Re: LO eviction letter what to do…HELP - Posted by Peter_MD
Posted by Peter_MD on August 20, 2003 at 11:53:41:
I was hesitant in posting a response here but decided to do so because of the conflicting information provided by other respondents.
You do need to have some proof that delivery was at least attempted … if not, it’s their word against your’s and in court, words don’t mean much … you need proof.
Earlier this year I had the same type of situation with a tenant buyer several states away from us. They twice refused to sign for the Certified Letter with a return receipt from the US Postal Service. I was at my wits end (we were even going to spring for the $55.00 cost to have papers served by the County) because I wanted to move quickly on evicting these people from the property. Fortunately we had someone call the previous month and inquired into wanting to relocate to the area. A friend of their’s was located about two houses down from this residence and really wanted their friend to move in close to them. They called and asked if the property was available since we had put up a sign in the yard (but the tenants kept pulling it up). The tenants had some financial problems (among other things) and the lease was expiring that month. We put up a sign the first of the month to see if we could get someone else quickly … probably was a bad decision, but we knew these tenants weren’t going to qualify to exercise the option.
When we received the second Certified letter with a return receipt back from the Post Office, I visited the General Mail facility that we always use to mail our items, and while speaking with a supervisor about his advice in this situation (it was getting close to the end of the month and we wanted to get the ball rolling quickly). Here’s what the supervisor told us to do. Go on the web site for www.usps.com and print out a shipping label online. Use Priority Mail ($3.85 for flate rate priority mail envelope … 2 to 3 days delivery) and click on the Delivery Confirmation box. Now by doing this online rather than at the Post Office, you saved .45 cents because the Delivery Confirmation is free when the label is printed out from your computer.
The best thing (what really saved our skin) is that the item is tracked for up to 2 weeks online. Yes, when you go and pay the Postal clerk the postage, they scan in the barcode for the package and it gets recorded on the tracking section of the website under the tracking number that was printed on the label. Every time that item passes hands, it is scanned and recorded and it will show the delivery when it happens. … and it will post a statement (like it did on our website tracking) that shows attempted delivery but receipient refused the package. A few days later the package came back to us. When I spoke to the supervisor again, he suggested that next time use a return address of a family member or close friend that does not have the same last name as ours.
We won and lost … the L/O tenant was sent packing and tried to claim they had vested equity (no way, I used two different forms … one for lease and one for the option agreement).
Finally, 45 days later we were left with an empty residence, a few broken windows, and a lot of mess and filth to clean.
I feel that had we not gotten the independent third party comfirmation of attempted delivery from the Post Office, it would have drawn out many more months. Remember, these people know more about the landlord/tenant laws in your State than you do.
Try this, and good luck in getting them evicted … I suggest you do this the day they are late the second month (only a couple of weeks from now).
This worked well for us, and hopefully it will work fine for you.
BTW, in court, the wife of the tenant tried to claim that they never knew about the eviction notice … of course the Judge sternly advised her to only speak the truth (after he saw my computer printout of the attempted Delivery Confirmation along with the Priority mail package that came back to us). She apologized to the Judge and left the courtroom with her head hanging down.
…I firmly believe that this action ticked off the husband and they slightly damaged the property. I figure the upfront option deposit and the extra each month more than made up for the costs involved in this ordeal including the fixing, repairing, and cleaning.
Good luck to you …