Tenants not paying rent

This is a discussion on Tenants not paying rent within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; Tenant come to me and and claimed water getting behind temporary fix in bathroom. The previous tiles had come loose ...

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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Tenants not paying rent

Tenant come to me and and claimed water getting behind temporary fix in bathroom. The previous tiles had come loose and a contracter put a board there as a stop gap. I told her I would have a contractor come and look at that problem. I purchased tiles to redo the entire bathroom including floor. Contractor gave me quote and tenant came to me asking when it would get done. I explained to her that he contractor needed to get the sheetrock. She got super snotty and asked me if the work would get done next year. I closed the door in her face and now they haven't given me the March Rent. They have no lease. I'm so done with them. I want them out. I've had no communication with them. Nothing. How do I get them out??
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Old Mar 26th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

If there is no lease, then there is no agreement between the two parties so you need to make it clear that you want them to leave the property.
I would suggest that you give them a reasonable period in which to remove themselves from the apartment, and if they fail to leave, inform the authorities to evict them.


aee
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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 08:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

Since they haven't paid for this month's rent, you need to serve a Pay or Quit notice. Tiles missing in the bathroom is not a habitability problem and they have no reason or authority to rent withhold for that. Additionally, rent withholding does not mean the tenant keeps the rent. On the contrary, it means the tenant pays the rent, on time, but to another place - the clerk of court or their designated account. If you haven't received notice from the clerk of court, they tenants are rent withholding illegally.

Serve the appropriate notice (Pay or Quit or Unconditional Quit, whichever your state uses) which you can get from the clerk of court's office. When you get the notice, ask the clerk what method of service is legal (mail, certified mail, tacked to the front door, handed to the tenant personally, or delivered by an impartial party). Serve the notice by the legal method and keep a copy of the notice you file. If the tenant doesn't pay in full (including late fees if any in your agreement), you go down to the court after the notice expires and file for eviction. Most states don't allow you to count the day you give them the notice, weekends, or holdiays as part of the notice days. So if you serve a 5 day notice on Monday, you couldn't file for eviction until the following Tuesday. (The clerk can tell you this too.)

File for eviction for non-payment after the notice expires. If they pay up last month's rent (march), immediately give them another Pay or Quit for April's rent as soon as it is late. If they pay everything but you still want them out, hand them the appropriate notice to vacate after your receive your rent. Please post your state and I can tell you the amount of notice required. Most states use 30 days of notice, but some use more or less. Give them this notice on the first of the month so they have to be out by the end of the month.

In future, have tenants put any repair requests in writing except for emergencies. Give them a time line of when repairs will be made, or deny repairs that are unnecessary.
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Old Mar 27th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

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Originally Posted by OHlandlord View Post
Since they haven't paid for this month's rent, you need to serve a Pay or Quit notice. Tiles missing in the bathroom is not a habitability problem and they have no reason or authority to rent withhold for that. Additionally, rent withholding does not mean the tenant keeps the rent. On the contrary, it means the tenant pays the rent, on time, but to another place - the clerk of court or their designated account. If you haven't received notice from the clerk of court, they tenants are rent withholding illegally.

Serve the appropriate notice (Pay or Quit or Unconditional Quit, whichever your state uses) which you can get from the clerk of court's office. When you get the notice, ask the clerk what method of service is legal (mail, certified mail, tacked to the front door, handed to the tenant personally, or delivered by an impartial party). Serve the notice by the legal method and keep a copy of the notice you file. If the tenant doesn't pay in full (including late fees if any in your agreement), you go down to the court after the notice expires and file for eviction. Most states don't allow you to count the day you give them the notice, weekends, or holdiays as part of the notice days. So if you serve a 5 day notice on Monday, you couldn't file for eviction until the following Tuesday. (The clerk can tell you this too.)

File for eviction for non-payment after the notice expires. If they pay up last month's rent (march), immediately give them another Pay or Quit for April's rent as soon as it is late. If they pay everything but you still want them out, hand them the appropriate notice to vacate after your receive your rent. Please post your state and I can tell you the amount of notice required. Most states use 30 days of notice, but some use more or less. Give them this notice on the first of the month so they have to be out by the end of the month.

In future, have tenants put any repair requests in writing except for emergencies. Give them a time line of when repairs will be made, or deny repairs that are unnecessary.


I'm in New York City
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

New York state requires one month's notice to ask someone to vacate the unit on a month to month agreement. You would have to check local city statutes to see if the time limit is different there. Write this notice to vacate, title it "One Month's Notice to Vacate the Premises", and hand a copy to the tenant. Even if you do not evict for non-payment, which would seem the be the easiest and quickest way in my opinion, you can still ask the tenant to move. But this would delay you in filing for eviction by a month if they don't leave voluntarily.

Personally, I would serve the Pay or Quit notice (which I believe is only 3 days in NY), then file for the UD. If you are unsure of the steps, get an eviction attorney (one that specializes in only residential evictions). You may find one that does them for a flat fee if you call around. Give them the Pay or Quit, then file for the UD.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

Very helpful!!

i have just about the same issue in New jersey
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:41 PM   #7
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Confused Re: Tenants not paying rent

I am in New Jersey and I have a tenant whose one year lease has expired, and I verbally continued renting without a written lease at a lower rent (this is his first apartment and he's struggling to find work). He hasn't paid rent for 3 mths. I've used his security deposit to give him some more time, but at this point, I want him to pay (inc a security deposit) or get out immediately since he isn't returning my calls. Do I send him a Pay or Quit, OR do I give him a Notice to Vacate with a 3 day period for re-instatement of tenancy upon payment of rent? Also, for the amount on the notice, do I reflect the lower rent I agreed to verbally or stick to the higher rent in the written year lease (keeping in mind he hasn't paid anything from one month before the written year lease expired)?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

Have you been sending notices, and keeping copies, of his failure to pay the rent? NJ laws are very tenant friendly. You can terminate only for habitual non-payment of rent. Send him a Pay or Quit notice (NJ requires a 30 day notice, not 3 days), along with an itemized list of all the monies he owes you*. Keep a copy of this notice and the itemized list of monies owed. Your tenant will be able to stay in the unit as long as he pays all monies owed to you within those 30 days. If he fails to, take a copy of the 30 day notice that you served him with and go file for eviction. You must stay on top of this, especially, in NJ, and send a notice immediatley whenever a tenant doesn't pay rent.

*I would itemize the months of rent at whatever rate you quoted him to be fair.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

In many cases, you will have to evict problem tenants because they are damaging your business and causing you more stress than you should reasonably have to endure. The majority of times that tenants are evicted it's due to not paying their rent or damaging the property that they are living in. If you encounter these issues you will want to confront the tenant. From there, tell them what the problem is as well as what you need to do as a landlord. My advice is just report to the higher authorities. They will solve the problem. It's not your mistake then judgement will support you.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tenants not paying rent

I've had to evict 2 tenants for the exact same reasons. People think they can withhold rent anytime the landlord doesn't do almost anything they think they should have done. I'm in the Albany, NY area and it is a very tenants rights area. However, the one thing judges will not tolerate is tenants not paying their rent.

Start the process ASAP! Maybe they'll come around and pay or maybe they'll leave. Either way you win. It's not fun but, it is empowering. If you're going to be a landlord, act like one.

Know your rights as well as your tenants' rights.

Go get 'em and good luck!
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