The home butcher shop
I want to share a story about tenant vs landlord communication. When you lease your property it is very important that both parties are clear about the intended use.
In this story it appears the tenant lacked some common sense and caught the landlord of guard. This is not my story, but it happened to a close friend (we will call her Jane). I was asked what I would have done in the situation, and I have to say I was at a loss for words.
You see Jane had a single family home, rented to a family (the Clampetts). The house is located on a very busy street. The Clampetts were long term tenants and paid the rent (mostly on-time).
There were some red flags leading up to the incident, things like a lot of junk, like old trailers, cars, boats, and miscellaneous stuff around the yard.
Nothing prepared my Jane for what was about to happen this one particular day.
You see the papa Clampett somehow secured a full beef cow. He decided he would butcher the cow in the front yard. I guess in their defense, there was a great tree with a limb strong enough to hang a cow.
As I mentioned this house was located on a very busy street. Imagine driving by papa Clampett covered in blood holding a chainsaw, cutting up a huge body hanging from a tree.
Blood and guts everywhere. Many people knew who owned the property, so the calls started coming in.
Jane did not know what to think, it was one of those things where you are in shock, then realize, you need to take action.
She was not sure what the laws were around such an event.
She decided the bast thing to do would be to make a phone call, so she did.
Papa Clampett answered the phone and explained how they had an opportunity to get this cow, but had to act fast.
He apologized for all the commotion, and said he was almost finished cutting it up, and would not do it again.
The big question is, did this tenant violate his lease agreement. That could be debated, however, common sense would state, this was a poor judgement call on the part of papa Clampett.
Municipal, town and city by-laws generally require all residents to abide by current laws, rules and by-laws (applies to tenants and owners).
Most residential communities have by-laws in place that specifically mention the guidelines around back yard slaughter, urban farmers, and back yard butchers. There has been a lot of recent media about people wanting to keep chickens in urban areas.
It also may cross over into the rules around food safety and handling.
What makes this situation unique, is that it was a one off case. The Clampetts never butchered any other animals in the yard after that day.
To answer the question of what I would have done, would likely have been what Jane did. Confronted the issue, and receive assurance from the tenant that it would never happen again.
The house was in a location that had by-laws in place prohibiting the actions of the tenant.
The overall lesson is to make sure to always stay close to knowing what is happening at your properties, either by a personal weekly drive by, or having someone else do it.
Also when you are going over the lease agreement with a new tenant, It is good practice to go over the rules of the neighborhood. Although cow butchering in the front yard may not come up.
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