evicting a renter

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by randy in central missouri, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. randy in central missouri

    randy in central missouri Well-Known Member

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    I have a renter that is not paying the rent on time. always late, writes checks that won't clear. they were good for a while. the wife was making all the money. then she had another kid. so they are behind a month. he won't get a job, says he's too good to wipe butts or cook foood. hell, i would do whatever it took to pay my bill. they have a baby with some complications. but i still owe on the house.

    what is the process to evict someone? time frame? do i need a attorney?

    randy
     
  2. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Lord, I sure feel sorry for your situation. Been there! First off, do you have a rental contract? And, yes, I think I might get a lawyer involved. Sadly, your non-paying renter has more rights than you do.

    The guy who was "renting" our place did thousands and thousands of dollars' worth of damage, and it took a LONG TIME to get him and his six dogs OUT.

    Good Luck.

    NeHi Mama
     

  3. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    I have learned the hard way about rentals, myself, and would ask first...Do you have a rental contact...You have to sometimes put yourself first, or people will take advantage of you. Being nice...sweet...is not always in your best interests. Been there, tried that. Deb
     
  4. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was in TN last weekend and we were working around MY rental house. Do your renters pay all the utilities? My Dad makes a practice of paying the water bill. (It's the cheapest utility) When someone doesn't pay the rent for a couple of months, it's very effective to shut the water off.....Just a thought.....

    My renters have turned out to be less than desirable. They were pulling that late payment routine. I sent them a letter advising them to find another place. They have 4 rat terriers and 2 cats in the house! The stench is awful! There's a soft spot in the floor that she showed me last weekend. I have no intention of fixing it until they are forced to move out because of it. THEN, I will find another renter. They pay my Dad for the electric, since the house there is spring fed. If he really wanted to, he could have the electric turned off.

    Something to think about...
     
  5. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    By all means..you are a business person..and you might seriously think about discussing the situation with a lawyer.

    As you go about doing that..you also might try sitting down with your renters and discuss the situation with them as well..personally..from your point of view..and also try to get the specifics of their point of view. Perhaps they're immature and need a caring landlord to help them fully understand that their rent payment 'lateness' is a bad habit to get into..for their own good.

    Yes..I think I'd ask them to sit down and discuss it first..and see if together you can come up with a solution. Then if they still refuse to acknowledge their obligations when they're due..you've already prepared yourself with your attorney..and you can get that 'option' in motion quickly if necessary.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Everyone needs the essentials of life. Shelter is high on the list. Therefore shelter needs to be obtained and paid for. Go to the state you live in and look up the rent laws. Make D*** certain that you abide by the rent laws but do enforce them. You may have a period of time to actually get the free loader out but it will happen. (Where I live it takes a letter and 10 days after the rent was due if the renter is on a month to month rent agreement) Prepare to take him to small claims court but always be documented and within the rent laws if your state. If you apply these laws the free loader will evict himself through his non adherence of the rent laws.
     
  7. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    You don't need a lawyer to evict, depending on the laws, you might have to wait 1 day or 90 days. You go down to the courthouse and file dispossery papers and eviction papers on them. Then you get your court date, and the judge orders them out on a certain date.
     
  8. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Actually, in most states you CANNOT shut off the utilities, even if the tenant is supposed to pay you for them and fails to do so.


    Go here-
    http://www.moga.state.mo.us/STATUTES/C441.HTM

    You can read for yourself the laws of your state.

    Good luck. I had rental property for many years (still do actually), had many great tenants, then all of a sudden they were all awful. The last few did tons of $$$ of damage and made my life miserable. The two I have now are pretty good and I sure hope they don't change.
     
  9. Ozark-Dew

    Ozark-Dew AMDG

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    that is interesting that you can not have the utilities shut off, yet if you miss a payment the utility co can shut you off.

    Sensibly I would say that if they have not paid per terms of the rental agreement they are trespassers and should be able to be handled that way by the law.
     
  10. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So.....if the bill is in your name and you don't pay it, they shut off that account; where the renters live.
     
  11. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in My County of SC---------You just go to the Magistrate(?) and pay like $35 to get a eviction started--------the tenant will be notified by the County Police and given a Court date to show up--------to give their side of the deal-----the Judge will rule and give them So much time to get out------if they are not out by that time------He will arrest them. Just Had one evicted, that had a Small Child-------------The Judge gave her 24hrs to be out after the deadline( so he gave her a extra 24 hrs---or go to jail), because she had a 3 yr old. Good Luck. Randy
     
  12. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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  13. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear of your renter problems Randy, There is nothing worse than feeling like you have less rights than you renters...
    I would serve them with an eviction notice, by certified mail...then if they do not leave by the date you give them, then you can file with the courthouse. When you do this, you can ask for past due money and court costs, if you stated that in your rental agreement.
    I have done several evictions but i worked for a corp. and they made us use an attorney because one mistake could make you have to refile and take another 60 days to get back to court...
    Not to mention, just because you to to court and get the eviction, the judge usually gives them another 15-30 days to get out...at that point, if they are not out, you can get the sherriff out and have them physically removed, change the locks and put their stuff out on the street.

    If it were me, I would send the eviction notice on my own...it hopes that they would leave, before i hired an attorney ( I would cc a copy to the city attorney just for the heck of it). This could make them leave, but be very specific on when they have to leave, day, date, and time.
    Good luck.

    Belinda
     
  14. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    Like a few people said already, DO NOT have the utilities shut off. That is a very serious action to take and your tenants could sue you for punitive damages.

    But I would definitely sit down with them and have a talk about the situation and try to work out some kind of payment arrangement. Sounds like the husband needs a man-to-man talk about being a man and taking care of his family, but that's not your responsibility unless you choose to take it on yourself. It's impossible not to feel bad for them and want to give them every chance to avoid eviction, but if you still owe on the house and need the rent money to make payments, "ya gotta do what ya gotta do."

    Anyway, I recommend consulting a lawyer if it comes to eviction. Landlord/tenant law can be tricky, especially if it involves low-income families. Good luck.
     
  15. dustyrose

    dustyrose Well-Known Member

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  16. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I owned five apartments at one time. Great experience. Would I do it again. NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

    As noted landlord/tenant laws vary greatly from state to state. In Ohio, where I was, if you had four or more rental units who has to do what was fairly specific. Three or less not so.

    Yes, discuss the situation with a knowledgeable attorney.

    IMHO it will just get worse and you really do need to be a hardass about it. Believe it or not, tenants will outright lie. I put out one young family with a 4- and 1-year-old. They said they would have to live in their car. Well, the immediately moved in with relatives.

    Bouncing checks is only a problem between the bank and their account holder until legal action is initiated by the party which received the bad check. After just one I would demand a cash payment.

    Judy: Take some action on the soft spot in the floor immediately. The tenants have pointed out a safety hazards to you. If they were to fall through and injure themselves you are likely looking at a heafthy lawsuit. Now the repair doesn't have to be that spiffy, such as just nailing down 3/8" plywood (even over carpet) with the edges feathered so they don't 'trip' over it. If there is carpeting you are likely looking to have to replace it all. When I had apartments I had a no pets (period) policy.
     
  17. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    you dont have to shut the utilities off. just dont pay them. the power company will shut them off for you
     
  18. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I evicted a tenant a year ago. She was a great victim. It was never her fault that the rent was weeks late. She worked as a victim's advocate and learned all the strings to pull. She had great lies. She said, word for word, "You can evict me but I'm not leaving." She meant it. It took a phone call to the police to ask that they physically remove her to convince her I also meant it. Knowing that they were coming was enough to make her go.

    I'd do whatever is legally allowed to get them out. I agree with everyone who said talk to an attorney. I'd been told you can't evict families with children in Maine in the winter. I didn't find out that isn't true until I spoke with the attorney. The district attorney's office was interested in persuing the rent checks she bounced.

    Good luck. I feel for anyone in your situation.
     
  19. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Your in MO google landlord rights and go from there.

    I just recieved allmost 4k$ because a couple didn't show up in court and had a bench warrant put out. To get out of jail I got my money. My BIL works at the jail and they were complaining that I had no right to put them in jail. He had to inform them that I had nothing to do with it. They chose not to show up in court so it was out of my hands.

    mikell
     
  20. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I too had to resort to having the sherriff called in to get rid of a non-paying tenant who was convinced she could live in the house rent free for the whole winter and get away with it. Surprise surprise, hours before the sherriff was due to arrive and put all her stuff out in the snow, she managed to get out of the house and into another one.

    However, I had to hire a lawyer and do it nice and legal like. The law is a minefield where tenants rights are concerned. But that soft spot may give you an out you don't expect: here in VT you can call in a housing inspector. Almost no older home meets all the nitpicky rules and there's a good chance you can get the house condemned. If the house is condemned all that means is you have to fix the soft spot or whatever, which you had to do anyway (in our case we had a home condemned for a leaking roof... which... duh... we were going to fix anyway). In VT if the house is condemned, the family must move out right then and there. If there is no lease and they owe you money, out on the streets they go. Too bad.

    Stuff happens. I know that. I'm not utterly unfeeling. But rent is the last thing people pay, right behind their new car rental, dining out, and whatever other high life they'd like to lead. I really hate being a landlord, but since I have to be, I've gotten seriously tough about collecting what is rightfully due me: rent.