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Old 02-13-2012, 09:02 PM
 
6 posts, read 12,712 times
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Default series of landlord questions

Hi. thanks in advance to your knowledge and support.

I have a tenant who has about 4 more months left in his 1year contract and his rent amounts of been dwindling the last 1-2 months i.e. hes not making full payment but paying whatever he wants and when he wants. currently $2200 is overdue rent, and this amount could grow up to 6500 if he doesnt choose to pay anything more until the lease is up.

here are my questions/suggestions:

- if we decide to let the tenant stay and hope he makes (any) payments, can we go after him for the amount due in a small claims court or something AFTER the lease is up and hes out of the property?

- what happens if the lease is up, and the tenant refuses to move out. i assumed it sounds like tresspassing and something for the police to decide.

- the lease ends at the end of may. if we opt to go through the eviction process, and the court process goes BEYOND the lease date, can i use the default date of the lease agreement to get them out?

- if we go to court, and i win, what kind of restitutions can the court make in my favour? i.e. regain my property, cover my legal fees, cover all outstanding rental costs?

thanks for your input guys. any other suggestions would be welcomed. my 3 day notice to evict ends tomorrow and the tenant is "promising" to make payments at the end of week and month, but this in all likelyhood is a song-and-dance as he has broke several of his previous deadlines.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:36 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 9,729,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post
- if we decide to let the tenant stay and hope he makes (any) payments, can we go after him for the amount due in a small claims court or something AFTER the lease is up and hes out of the property?
Yes, however a judge could decide that since you were letting the prrson pay as they wish without ever legally trying to stop it, you establsihed that paying whatever, when ever is acceptable. So although they owe you the money, they can pay whenever and whatever they feel like until its paid off. Very Bad to allow the tenant to tell you how and what theyw ill pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post

- what happens if the lease is up, and the tenant refuses to move out. i assumed it sounds like tresspassing and something for the police to decide.
It IS NOT a police matter, It's a civil matter and you would have to sue to have them evicted so long as you followed the approprate laws for notices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post
- the lease ends at the end of may. if we opt to go through the eviction process, and the court process goes BEYOND the lease date, can i use the default date of the lease agreement to get them out?
So long as you follow the rules of the court and the processes, evictions ususally are resolved quickly. But you will be evicting to get them removed and based on your state laws, you may have to sue for the "damages" you suffered. Some are done at the same time others are two issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post
- if we go to court, and i win, what kind of restitutions can the court make in my favour? i.e. regain my property, cover my legal fees, cover all outstanding rental costs?
Some or all of them could be covered based on your STATE law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post
any other suggestions would be welcomed.
Based on the questions you are asking, you may want to get rid of the rental property and open a Hot Dog stand cause the questions you are asking leds me to think you have no idea what to do and the steps needed which almost always results in a ruling for the tenant (and maybe ebevn you having to pay them and not them paying you).
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:46 PM
 
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thanks for your comments, including your snideness!

i actually have a management company handle my rental business, i just wanted to enlighten myself on the matter. by the way, its california. we have filed two notices of evictions but never pursued the matter further into court when the tenant made "patrial" payments. would this be considered legal actions to stop them from not paying.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:59 PM
 
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If you are allowing the tenants to make partial payments and not continue the eviction process, you could have established a change of the lease by that change. The issue you have is that CA has the state laws but also allowes local laws to suppliment the state laws and that can cause different procedures based on where the rental is located. A lot is going to depend on what happened in the past, how it was handled, and what and why you are handling it a certain way. A judge will need to decide if you made a material change to or essentially voided the rent payment provisions of the lease by your actions.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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i see it as a fine line in the judge decision too. i think it is clearly obvious that the stated rent amount was not being met due to the tenant inability to pay, and we were working with tenant to make sure that full payment amounts have been sastified. we have written statements each time the tenant does not the full amount, and it instructs them to do so.

i can not see how the judge would rule in favor that the landlord was complacent in changing the rental fee to "anything the tenant wants", based willingness to work with the tenant.

the biggest concern i have is: come may when the lease is up, and the tenant chooses to squat there, i still have to go through the eviction process, much like now due to non-payment of rent. so should i save myself the time and take it to court now?
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:18 AM
 
28,258 posts, read 24,069,168 times
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it doesnt matter what you think , it only matters what the judge and laws say in your state and take it from me,never confuse what should be common sense with law.

you have to be so careful accepting partial payment. each state is different and in some you can completely un-do the rent agreement by accepting partial and not following through immeadiately with a 3 day notice.

although this is article geared for florida you can see all the issues involved with partial payment depending on your state.

Partial Rent Acceptance
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:01 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,124 posts, read 23,958,322 times
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Read your state landlord tenant laws. If they're not listed in the first sticky on this forum page you can google them. As soon as you know what your state says about partial payments then start eviction proceedings. You may not have appreciated the "snideness" but if you're planning on remaining a landlord you need to follow through with evictions in the future and not drop them based on partial payments. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,226 posts, read 19,339,866 times
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Why would you want to wait 4 more months until the lease is up? All that gaurantees you is more unpaid debt that you will struggle to collect. Pursue and eviction and do not accept any more partial payments, get the bum out. Sounds like your property management company has been giving you very bad advice.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:08 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 9,729,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbronie View Post
i can not see how the judge would rule in favor that the landlord was complacent in changing the rental fee to "anything the tenant wants", based willingness to work with the tenant.
Are you requring the tenant to follow the terms and conditions of the lease as far as the exact amount and the day the rent is due?

If not, you are basically saying .... let's forget about the what the legal lease contract says and come up with our own terms this time. And if you keep doing that over and over, you have set by example that you are not going to abide by and honor the amount and due date of rent, so why should the judge enfoce something you as the landlord said you don;t care about?

exactly who is making these changes, accepting partial payments, and pulling backt he evictions... You or the PMC????
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,229 posts, read 9,774,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Why would you want to wait 4 more months until the lease is up? All that gaurantees you is more unpaid debt that you will struggle to collect. Pursue and eviction and do not accept any more partial payments, get the bum out. Sounds like your property management company has been giving you very bad advice.
That's exactly what I was thinking. In my area, we can get a tenant OUT in 3-4 weeks for about $350 (add another $1100 if the sheriff has to actually show up and move the person out after the eviction is granted). I would start the process now, get them out, and move on with life. But I know some areas of the country cost substantially more, and some take substantially longer.

If the PM is allowing this without filing an eviction, fire them. They are letting the tenant be the boss, setting their own rules, regardless of the lease terms, and that is the wrong dynamic for the landlord-tenant relationship.

As far as getting paid, sometimes it just isn't worth it. In my area, that has to be done in a separate hearing, and costs another $1000+. Yes, you can file for all expenses to be reimbursed, but you can't get blood from a turnip. If they can't afford to pay rent, you have to decide whether suing them is throwing good money after bad, or if you actually stand a chance of seeing the money.
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