Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by RS

Posted by Bill Gatten on March 08, 1999 at 23:34:10:

All the advice so far is good. Whatever you do though, do it quick and don’t delay. Most of us learned a long time ago that the best way to initiate an eviction process is “as instantaneously as humanly possible.” Evict first, compromise later.


Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by RS

Posted by RS on March 08, 1999 at 10:55:30:

We recently moved into a large home with an upstairs mother-in-law apartment. There has been a tenant up there for 4 years and she wants to stay, which is cool with us because of the rental income. This tenant is now in limbo as her old lease agreement is void and she has yet to sign my new lease agreement. On March 2nd I told her that I needed that agreement signed, to which she said we needed to resolve some issues on it and that, by the way, she didn’t have my rental money for March. She asked that I please serve her with a 5 day “pay or vacate notice” so that a local aid agency can give her my rent. I did this on Friday and now she’s telling me she’s not sure when that money will come. So here’s the deal. Since we have no signed lease agreement, does this work to my advantage or hers? Without a lease agreement,if push comes to shove, can’t I just order her to leave? Do I have to go through an eviction process? Do I need to force her to sign that lease agreement ASAP or does that just make it more complicated for me if I have to force her out? Sure would appreciate some direction. Sorry this is so long!Thanks!

Re: Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by louise

Posted by louise on March 10, 1999 at 02:41:49:

I say don’t wait, evict her now. Anyone who would take advantage of a local aid agency and is giving you problems now is only going to be a bigger headache later.

Re: Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by Jason-DTX

Posted by Jason-DTX on March 09, 1999 at 01:46:57:

Did the seller not assign the lease to you when you bought the property, If you didn’t get it then try to go back and have him assign the lease to you. It should still be valid on a month to month basis.
Tell the tenant to either pay up now or if you have to file for eviction then you won’t accept the rent anymore so you can get her out. In my area I would have to file a 30 day notice to terminate the tenancy if there wasn’t anything in writing. If you have to go that far then don’t accept rent if she trys to pay later. She sounds like a future headache as well.
The extra income is nice but is it worth the hassle, I wouldn’t want a tenant living that close to me. I’ll bet the apt. would make a nice home office! Just my 2 cents.
Jason Windholz

Re: Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on March 08, 1999 at 18:36:50:

If there is no lease agreement, then the law would kick in. Since she has been living there for 4 years and paying rent it would be pretty to hard to argue that she was trespassing or a squatter. Most states would probably say she has a month to month oral lease (unless the written one is still in effect). In which case, you would have to go to court to evict her. The smart thing to do is bribe her to leave. Take the money from her security deposit.

Welcome to the world of landlording. It took me about 3 years to finally figure out what the heck I was doing.

Re: Tenant situation: reqesting legal advice - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on March 08, 1999 at 15:24:17:

Q: Why is her old lease agreement void? Most leases I have seen have a provision saying when the lease ends, it converts to a month to month on the same terms, blah, blah. SO there may be some agreement in force.

IMO, not having some type of current, written agreement is bad for you. Some courts still view tenants as the downtrodden and landlords as the rich robber barons. (Never mind that you are barely covering your nut and the tenants are professional deadbeats who use the system trash the place and not pay rent.) Get something in writing.
If you want the tenant to leave, you absolutely MUST go through the eviction process. She is there legally and is probably still under some rental agreement. And dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s. You, as a property owner have a lot to lose (ie the house). The tenant may very well have nothing.
My advice is to get an attorney who specializes in eviction. I have one who charges me 100 bucks (plus 25 dollars to serve) for an eviction. It is cheap and I know it is done right (ie it prevents me from doing something stupid out of ignorance that creates a huge liability problem). Also, he should give you a consultation on this situation for free. Hope this helps.