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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The scenario:

- single family rental dwelling
- renters add rocks to the desert landscaping without owners permission
- renters vacate the property owing the last months rent because they fear the house is being foreclosed upon
- people from three houses down the street are helping themselves to the rocks
- I confront the people taking the rocks and they say the renters who laid down the rocks gave them permission for them to help themselves
- I confront the renters who moved one street over and they say it's their rocks
- police called, but will not do anything

My question do you think the police should of taken some type of action against the people taking the rocks, who have no ties to the house, except knowing the renters who skipped out on their last month's rent?

I say no, the people have no right taking the rocks from someone elses property. At the very least, the police should of stopped them.

The police did nothing and the people from down the street are free to help themselves to rocks laid down by renters on a house they recently vacated.

The police left saying they are too busy to deal with the issue.
 

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Any improvements made to a rented or leased property become the property of the owner. Had you attempted to file a theft complaint against the people taking your property and the police been unwilling to process your complaint, you would have a good story to share with the local and state attorney general and the local news media.

Of course, I am not a lawyer, but I have been a rental property owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed, when a renter makes an improvement, it becomes part of the owner's property.

On the other hand, it was not my property, just next door to me. I called the police because I felt the people down the street had no right helping themself to someone else's property on the okay by renters who skipped out. And I didn't want to live next door to a property that had it's landscaping messed up.

One post here so far which agrees with me. I also posted on another forum and everyone there is saying it's just rocks... and to mind my own business. Well. here in the southwest rocks cost money and are used for landscaping to save on water. IMO, it's no different than a deliquent renter to give the okay for someone to pull up sod they renters laid.
 

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You are on somewhat weaker grounds if you are not the property owner. Contacting the owner would help.

One of the founding principles of our nation was that of property rights. I, for one, consider it a very important right, in spite of the inroads that politicians, judges and the Supreme Court make into diminishing them.

If I could have proved that my renters were the ones who took down the aluminum TV tower and sold it for scrap, I would have filed a theft report. I left the TV tower up to give the renters better and lower cost access to TV signals. Their rent was not always paid on time, but the cable bill was. The education of Howard.
 

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Agreed, when a renter makes an improvement, it becomes part of the owner's property.
+ 1 that says it all

a call to the city attorney or city manager may help
 

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Basically, if you are not the property owner you have no standing, and you have to admit the popo prolly do have more important things to do than sort out a dispute over rocks.
 

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he're my take on it, and i'm not a lawyer.

the neighbors have no idea whom the rocks belong to. if the people that live there (seller) sell personal property (not real property) in good faith and the buyer believes the title is good, the owners will have to hold the seller liable in civil court.

not a police matter.

imho
 

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Depending on how the lease was written, some state the property shall be return to original state, so tenants or their agent can remove improvement. Some leases state no improvement with out the written consent of the landlord or all improvements become property of the property owner. It can be very subjective what a improvement is, an old engine block, is it yard art or trash.

I am not a lawyer
 

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I really hope this is hypothetical. I was always taught the "don't take it if it's not yours" philosophy. I hope I am as successful at instilling it in my kids as my father was. As evidenced by the state of the country, I don't think many have ever heard of it.
 

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The rocks are not a real estate improvment, but are simply property that can be recovered. Afterall.... They are being removed from the rental property.
 

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Match10 said:
The rocks are not a real estate improvment, but are simply property that can be recovered. Afterall.... They are being removed from the rental property.
This is outside my experience, although I am not a lawyer. Is this an opinion, or do I need to recalibrate my understanding of real estate practice.
 

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What's the total value of said rocks? Remember, police cannot cite/arrest for an infraction and/or misdormeanor commited outside of their presence. If you told the cop you saw you neighbor speeding (infraction) yesterday, he can't do anything. If you told him you saw your neighbor kill his wife yesterday (felony), he will have to act...
 

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gcwimmer said:
Depending on how the lease was written, some state the property shall be return to original state, so tenants or their agent can remove improvement. Some leases state no improvement with out the written consent of the landlord or all improvements become property of the property owner. It can be very subjective what a improvement is, an old engine block, is it yard art or trash.

I am not a lawyer
Agreed! But to go further; the land owner would need to be the one to file the report. Given the above, it would be awfully hard for the police to take action when they don't know the situation. Safe to say if they were removing the 2x4's framing the house, it's obvious theft (among a great number of other charges). Some rocks on the property however is a different story. And generally, with property crimes, the owner has to request charges.
 

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96GTS said:
What's the total value of said rocks? Remember, police cannot cite/arrest for an infraction and/or misdormeanor commited outside of their presence. If you told the cop you saw you neighbor speeding (infraction) yesterday, he can't do anything. If you told him you saw your neighbor kill his wife yesterday (felony), he will have to act...
yes but the third party can make the arrest. police arrest shoplifters all the time.
 
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