Delinquent Tenants, 30-Day Notice

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Old 06-04-14, 05:43 AM
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Delinquent Tenants, 30-Day Notice

Not only are my tenants delinquent with their payments (several thousand), their lease is up at the end of this month. I've threatened them with eviction in the past and never followed through out of sympathy, but I've had enough of their excuses and will not be renewing their lease come July 1. Question is, do I need to officially give them 30-day notice even if their lease is expiring in less than 30 days? They have horrible credit and weren't able to find a place to live last time we went through this, so I'm anticipating them living there past the end of the lease period. I want to be sure I am planning ahead in order to get them out asap so I can get some reliable tenants in there. For example, if in order to evict them I need some sort of court order, etc., I'd like to get that in place now in anticipation of them staying past the lease period, rather than waiting until it likely happens and having to wait another 30 days before I can legally evict them. State is VA.

Almost forgot...what do I need to do to recoup my money after they have left my property?
 
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Old 06-04-14, 05:51 AM
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Tenant/landlord rights vary from state to state but I'd set the process in motion asap! Some states make it difficult to evict someone if they have kids. When I lived in fla it was a long drawn out process to evict a family with under age children. Basically you had to give written notice before you could get a court ordered notice and then if they had kids they could get an automatic 30 day extension. That often meant 90 days or more with no rent collected

It would be a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney to find out just what the procedure is for your locale.

You can get a judgement against the tenant for money owed but there is no guarantee that you''ll collect.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 06:06 AM
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From the Prince William County General District Court website:

The successful plaintiff in a civil case will in most cases be awarded a money judgment as compensation for the defendant's wrongful act. The judgment is judicial recognition that the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff for a particular sum of money. The plaintiff is never assured of actually receiving the money, however, because the judgment can only be enforced out of property belonging to the defendant. Remedies to enforce judgments are available, but a defendant in a civil case is not subject to criminal sanctions for failing to pay a money judgment.

So even if a judge rules in my favor, there's no guarantee I will get my money!?!? Can I take their car? That is personal property. Somehow I feel like I am going to get screwed. I assumed their wages would be garnished. How is this even possible? So pissed.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 06:13 AM
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You have to go to civil court and file a motion. The judge will order they pay, or/and evict...

Just went to court on another matter and saw the many landlord tenant hearings before it was my turn....

Make sure you have all paperwork. Signed lease with amounts, receipts of what and when they paid, and what they owe.....etc..

I even saw some tenants show the judge the texts on their phone showing the landlords comments about the rent...etc...
 
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Old 06-04-14, 06:16 AM
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So even if a judge rules in my favor, there's no guarantee I will get my money!?!? Can I take their car? That is personal property. Somehow I feel like I am going to get screwed. I assumed their wages would be garnished. How is this even possible? So pissed.

IMO be happy if you can get them out. Cut your losses and move on...

I have been through hard times and I don't believe in going after people when they have nothing... Just me though...
 
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Old 06-04-14, 07:11 AM
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Keep in mind all of this is for North Carolina and your laws and procedures are probably different. I have to give tenants written notice of their late payment and also state that they will be evicted 10 days prior to filing Summary Ejectment papers with the county Clerk of Court. At the time of filing the papers a Magistrate's court date and time is picked 10 days in the future. The paperwork goes to the Magistrate and Sheriff's Dept. The Sheriff then serves the summons to the tenant.

If your documentation is in order and the tenant does not show up for the hearing it's a judgement in your favor. If your documentation is in order and the tenant shows up any sob story they give is generally listened to and they are found in breech of contract and the judgement goes in your favor. The tenant is given 10 days to vacate the property. If the tenant does not vacate then I have to go to the Clerk of Court and file another form to have the tenants locked out. The Sheriff's Dept will then contact me to set up a time to meet at the house. The tenant is removed from the premise and you may padlock or change the locks.

You are then required to hold and protect the tenants belongings for 30 days. If the tenant did not show up for their ejectment hearing and they still have possessions in your property you need to file with the Magistrates court with proof that you have attempted contact for 30 days and want a judgement of abandonment so you can dispose of their possessions. During the 30 day period you must make reasonably available the tenants possessions if they want them back. If they do not claim them within 30 days you may dispose of them. In NC you can not keep or sell any of their possessions without another process so it's quicker and easier to throw the whole lot in the landfill.


----
The moral of the story.

1. Document everything in writing. Have a written lease. I provide a month to month so tenants may be removed more easily.
2. Document all payments and contacts with the tenant when you demand rent. Keep a notebook or log of phone calls and record the time you called, who you spoke with and that you demanded payment of the rent.
3. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let tenants get behind on the rent. All (OK, 99.9%) can not or will not catch up on their rent. The entire eviction process at the minimum takes 20 days so at the very best you will loose a months rent which in most cases puts you at a loss for the entire year.

Always remember that you have a rental house as a for profit business. It is not charity housing. When you figure all your expenses most landlords run less than a 20% profit margin and much worse if you still are still paying (loan) on the home and at best may be breaking even. Even one months rent lost can mean your rental house is costing you money. If you can't treat it as a business you should not have a rental house and sell it.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 09:38 AM
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I don't think these people are falling on hard times I think they're users and taking advantage. They know how the system works. They don't have their priorities straight.
Be thankful just to get rid of them.
Take them to court and I'm sure you'll win, but they probably won't just pay up.
Unless they own property (which I doubt) that you can put a lien on, you can garnish their wages (get a percentage of their pay check) if they work.
You can also renew the judgement, so if you can't get the money in one of those ways, you can keep it active and hopefully get it down the line at some point.
If they should ever want to buy a house, they wouldn't be able to, until they pay the money they owe you.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 10:34 AM
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My wife holds a judgement against an agency in Virginia she worked for [they didn't pay her] That judgement is good for 20 yrs and can be renewed. They told us he couldn't buy/sell property without the judgement being satisfied, it also includes lottery winnings. It might also include inheritance but I don't remember for sure.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 01:32 PM
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There are thresholds and you can't collect if they're below them but you'd be surprised how often we get someone from 5 - 10 - 15 years ago coming in to settle their debt because they want to buy something on credit.

Check the local laws on what you have to do to get them out - I can guarantee they're going to get a lot more time than you think they should.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 01:45 PM
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Judgements are total BS. In 15 years of evictions and judgements not a single person has ever paid. The system is archaic and totally ineffective. Even though a judgement is rendered it will get recorded in your counties records.... Then what? Nothing! There is no reporting to major credit agencies or anyone else. Identification in small claims and Magistrate proceedings are simply on a persons name so there is nothing to report other than John Doe of Small Town has a judgement against them. Use an alias, move out of the area or if nobody bothers to specifically contact the jurisdiction that issued the judgement and it goes unknown by the rest of the world and unenforced.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 07:50 AM
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So should I get the ball rolling now in anticipation of them not leaving by June 30th, or wait until July 1 then file a motion if they have not left? FYI, they have made their last four bi-weekly payments, but they owe nearly $4,500 in past due rent. If they make their two payments this month, they'll owe me about $3,000 at lease end. This amount has compounded over the past couple years and they have never been able to get caught up.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 08:08 AM
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They are behind on their rent several thousand dollars. Start the process immediately. First you must give them notice in writing and keep a copy for your records. Make sure the letter is dated. State that they are past due on the rent and that you will file eviction papers if they do not pay. In NC that written notice must be given 10 days prior to filing for a Summary Ejectment (eviction).
 
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Old 06-05-14, 08:33 AM
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A little OT, but can you sell the judgement? I mean, let those hyenas worry the meat off the bone.

I know, they wouldn't give you much, but a bird in the hand...
 
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Old 06-05-14, 08:37 AM
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Vic, it might be possible but with such a slim chance of being able to collect - who'd be willing to take that chance?
 
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Old 06-05-14, 06:43 PM
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Maryland law and Virginia laws are somewhat similar as far as landlord tenant disputes are concerned. In Maryland you must give a tenant at least 30 days written notice and the notice must be sent via certified mail. When one of my tenants didn't pay enough for us to even keep up with expenses our attorney said to get things going send the letter first. If after the letter is sent they still don't want to leave then you need to take them to landlord tenant court. After they have been ordered by the judge to leave you can then sue them in small claims court.

If they don't obey the judges order to vacate the premises then the judge will order the sheriffs office to forcibly remove the tenants and their possessions. I never had the sheriff over to my property but I have seen other evictions and it isn't very nice. Here they throw things out of the windows and the door and then put everything on the curb. After that the sheriff's deputies leave and it is up to the tenant to protect their personal property until it can be moved.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 06:38 AM
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They are in the process of looking for a new place to live, so getting them out isn't my main concern. My main concern is recouping my money.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 06:45 AM
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Honestly, I would not put much (any) hope in getting your money especially once they are gone. I'm sure they will tell you a good story of how they are going to pay you back but once they move all their money will be going to their current situation and not paying off past debts. Your focus and mind set should be getting them out as soon as possible so you can re-rent the property and start collecting rent.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 11:04 AM
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I agree! It's no big deal to get a judgment against them for the money owed but you can't spend a judgement! and no guarantee you'll ever collect on the judgement.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 11:40 AM
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I have to agree you probably will never see the rest of your money. You can always get a judgement against them in small claims court but the judgement in reality isn't worth much if they go against the judges order to pay. In our case we even garnished the husbands wages as his wife didn't work. Instead of paying and getting a good union education so he could get certified as an electrician he quit his job. Something I will never understand as he had a great job but unfortunately that was his mindset. His car also wasn't worth anything so we didn't go after it.

It is certainly up to you what you decide to do but I wouldn't go after them much except to sue them in small claims court and just hope they pay. If they don't then you can always ask the judge to have their debt to you written on their credit record. It will definitely send them a message as it did to our old tenants when they didn't appear in court and we received the judgement in our favor. Afterwards we did receive a bit more money but not much and that was all handled by our lawyer as we didn't want them to be coming back to our house.
 
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Old 06-09-14, 06:31 PM
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Wow. I wish I would've known better. I thought for sure I would be able to get my money back. If I thought it was even remotely possible that I wouldn't, they would've been gone a long time ago. I'd like to do this without a lawyer and at least get a judgement against them to send a message. I'm beginning to really dislike Virginia's judicial system
 
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Old 06-09-14, 09:43 PM
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Don't feel too bad Mossman you were just doing a kind thing like many other people do and trying to help a family. We had done the same thing with our previous tenants as we felt sorry for them they had kids and were not doing too well so we let them rent our house.

Big mistake, the new tenants we have had for about 16 years now, are now behind in their rent and our other mistake is letting them pay what they can. It is the human compassionate thing to do though and before anyone says anything we know it isn't good business practice.

With the economy though the way it has been though and prices for things being what they are we have let it slide. Our current tenant is a painter and his wife works with insurance. The insurance business has been great in this area but work for painters not so good. That and injuries that he received in an accident have caused him problems.

So we do our best the money isn't as much as we would like but enough for us to pay for our expenses and pay our taxes. That and we just wright our losses off on our taxes. You might get lucky though they might pay the rest of what they owe you. Good luck to you!
 
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Old 06-10-14, 03:30 AM
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I'd like to do this without a lawyer and at least get a judgement against them to send a message
You don't have to hire a lawyer but you do need to make sure you have the proof with you that they owe you money. When my wife got judgement against that agency that didn't pay her, she didn't have a lawyer [agency owner did] and once the evidence was presented to the judge and since the agency had no real defense, she was awarded the judgement. I'm pretty sure there was a filing fee but it wasn't much. That was around 12 yrs ago. Personally, I'd take them to court without a lawyer knowing that I'm more apt to just get satisfaction [in my mind] and not expect to get any money.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 09:19 AM
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Seems like we're in court every few weeks and we have a pretty good process in place for the documentation but most of the time it doesn't matter because the tenants don't show up and we get a default judgment.

If possible, we then garnish wages.

Sometimes, we have nothing but there's always the chance they'll have to clear the judgment later on when they want to finance something - I've had people in the office paying off judgments as old as 12 years (and we get to collect interest on that).
 
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Old 06-10-14, 12:52 PM
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I believe I have plenty of proof. I send them an invoice every month with the amount they owe on it and the outstanding balance, several letters and emails from them apologizing and stating that they will pay me back every penny, a signed addendum with the amount they owe saying they will direct deposit $1,000 every two weeks until they pay me off, etc.

If possible, we then garnish wages.

Sometimes, we have nothing but there's always the chance they'll have to clear the judgment later on when they want to finance something - I've had people in the office paying off judgments as old as 12 years (and we get to collect interest on that).
That's what I would like to do...garnish their wages. I'm going to the Sheriff's office tomorrow to fill out a 5-day eviction form to get the process started.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 01:38 PM
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mossman

I believe I have plenty of proof
Don't doubt that at all, you just have to remember to bring that proof with you as the judge won't take your word for it - he wants to see documentation.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 02:02 PM
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That's what I would like to do...garnish their wages. I'm going to the Sheriff's office tomorrow to fill out a 5-day eviction form to get the process started.
Why would someone do that to anyone? IMO cut your losses. Be happy to get them out.

I had that happen to myself from a creditor and it was a time when we were having our third child and one income. I tell you it was hard to eat and keep the electric on those years. Then to have 20% taken out of your measly paycheck was near catastrophic.

All the opinions here seem like from a landlords point of view. Put yourself in others shoes sometimes.

Im just stating that some people have true hardships and to hit them when they are down makes it harder for them.

Instead, try to help them apply for rental assistance possibly. Find out if they have a legitimate hardship...Maybe a way to help them. If they pay you they will have no money to move so they are probably trying to save knowing your not going to renew the lease...


Just my point of view is all.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 02:19 PM
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Mike, there are 2 sides to every coin but that doesn't mean just because the landlord [and probably the bank] owns the rental house, doesn't mean he can readily afford the loss from non payment. The months that the tenant doesn't pay often means the landlord has to find money from somewhere else to pay his bills ... sometimes that means doing without just so he can stay current with his own bills. I'm sure if someone owed you money that you needed - you'd want and try to get paid!

In my wife's situation, she basically worked around the clock the better part of a month for free. Sure we got by and kept our bills paid but it was tough! Her 1st pay check bounced and they never paid her for the 2nd pay period. Crazy thing is while she got a judgement for the non paid period they wouldn't prosecute for the bad check because it was wrote in one state and delivered in another .... but she still had to pay taxes on the money she didn't get.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 03:00 PM
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I would have a little more pity on them, but I've been dealing with this for three years. It's been excuse after excuse with these people. They both have steady jobs, but there priorities are not in the right place. I saw the wife the other day driving a Mercedes SUV with her hair and nails done! They choose to pay their cable TV/internet bill, cell phone bill, and car payment, then if there is any leftover they pay me. I take some of the blame for keeping them in the house for so long, but I'm not going to let them walk away scot-free. Sorry. If they were poor, disabled, and jobless it would be one thing, but they are quite capable. It's plain laziness.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 06:30 PM
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I agree with you mossman and marksr compassion can only go so far and in your case mossman I can certainly understand why you would want them out. If they can afford to pay for cable tv,cell phone service and for the wife to get weekly manicures then they certainly should have been paying you more.

I also agree we as landlords have bills to pay too and have a hard time juggling all of the bills sometimes. Just recently we would have had a few bounced checks if we hadn't had help from our bank. We of course had some savings so we were able to cover the checks and part of our income comes from social security too. So as marksr said there are always two sides to every coin about landlord tenant issues.
 
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Old 06-10-14, 07:41 PM
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I also agree we as landlords have bills to pay too and have a hard time juggling all of the bills sometimes.
Just my opinion from where I grew up, but if you have a second home to rent then you have expendable income from what I know in basic life skills. ( unless it was a hand me down and one has bad financial skills??)

If you dont have the money to carry a rental if its empty then IMO one should not be a landlord. If your scraping buy then your doing injustice to the tenants... Maybe the shoe is on the other foot...Look in the mirror maybe.. Maybe the rental should be sold??? Hmmmm?

I have been there and done that. You all have to be true to yourselves.

I am a plumber and I know landloards trust me...


, but there priorities are not in the right place. I saw the wife the other day driving a Mercedes SUV with her hair and nails done! They choose to pay their cable TV/internet bill, cell phone bill, and car payment, then if there is any leftover they pay me.
fact? assumption? We dont know we are not there..

All I know is one has to sleep at night knowing they did the right thing...

If you feel good about your actions at the end of the day then you need to live with that. Always one can justify but be true to man kind.

Just all my opinion though Just showing the flip side. Im true to what I believe...

Look beyond the parents and look at the children. Talk to the tenants openly. Too many hide behind a veil. Most issues can be resolved by communication....
 
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Old 06-11-14, 09:48 AM
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I only see the landlord side of this as well but Mossman isn't doing anything wrong trying to collect what's owed to him.

I tell people as long as they keep talking to me and honoring their commitments, I won't take them to court. If they disappear or make promises and then break them, I no longer have any sympathy.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 09:51 AM
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Just my opinion from where I grew up, but if you have a second home to rent then you have expendable income from what I know in basic life skills. ( unless it was a hand me down and one has bad financial skills??)
Sure, I have expendable income, but I'm not a charity and am not going to pay someone else's rent while they watch Sports Center and text on their Apple iphone.

This was my first home and we needed a larger home in a better neighborhood to start a family. This was during the housing downturn and we didn't want to take a loss so we held on to the property. It is now just under 100% LTV. I can carry both mortgages, but I shouldn't have to. I plan on keeping it as an investment property.

Letting them get off scot-free is sending the wrong message and they will just move on to the next rental and do the same thing. I'm a pretty good person at heart, but I have my limits and they have surpassed those limits. Again, if they were elderly, unemployed, disabled or what have you then I would cut my losses, but they are able-bodied and in their late 30's.

fact? assumption? We dont know we are not there..
I drove by there today. Mercedes in driveway. I was there last month to fix a faucet--high speed internet (I used it) and satellite TV with sports package (TV was on). They told me they were getting $3,000 back from taxes and would give it all to me. It's been two months since they said that and I haven't gotten anything. Trust me, these people are not needy, they are lazy and have their priorities backwards.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 10:02 AM
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Sometimes good folks hit bad times and need help BUT for the most part, those that have, got it by hard work and often by denying theirselves luxuries in order to get ahead. That makes it even harder to have compassion on those that think they should take off of the rich because they have more than they do. I don't mind helping some one if I can afford to but balk if someone thinks I owe them just because I have more - let them work, sweat and manage their finances well and they won't be in a bind!
 
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Old 06-11-14, 10:37 AM
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In our case we don't have a mortgage on either of our properties our house or our investment property that was once my grandmothers house. We do have some expendable money and our current tenants have not made any promises that they can't keep. If they had and had been telling us stories like our previous tenant who said I am coming into an inheritance and please don't sue me or I will lose it, they would be out the door fast. Their situation though has been a set of unfortunate circumstances and we have talked to them.

We try to help them out too in other ways that doesn't include money like giving them food we don't want or occasionally giving them something we bought that we don't use. So our situation is much different from mossmans as our house is right next door. I applaud you too Mossman for taking care of your own property and managing it yourself. Our former neighbor down the street from us had a real estate agent handle the property she had and was in Florida with her sick husband. Big mistake in my opinion as the place was a wreck when she finally got her property back.

Of course I can understand her situation too as her husband needed to be attended to and she certainly couldn't be in two places at the same time. A couple of things that made the situation so bad though was having unrelated people as a group rent the place and from what I understand absolutely no credit check. After our last tenants I insisted on credit checks and if we do rent out the house to a different family in the future there will be a credit check on those people too. So we have done the best we can as landlords and try to look at it from every ones point of view.
 
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Old 06-11-14, 11:22 AM
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There's a difference between someone needing help for a while and them being moochers. Can't pay the rent on time? Ok, you'll get a grace period THIS time. If it's not paid (or at least partially) when agreed, sorry, contract penalties are then in effect. If this is a temporary, but ongoing situation, then talk to me and let's work something out. But promises made and broken are worse than none at all. Still employed and working, but just overextended yourself? Well, you made that decision.

As to things like new cars, sat TV, fancy cell phones. Many people do that when they are flush, and then if they don't pay, they lose the item or the service and are still on the hook for the bills and penalties, as well as it going on their credit report and being turned over to collection. The corporations don't G.A.S. about their problems. A major apartment complex wouldn't be any different than the corporations. An individual landlord is a real person that they can talk to and make their appeal. In their mind, a landlord is the weakest link with the least influence.

Carrying an empty rental for a while is one thing. If someone is living there gratis, then you can't even search or advertise for new tenants til they are gone. I don't think any landlord gets into the business to provide free housing to moochers.

When this area got hit hard, lots of nice new trucks, cars, motorcycles and ATVS had 4-sale signs and you saw more TV antennas go up. Those are the people that deserve any help they ask for. Not the ones that continue to live beyond their means.

I know those of us that live in nice climates probably get annual influxes of people standing with their signs at Wally World, shopping centers, and every exit ramp. You know the ones...holding signs that say "Anything helps" or "Hungry, God bless" or "Need gas money"?

I've lived here 7 years and have been seeing some of the same people every spring through fall for at least 3 years that I remember. I've also seen some of them later in the day, leave their spot, climb on their bike and ride over or walk to, vehicles much nicer and newer than the one I drive. A neighbor said he recognized one guy as he pulled out of a lot and went the same way as the neighbor. Drove down, turned into a older residential area and pulled his car into a relatively nice place, opened the garage door and pulled right in.

There's a whole group of RVs that spend the night at WM, then every morning drive to one of the city parks that has lots of shade and picnic areas. They set up hammocks and chairs and cook on the grilles. Then pack up and head back to WM when the park closes. Every spring and summer, same pattern.

I've never see a single person offering yard cleanup or offering to help someone with their groceries or similar.
 
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Old 06-16-14, 06:53 AM
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I spoke with them yesterday and they indicated they would be out on July 1st. We'll see what happens. They missed their payment (again) this month because they supposedly used the money to secure an apartment.

Next question is, what is the best way to ensure I get their new address? Let's say they refuse to give it to me and change their phone numbers. How am I to keep in contact with them?
 
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Old 06-16-14, 07:08 AM
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Just an opinion here, but I would have another discussion with them to go over exactly what will be owed once they leave. Have a document for them to sign that includes new address, payment schedule, and a promissory note acknowledging the passed due amount owed. Getting that agreed upon before they leave along with two signatures will help with the recovery process should you go to small claims.

Bud
 
  #38  
Old 06-16-14, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
If you want to make sure you have their address make sure you get their tag number on their car. If they sell their car it can be harder to find them especially if they sell it before they move. After they move though is another story as they have to give their forwarding address to the dmv. Also don't forget the post office they need their mail forwarded and the post office has that information too. Both places though will want to see a court order or they will not give you that information. Best though to keep that information to yourself and not tell them that.

When we went to the post office all we had to do was show our judgement in our favor and the supervisor took care of the information for us. Make sure the postmaster or a supervisor is there before going though so best to call them first. A regular clerk can't give you that information.
 
  #39  
Old 06-16-14, 01:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,355
Great. Thanks for the info!
 
  #40  
Old 06-28-14, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,355
What about a collection agency? Even if they don't end up paying, at least I can annoy the hell out of them for a while. I just realized yesterday that the husband disconnected his cell phone. He is not responding to my emails, and I haven't been able to catch him at home. This man has got to pay in one way or another.
 
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