court of First Instance within a couple of weeks. The court could order an eviction notice or issue a notice of removal which could be enforced by the police or a bailiff.

Unfortunately the law does favor a renter, though in this case since there is no rent paid or requested, then the judge may take a firm stand in favor of the owner. I should mention that during a recent eviction we needed to perform we were strongly advised not to turn off the water or electricity at the utility company. I am not sure what the opinion would be if it is locked off by the owner at the street. In Aruba all water connections to residences can be locked off by owners.

I am sure this matter can be solved but will require a strong lawyer knowledgeable in real estate law. There are specific references in law that apply to squatters and squatters rights.

In this case it sounds on the surface that those rights do not apply.

gaby
07-27-2018, 02:37 PM
So if we went to Aruba, rented a place and decided not to leave, we would be able to stay there and the owner would have to take us to court and have a hearing or these rights don't apply to americans. that might be a way to have an extended vacation, rent for a week but stay for a month.

lucky
07-27-2018, 02:44 PM
I would lock him out and let him go to the courts and prove he has a lease there and has payed rent.Don’t think he would do it.

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the info! We have a lawyer and she told us we could turn off utilities in the main house only but not to do it to the apartment because it would be seen as cruel.


There seems to be some misconception here. The law in Aruba is Aruban law....not Dutch. Aruban law is derived from Dutch law and is essentially duplicate except for issues related specifically to Aruba and its governance. After 15 years of renting both long term and vacation rentals I have encountered some issues that required use of lawyers and assistance from the Aruba Rent Commission. Based on my experience I will say that in issues like this the use of a paralegal is pointless. A good lawyer (and there are only a few on the island) should be able to get this matter in front of the Court of First Instance within a couple of weeks. The court could order an eviction notice or issue a notice of removal which could be enforced by the police or a bailiff.

Unfortunately the law does favor a renter, though in this case since there is no rent paid or requested, then the judge may take a firm stand in favor of the owner. I should mention that during a recent eviction we needed to perform we were strongly advised not to turn off the water or electricity at the utility company. I am not sure what the opinion would be if it is locked off by the owner at the street. In Aruba all water connections to residences can be locked off by owners.

I am sure this matter can be solved but will require a strong lawyer knowledgeable in real estate law. There are specific references in law that apply to squatters and squatters rights.

In this case it sounds on the surface that those rights do not apply.

Nomnomsmom
07-27-2018, 04:03 PM
He could prove the "lease" with his own signed lease which he approved but he hasn't paid rent or utilities or given us our portion of income from the one rental that was at the property.


I would lock him out and let him go to the courts and prove he has a lease there and has payed rent.Don’t think he would do it.

aquaman
07-27-2018, 04:30 PM
I would lock him out and let him go to the courts and prove he has a lease there and has payed rent.Don’t think he would do it.

Unfortunately people I know did this, only to return to find smashed windows and them back in the house

lucky
07-27-2018, 04:49 PM
It’s all crazy,when you don’t want to look cruel to a person that doesn’t belong in your house.The problem is everybody has become soft which allows this stuff to happen,so sad.

CK1
07-27-2018, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the info! We have a lawyer........

Hi Nomnomsmom, sorry about all the inconvenience you have to endure.

IMO, "to have a lawyer" or "to have a GOOD lawyer" as mentioned by act1966 and Aquaman will make all the difference in the world. To have a GOOD lawyer will save you time and money and you have a better chance to get the results you are looking for.

The first step would be that a good lawyer checks out the agreement you signed for the property management, if he indeed could sign his own lease or not. Also, is there a Power of Attorney or not. Your lawyer can demand that he provides a copy of it. If he forged your signature, he is really in trouble.

His website "Island Aruba Realty" was launched in Feb 2018. It seems, it's a new business. If his initials are M.N., he got married at the same time and they are now having a baby. This might be a strong reason, not turn their utilities off. It seems to me, he is a young man who got married this year, started a new family and started a new business. I have the feeling, he is not very experienced with real estate and property management. JMO. He also tried to rent a property in March but was told, it's already rented out.

A good lawyer would know which steps to take and prepare to go to court. It's very important to present the case correctly in court, to make the right arguments. If that gets messed up, the whole case can dragged out a long time.

Good Luck!

Andrea J.
07-27-2018, 07:56 PM
we now have our own "sleuth" CK1 !
good digging.


Hi Nomnomsmom, sorry about all the inconvenience you have to endure.

IMO, "to have a lawyer" or "to have a GOOD lawyer" as mentioned by act1966 and Aquaman will make all the difference in the world. To have a GOOD lawyer will save you time and money and you have a better chance to get the results you are looking for.

The first step would be that a good lawyer checks out the agreement you signed for the property management, if he indeed could sign his own lease or not. Also, is there a Power of Attorney or not. Your lawyer can demand that he provides a copy of it. If he forged your signature, he is really in trouble.

His website "Island Aruba Realty" was launched in Feb 2018. It seems, it's a new business. If his initials are M.N., he got married at the same time and they are now having a baby. This might be a strong reason, not turn their utilities off. It seems to me, he is a young man who got married this year, started a new family and started a new business. I have the feeling, he is not very experienced with real estate and property management. JMO. He also tried to rent a property in March but was told, it's already rented out.

A good lawyer would know which steps to take and prepare to go to court. It's very important to present the case correctly in court, to make the right arguments. If that gets messed up, the whole case can dragged out a long time.

Good Luck!

CK1
07-27-2018, 08:08 PM
we now have our own "sleuth" CK1 !
good digging.

Another compliment, Andrea? :)

There is much more to it. The other business partner is well respected and well known in Aruba.

As they say: Aruba is a small island and everyone knows everyone. ;)

Andrea J.
07-27-2018, 08:27 PM
everyone indeed does know everyone.

it would be so surprising that this business owner/apartment trespasser, would risk everything ..........his reputation, his business etc doing something this stupid.

CK1
07-27-2018, 08:39 PM
everyone indeed does know everyone.

it would be so surprising that this business owner/apartment trespasser, would risk everything ..........his reputation, his business etc doing something this stupid.

There are two business partners: the younger guy and the older gentleman. I don't know if they still do business or if they split in the meantime.

I agree, it's puzzling that someone would risk their good reputation over something so stupid. I hope, this case gets resolved without having to take legal action.

Their "Island Aruba Realty" is already getting a bad reputation because of this.

aquaman
07-27-2018, 09:43 PM
Possibly its a situation called....."Desperation".....common amongst some unfortunate folks on the island

Mohair
07-28-2018, 05:26 AM
I realize that this entire incident (which is a real nightmare) will make some readers say that they will never buy property in Aruba. We have owned a condominium in Aruba for 18 months and rent it when we aren't there. We have a great property manager and a handyman who is always available. I never worry about the condo when we aren't there. The rental income has been more than we expected. So don't reject the idea of purchasing a vacation home if you have the means.

gaby
07-28-2018, 05:33 AM
If I ever would purchase, I would never rent it. I would want to be able to leave my stuff there, grab my purse, jump on a plane and be there. But I would never buy a rental property. Actually, I wouldn't buy a rental property anywhere I wanted to vacation, I would just buy it for me. That's just me.

Nomnomsmom
07-28-2018, 08:54 AM
I had actually done a lot of digging and found out the same info that CK1 found out. This is why I asked if it was a legitimate business in my original post because the business that pops up on the Chamber of Commerce site is a different business. Thanks for doing the digging and helping me though but my lawyer seems to have a solid plan of action at this time and has contacted the prosecutor's office as well. I am going to keep my fingers crossed at this point and just hope for the best.


There are two business partners: the younger guy and the older gentleman. I don't know if they still do business or if they split in the meantime.

I agree, it's puzzling that someone would risk their good reputation over something so stupid. I hope, this case gets resolved without having to take legal action.

Their "Island Aruba Realty" is already getting a bad reputation because of this.

Andrea J.
07-28-2018, 09:09 AM
well said mohair!

this situation on the topic here is just so far outside the realm of normalcy that it should never be used as a reason to not buy a vacation home/condo in aruba.

we are at the point of this tread needing to being closed.
much has been said and I do not see how much more can be said by any of us.

Nomnomsmom said "Thanks for doing the digging and helping me though but my lawyer seems to have a solid plan of action at this time and has contacted the prosecutor's office as well. I am going to keep my fingers crossed at this point and just hope for the best."

that is my clue now for this this thread ready to be closed.

if Nomnomsmom has further updates/news, I ask her to contact Jacki or I by private message. one of us can open the thread and she can post the news.

we all hope for the best in this situation.

I realize that this entire incident (which is a real nightmare) will make some readers say that they will never buy property in Aruba. We have owned a condominium in Aruba for 18 months and rent it when we aren't there. We have a great property manager and a handyman who is always available. I never worry about the condo when we aren't there. The rental income has been more than we expected. So don't reject the idea of purchasing a vacation home if you have the means.